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Sculpture Collection

7 February 10:00 - 7 October 18:00

 

The National Gallery presents a sculpture exhibition on the second floor, alongside the renewed permanent exhibition of Pirosmani. This new sculpture exposition integrates artworks from the recently acquired National Museum collection and the National Museum’s sculpture collection. The exhibition showcases the key visual features of Georgian round sculpture over its 100-year history in a more compact format.

Each of the founders of Georgian round sculpture, Jacob Nikoladze and Nikoloz Kandelaki, will be represented by a single statue. These artists played a pivotal role in establishing the groundwork for the modern Georgian school of sculpture, each contributing unique and distinctive creative methods to the field.

Showcasing the transformative era of the 1960s, the exhibition highlights sculptors who ushered in a qualitative transformation in Georgian sculpture. Karlo Grigolia, a prominent figure from this generation, will be represented by two sculptures, including the premiere display of his Abstract Composition.

The exhibition will also feature works by Vazha Melikishvili and Rusudan Gachechiladze, who emerged on the artistic scene in the 1970s. Regarding the first, we witness the visualisation of transcendental thinking, detached from materiality; and in the case of the latter, magical artefacts reveal the transformation of the intermediate plaster matrix into the final material through colour manipulation.

Two works by Simon Girkelidze, an artist from the 1970s, will be a revelation for viewers. Notably, The Soviet Dog, depicting a stray dog, carries ironic connotations about the Soviet economy. Naturally, it was prohibited from exhibition during the Soviet period.

Visitors will have the opportunity to view sculptures by two contemporary artists, Roko Iremashvili and Levan Kipshidze, whose works have been displayed in the gallery’s public space for some time.

The upcoming inclusion of Tamar Abakelia’s iconic work, We Take Revenge, cast in modern materials, into the mentioned sculpture collection adds considerable significance to this exhibition. We highly value the participation of this distinguished Georgian sculptor, whose creative legacy undoubtedly deserves more attention today.

Among the exhibitions hosted by the National Gallery in the past two years, the solo exhibition of several sculptors was especially significant. These exhibitions broadened public exposure to the works of highly esteemed artists, who were formerly acknowledged only within a limited circle of specialists.

In upcoming exhibitions, the National Gallery will present alternative interpretations of the developmental and transformative processes of the plastic form.

The Dimitri Shevardnadze National Gallery is currently featuring new sculptures on its second floor, including works by Tamar Abakelia (1905–1953), Gulda Kaladze (1932–1974), Djemal (Djoti) Bzhalava (b. 1944), and Rocko Iremashvili (b. 1979).

Tamar Abakelia’s sculpture The Collective Farmer’s Family, originally created in 1939, has been transferred to solid material for the first time. The motif of a family, recurring in Abakelia’s work, also appears in her high-relief frieze at the Institute of Marxism-Leninism (IMEL).

In 1955, two years after Abakelia’s death, The Collective Farmer’s Family and another relatively small-scale piece, Sister of Mercy, were acquired by the Art Museum of Georgia. In March 2024, with support from the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Georgia, the National Gallery of Georgia began the restoration of these two sculptures, which had deteriorated over time. The original plaster models were cast in polyester and bronze for the first time. The restoration included The Collective Farmer’s Family and Abakelia’s renowned statue We Will Take Revenge, both of which were transferred to polyester and bronze.

Tamar Abakelia (1905–1953) was a versatile artist known for her talents in sculpture, graphic design, painting, illustration, theatre, and cinema. She was Georgia’s first female monumentalist and belonged to the first generation of sculptors graduating from the Tbilisi Academy of Arts, completing her studies in 1929 under the guidance of Jacob Nikoladze, Nikoloz Kandelaki, Joseph Charlemagne, and Eugeny Lanceray.

In 1936–1937, Abakelia created high reliefs for the frieze of IMEL’s pediment, playing a pivotal role in reviving relief sculpture traditions in Georgia. As the Second World War began, patriotic themes increasingly influenced her work. One of her most iconic wartime sculptures is We Will Take Revenge! depicting a mother grieving the loss of her child to war.

Gulda Kaladze’s sculpture “Vintage” (1972), originally in coloured plaster, has been restored.

Gulda Kaladze graduated from the Tbilisi Academy of Arts in 1957. His work is distinguished by his experimental approach, innovative discoveries, and distinctive artistic vision. While he also made significant contributions to painting and graphics, sculpture was his true calling. Despite his brief life, he created a total of seventeen sculptural compositions that fully expressed his creative potential, characterised by a keen sense of form and refined proportions.

Notably, Gulda Kaladze is the son of the renowned Georgian sculptor Tamar Abakelia, underscoring his deep artistic lineage and heritage.

Djemal (Djoti) Bzhalava’s work, Portrait, 1989, stone.

Djemal (Djoti) Bzhalava often explores themes from Georgian history and culture in his artworks. The carved figures of animals and people in stone are inspired by the legends of Caucasian peoples, mystical tales, and Greek myths. While searching for archaic forms, the sculptor maintains the natural integrity of the stone. Since 1991, Djoti Bzhalava has resided in France, where his sculptures adorn cities in both Georgia and France. Notably, his bull sculpture, installed in the central square of Nîmes in 2018, stands as a prominent example of his work.

Rocko Iremashvili’s David, 2024, polyester.

Rocko Iremashvili is a painter, sculptor, and artist who graduated from the Stuttgart State Academy of Arts (2005–2009) and served as a teacher at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts (2010–2012).

His artworks, spanning painting, sculpture, and video, blend elements of social protest, sarcasm, vanity, and compassion. Each of Rocko Iremashvili’s projects encourages profound reflection. They are characterised by their individualism, unconventional approach, and the artist’s relentless pursuit of experimentation in fine art. For Rocko Iremashvili, art transcends being a mere discipline with didactic functions; instead, it is an organic component of everyday life.

The exhibition continues until early October 2024.

 

Details

Start:
7 February 10:00
End:
7 October 18:00
Event Categories:
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Organizer

Georgian National Gallery
Phone:
+ (995 32) 215 73 00

Venue

Dimitri Shevardnadze Georgian National Gallery
11 Rustaveli ave
Tbilisi, Georgia 0108
View Venue Website

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