Marina Kayshauri's oeuvre is characterised by the width of its aesthetic range: she is equally at home and expressive in the lyrical, dramatic and epic interpretation of her works. Her images can be tragically elevated and satirically mocked, she can operate with idyll and grotesque, pathos and humour, monumentality of outlook and sophisticated attention to detail. She displays remarkable freedom in achieving a truly indivisable unity of content and form, of the hero's psychological state and his external appearance, of a painting's general mood and its figurative and colour structure. Assembled from elements of several periods and styles, the eclectic space in her paintings is transformed into a spectral image of an unknown space-time dimension, in which the elements of classical, oriental and Christian mythology acquire a new meaning, a new significance. Kayshauri creates a new world and portrays it with monumental simplicity. In her works she now dramatises her subjects, now has recourse to the grotesque. The expressive, taut and tense figures of her mythical heroes and their enlarged dimensions give her paintings a dynamic passion. Through her energetic brush strokes she pushes to the limit the power of her meandering lines and the intensity of her colours. The language of pictorial freedom that Kayshauri speaks and the expressiveness of her colours give her paintings a special emotional magnetic power.
Svetlana Kniazeva. Exhibition catalogue. 2002
The heroes of Marina Kayshauri's paintings are not characterised by either a coquettish artificiality in their poses or a salon prettiness. Beauty blends in them with ugliness, romance with grotesque. The artist's ideal is not replaced by lifeless idealisation.
Marina Kayshauri does not describe objects, rather she passes through her consciousness and imagination elements she has absorbed from the real sensory world. Her paintings are not intellectual constructs about particular themes, not a game of "eternal questions". She attempts to reveal the invisible and unknown in what she sees and to convey a mystical and subjective quality, which cannot be grasped rationally. Those of her works employing a neutral tonal range (The Boy, The Blue City) merely emphasise this mystery and elusiveness. Her subtle pastel shades and the merging of light, restrained colours give an almost monochrome impression. The vague outlines of objects and of the quiet, timeless figures emerging from somewhere in the depths of her paintings seem to dissolve in a mist tinted yellow, brown or green. The colour evokes a musicality in her depiction, romanticises it, helps the mysterious and inexpressible to emerge.
In Marina Kayshauri's paintings colour has a symbolic significance, revealing not the real colouring of objects, but the role the ideas they represent and their content plays in the pictorial structure of each painting. Her works are not examples of a superficial stylisation in the symbolist mode, nor has she borrowed from the old masters their artistic spirit, mood or plastic theory. Her paintings are genuinely conceptualised, whereas stylisation is always lifeless and merely conventional. She relies on her own profoundly felt aesthetic experience which makes her work deeply personal. Her images emerge from her own artistic struggle. She passes everything through her artistic ego, making it very personal, sometimes even