Ema Lalaeva-Ediberidze started painting at a very young age. She entered the Tbilisi State Academy of Art in 1921. In 1924-28 she continued her studies at the academy’s graphic design department. Starting in the 1930s she tried her hand in almost all media of art. She chose the name “Lali” as a pseudonym. In 1945 she was accepted into the Artists Union, but was permanently expelled soon after, as her husband had fallen victim to Stalinist repressions. Intense interest in modernist Western trends can be seen in her work.
Lali was radical in her art. She employed many established avant garde styles but was able to add her own personal flare each time. She never had a personal exhibition during her lifetime. The first was organized in 2001 in Tbilisi.
Lali’s work is central to the early history of the Georgian avant garde and essential to our understanding of Georgian modernism.