The blue tablecloth represents one of the best manifestations of the organic fusion of eastern and western origins in Georgian culture. It was used to cover the tables of feasts, or was spread directly on the ground (such tablecloths have a narrow and elongated shape). It used to be loaded with festive dishes, food, and drinks. The cheerful drawings on the textile filled guests with a celebratory spirit from the very beginning.
Over the past 30 years, the internet has reshaped and rearranged our communal understanding of the environment in the most diverse ways. When virtuality governs our everyday life, our main concern is whether it may become part of our perception.
Nekresi Monastery, which is one of the oldest monasteries in Georgia, is located in Kakheti, Eastern Georgia. It was erected on top of a hill, on the site of an ancient settlement, and boasts magnificent panoramic views overlooking the vast Alazani valley and the Caucasus Mountains.
Levan Tsutskiridze’s (1926 - 2021) oeuvre deals principally with literature. However, considering the uninterrupted monumentality of each of his pieces, he should not be labeled as a mere illustrator. In each of his paintings, Levan Tsutskiridze emerges as a sculptor, characterized through exceptional mastery of the principles of plasticity.
Myths endure and extend in Vajiko Chachkhiani’s (1985) interdisciplinary artistic practice. The artist, who lives and works in Tbilisi and Berlin, invokes tension in his films, sculptures and installations, grappling with penance and impunity, often of a familial nature.
Petre Otskheli, one of the most important representatives of Georgian Modernism, was born in 1907 into a wealthy Kutaisi family. At that time, Kutaisi was a city where the theater and several gymnasiums functioned alongside the cinema. In 1913 the Otskheli family moved to Moscow, where Petre's father began to run a broadcloth factory.
It is now the 18th season that prima ballerina Nino Ananiashvili has been head of the ballet troupe of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre.
Despite never having boarded a plane, David Kakabadze “flew over” his native land at an altitude of a “bird in flight,” and captured landscapes that ended up becoming symbolic representations of Georgia – truly resembling bird’s-eye views.
Sergei Parajanov (1924 - 1990) is considered as one of the 20th century's greatest masters of cinema. His free cinematic forms, expressive power and originality of visual compositions still continue to impress filmmakers today.
Ubisi monastery was founded in the 9th century by Grigol Khandzteli – a prominent cleric and founder of numerous monasteries in Georgia. The monastery comprises several buildings, the earliest of which is the single nave church of St. George dating from the 9th century (the annexes of the church are from a later period).
Prescience and premonition play a prominent role in Thea Gvetadze’s artistic practice. At the same time, she propels the passions and presumptions of that which has been preserved for posterity. Her portfolio is replete with these complementary qualities — inspired patinas and apparitions of what may be in the offing.
Guram Tsibakhashvili, also known by his nickname Tsibakha, is one of the most outstanding figures in contemporary Georgian photography. He captured some of Georgia's most famous public figures and celebrities of the 1990s: individuals distinguished for their extravagance, unusual lifestyles, unorthodox views, and for expressing themselves freely.
The icon of Ancha or Anchiskhati, a replica of the Holy Face of Edessa – the image of Christ “not made by human hand,” is one of the major relics of the Georgian Church.
In 1937, Poles living in the Soviet Union became targets of the so-called ‘Polish operation,’ which was launched by the Soviet secret police.
Betania monastery is located in the valley of the River Vera, not far from Tbilisi. The monastery was founded in the 11th century by the powerful Orbeliani family, and became a shrine for its members.
Throughout world history, the use of stained glass has been connected with the church and other religious facilities. For thousands of years, different types of glass were produced to animate or narrate Christian stories and illuminations.
artistic cafes of Tbilisi are a significant component of Modernism, a period from the end of the 19th century until the 1920-1930s when similar cabarets, clubs and cafes conquered almost all the major cities of Europe, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Petre Otskheli played a pivotal role in the development of Georgian scenography in the 20th century, and continues to influence it in the 21st. He was just twenty years of age when he began his career as a stage designer in Georgia, and only thirty when sentenced to death by the Soviet regime.
Irakli Parjiani’s oeuvre is all about attempting to decode the inscrutable. This is precisely why he kept revisiting the theme of the Annunciation — easily the central subject underlying most of his creations. Countless pieces inspired by this theme are scattered among numerous museums and private collections, and for the time being it would be virtually impossible to estimate their total number.
Giorgi Khaniashvili (1982) lives and works in Tbilisi, Georgia. A graduate of both the Nikoladze Art College and the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, Khaniashvili is an exponent of the contemporary visual culture of "anything goes," blending myriad images and influences.
Gagosha – Georgian street artist Giorgi Gagoshidze was born in 1986. He works in different media: poetry, visual poetry, drawing, media art, etc. He studied computer science at Tbilisi University, and graduated with an MA in Technology Administration from Tallinn University of Technology.
In Tato Akhalkatsishvili’s practice, the five stages of dramatic structure (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement) pair with and find depth in the five senses.
Georgi (Gogi) Alexi-Meskhishvili was born in 1941 into the family of renowned architect Lado Aleksi-Meskhishvili. In 1967 he graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, and since that time has actively participated in exhibitions. Beginning from 1971, Gogi Alexi-Meskhishvili served as stage designer of the Shota Rustaveli Drama Theatre, Zakaria Paliashvili Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, and also cooperated with the Kote Marjanishvili State Drama Theatre.
On 23 April, Tornike Robakidze’s solo show was launched in gallery 4710. The name of the exhibition already promises us something about the celestial realm, but while doing so, it also reveals a kind of melancholy and doubt. What has sadness to do with paradise? On entering the gallery, one sees entire walls covered with pencil sketches/drawings.
Salome Dumbadze's solo exhibition Indoor Window- collected works, which encompass paintings, graphics and textiles, tether tender translucence with tranquil transcendence.
The Holy Cross Monastery in Jerusalem occupies a special place among the churches and monasteries that have been associated with the activities of Georgians in the Holy Land since the 5th c.
The story of Georgian Dadaism began sometime in the late 1910s, when the Zdanevich brothers (Kiril & Ilia) decided to form the art group “41 degrees”. Through Ilia’s concepts of “orchestral painting” and “everythingism,” the brothers aimed to transgress the boundaries of art, while simultaneously drawing different cultural patterns and meanings from the history of world art.
The church of the Virgin at Timotesubani is located on the bank of the River Toristskali in the picturesque Borjomi gorge, not far from the town of Borjomi itself in the historic region of Tori. In historic sources the monastery is referred to as Kimotesmani and was founded by Shalva Toreli, eristavt-eristavi, the chancellor of Queen Tamar.
Despite the fact that artworks are created in an artist’s studio, their new configuration is determined by the specific space that puts them on display. Lying on the border of the ability and impossibility of communicating with the environment, any attempt to establish a relationship between the piece and the space will have its own impact on the mutual transformation.
Maia Naveriani’s artistic practice is rife with possibilities and the odd plight. Her works, primarily in colored pencil or watercolor on paper, are catalytic—charged with a jolt of life and composed with a coursing light.
You might begin to familiarize yourself with Zura Apkhazi’s artwork at a show somewhere, but you are bound to have questions, which may only be answered by visiting his studio. As you view his pieces, characterized by customary elegance of exposition, at a gallery, their distinctive brutality, large format and accentuated textures will certainly remind you of German Neo-Expressionism—only at first glance.
Vardzia’s rock-hewn architectural ensemble is situated in historic Javakheti, South Georgia, on the left bank of the river Mtkvari. It served as fortification, as well as religious and habitation purposes, and has outstanding artistic and historical significance.
It all began in Georgia, in the 1980s. Luka Lasareishvili, representing the second most important wave in the history of Georgian abstract art, is now one of the most renowned contemporary Georgian artists residing abroad, known by the name of Luca Lazar.
The history of contemporary Georgian sculpture has its roots in the period around the turn of the 20th century, when Georgia began to reconnect with European cultural milieu after centuries of having been forcibly pulled away from it. It was at that time that pioneer Georgian sculptor Iakob Nikoladze (1876-1951) made his first appearance as an artist.
The triptych created for the enamelled image of the Supplicating Virgin, originally belonging to Khakhuli monastery in southwest Georgia, is one of the most brilliant “royal” icons created in medieval Georgia.
Koka Ramishvili is a Georgian artist, who lives in Geneva, works with different mediums and any of his projects is distinguished by reflexivity and exquisite quality. His art biography is very diverse: embraces artistic quests for general problems, as well as personal and intimate spaces.
In the light of the ongoing pandemic, visual arts have been more concerned with the idea of timelessness and exploration of underlying spatial concepts. As a result of inherent global changes, interrelation with art has taken a brand-new form, restricting presence of time and space in virtually everyone’s life.
Text and visual image are often interchangeable in the works of Karlo Kacharava, Georgian art critic, artist and poet (1964-1994). He inscribed notes on and inserted texts into his paintings.
With Pirosmanashvilis’s birth and death dates still remaining uncertain, his final resting place having been lost, and his biographies being largely based on enigmatic/equivocal memories, legends and assumptions, it now appears impossible to reconstruct the real story of the artist’s life. Such ambiguity imbues his image with certain mysticism, leaving his art as the only true evidence of his place among the pre-eminent painters of the twentieth century.
Architecture in developing countries is an excellent source for absurd content. Dehumanization of bureaucratic labyrinths and cynicism towards power in David Kukhalashvili’s expressive paintings seem to be intended for a new, animated version of The Trial by Kafka.
Georgian icon painting has a centuries long history. Although according to Georgian Church tradition the cult of icons in Georgia goes back to apostolic times, the earliest preserved painted icons are dated back to the late 10th – early 11th cc.
Vakho Bugadze is an artist who manages to strike a delicate balance between contrasting elements, combining brutal energy and sophisticated sensitivity to create a world free of tension in his works.
In the 1920s, the way the scenography system functioned was determined by new “aesthetic discoveries”. The immediate connection between stage design and the processes taking place in the realm of fine arts contributed to the introduction of avant-garde.
Cities, Mamuka Tsetskhladze’s solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Tbilisi, recently came to an end. I was completely taken over by the mesmerizing brilliance of his show, which ended up staying with me for an extended period of time.
Distinguished by her way of thinking, strength of character, views and courage, Elene Akhvlediani, commonly called Elichka, was the very epitome of freedom. Throughout her life, she remained inspired by the town of her birth, Telavi.
Tbilisi Mural Fest is an annual festival of street art held in Tbilisi. For the second time now, prominent artists from Berlin and other European cities are transforming Georgia’s capital into a public exhibition space - turning buildings into art objects. A new collaboration with the Kutaisi International University - a massive educational space with many buildings - resulted in a new mural festival in Kutaisi. This year, six murals will be created in Kutaisi. Besik Maziashvili, the founder of the festival is planning to make the festival an annual event.
The depository for Rusudan Gachechiladze’s sculptures is located right in the yard of her house, in a small-size shed of the so-called “Italian yard”. Dusted shelves provoke associations of art-house movie-frames.
The exhibition was initially conceived as a “No Fair”, a non-commercial exhibition organized in parallel to Tbilisi Art Fair. Starting from this year, the project transforms its conceptual scale and will continue in a new format: each of the future shows will be curated by a different person at a new location. The 2020's show show opens with the title Know Thy Neighbor under curation of Irena Popiashvili.
St. Nicholas church, a cross-dome brick construction, was commissioned by Antoni Glonistavisdze, Archbishop of Tshkondidi and Mtsignobartukhutsesi (the chancellor) of Queen Tamar, in the early 13th c.
Tato Akhalkatsishvili’s painting is full of variability of themes and serendipity, although they are integrated in one great and long-term project, which is Tato Akhalkatsishvili’s landscape.
The existence of the Universe is originated from a garden, the Garden of Eden. Merab Abramishvili is a a creator of a garden. A garden is his desirable world, more precisely, archetype model of a garden – ‘A Garden of Eden’. His painting is totally linked with the ‘Paradise’ topos and dedicated to the pleasure while ‘being in’ the garden and the dangerous adventure while ‘being out’ of it.
Over the course of the past 8 years, since my return to Georgia in 2012, contemporary art scene in Tbilisi has transformed dramatically. And that is certainly not a product of state initiatives. I would say, these transformations have been initiated independently, by artists and curators, and what we observe today is a result of a grassroots movement of sorts.
Alexander (Shura) Bandzeladze- Georgian representative of Abstract Expressionism. In the early 1990s, Alexander Bandzeladze was the eldest of acting figures of Georgian Contemporary Art and one of the first artists, who, in the 1960s and 1970s, deliberately engaged himself in late modernism problems and further influenced on-going art processes in Georgia.
Pandemic by Tamuna Melikishvili is one of the finest artistic commentaries on the subject-matter that has defined the modern era. Stylized portraits of strangers and passers-by are inserted on a page of a 1906 architectural album featuring iconic models of Renaissance-style windows. These windows are used as frames for the faces gazing out from within personal space, separated from the outside world, revealing the overarching mood of quarantine through their interests and anticipation, notes of despair and the inevitable psychological tension.