Shpëtim Kërçova presented his new solo exhibition “Garden of Muscle Queens” at Gallery70, curated by Genti Gjikola. 11 oil paintings were exhibited at Gallery70, in which the main subject is the image of the woman, approaching another dimension of her: the body. This cycle of paintings is a continuation of the artist’s research towards the new dimensions and phenomena focused on the anatomy of the body. This exhibition will be open to the public from March 10 to May 5, 2022.


The subject of this exhibition is about the image of women in the world of bodybuilding and in Kërçova’s paintings processes like observation and astonishment are highlighted. Bodybuilding is a sport that requires a long dedication over time, starting from this fact, the curator puts a parallelism between this sport and the work of art. According to the curator, the final achievement between the sport of bodybuilding and the process of a work of art is the aesthetic judgment of the physical construct, the pose, the posture and the compositional unity in the musculature. This type of sports needs spectators, it’s done to be observed, to go out in the scene, to be admired and at this point the artist chooses to be its spectator and at the same time a creator who leaves some space for other observers.

Bodies with exaggerated musculature and somehow seemingly harsh appear in Kërçova’s paintings. It often seems that the space in the canvas is insufficient for them and the figures are inclined towards some kind of verticality making them step out of its frame.

In this cycle the image of the woman sometimes appears on its own and sometimes in groups.

In the paintings where they appear as a group their composition and presentation is somehow similar with some of the world re-known works, such as: Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”, whose position and glance are almost the same; Deneika’s “Work, Build and Don’t Whine” resembles it in its composition and the way the light is diffused throughout the painting, as well as the presentation of the subject itself in these paintings; Umberto Boccioni’s “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space”, with its approach to shapes and positions. While when presented individually they stand on their feet positioned just like on stage, with their usual posture and gaze towards the viewer (the public).

These images are treated in tones of pink, red and pale brown and they are repositioned in nature along with their work tools and are highlighted not only in physical terms or composition, but also as individual beings with real presence.

*Shpëtim Kërçova (Albanian, born in 1968) studied painting and textile in the Academy of fine Arts in Tirana, graduating in 1991. Very active in many exhibitions in the country and abroad, at his beginnings Kërçova experimented in different mediums such as installation and mixed media, but soon he concentrated in oil pantings, usually in series. From the 2000 he is one of the well-known contemporary artists of the country and a lecturer at the University of Arts in Tirana. His works usually analyze the human condition in the urban space, their relationship with nature and globalization topics. Some of his selected exhibitions are:  “A landscape without horizon”, personal exhibition, Zeta Gallery, Tirana (2015); “Zeta Art Center & Gallery at SUPERMARKET 2014”, Stockholm Independent Art Fair (2014); Personal exhibition, Zeta Gallery, Tirana (2010); “Cosi vicina cosi lontana”, Villa Croce Genova, Italy (2009); “My space”, Hause am Lutzoplawtz, Berlin, Germany (2008); “Virtualbania”, Pavel Haus, Austria (2007); ’03-’11 “Onufri” International Competition, National Gallery of Arts, Tirana (2002); Dogs / Roses / Swimmers and Painters / Amongst the Foliage, Fab Gallery, Tirana (2021); The Project, Gallery 70, Tirana (2021).