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Girkelidze Simon

It took sculptor Simon Girkelidze, a certain time to find his true vocation. After having started to study  geography and geology at the Tbilisi State University he then moved to the Tbilisi Academy of Arts to study graphic, which he completed in 1970. But already in 1963 he held his first personal show at the Tbilisi State University.

 Due to permanent and open critique of the Soviet system and its policy Girkelidze, unlike other sculptors  had never been  commissioned by the government to do large-scale sculptural projects. Nevertheless to support his family he had to  make  concessions to the system and sometimes took part in regular exhibitions held by AU.

In the late Soviet period, when ideological pressure more or less diminished, together with the other  artists, sculptors Karlo Grigolia, Neveli Jikia and painter Otar Chkhartishvili he established Avant Garde Association, housed in the House of Artists, another Soviet venue for visual artists.  There, the association’s  single exhibition was  held. It lasted till  Tbilisi war broke out, during which a lot of exhibits had been destroyed in fire.

After the breakdown of the Soviet Union, he became a member of the governing board of the Georgian Artist’s Union and erected two of his sculptures in Tbilisi: a bust of the theatre director, Kote Marjanishvili and a bust of his father-in-law, a well-known playwright Polikarpe Kakabadze.  In 2009, the winner of the Mecklenburg Forpommern  competition, his works were exhibited at the Solar Center.

Among Girkelidze’s works The Soviet Dog  stands out most, representing a breastfeeding shabby stray bitch. Inspired by the symbol of Rome, The Capitoline Wolf  it  contains ironic connotations on the Soviet economic system.

Simon Girkelidze
Date of Birth1939Date of Death2020Share