The exhibition Georgian Modernism: The Fantastic Tavern is calling for the overdue acknowledgement of the artistic accomplishments of the Georgian Modernist movement and aims at placing this largely ignored chapter into western history of art. This is why Kunsthalle Zurich decided to expand the exhibition into the virtual world and to publish background information as well as images of different works and various artists on the blog.
Blog – Kunsthalle Zürich
Listen to the recording of Alexander Tcherepnin’s Op. 25 Rhapsody georgienne (Georgian Rhapsody) for cello and orchestra from 1922.
The rhapsody mirrors the broad interest in folk art shown by artists, writers, and composers at the time. It includes passages of Georgia’s emblematic folk dance, the Lezginka, along with Eastern rhythms and ornamentation. The piece is also an example of the idea of «Eurasinism».
The Robbers (Die Räuber) by Friedrich Schiller and Irakli Gamrekeli's fantastic stage design at the Rustaveli Theater in Tbilisi:
Ilia Zdanevich (1894–1973), Donkey for hire (Asel naprakat), 1918/19.
Anzor (Anzori), stage design by Irakli Gamrekeli for Sandro Shanshiashvili’s adaptation of Vsevolod Ivanov’s Armoured Train 14-69 at the Rustaveli Theater, Tbilisi 1930.
In the 1920s, the conventions of stage design in theater were transformed by the aesthetic principles of the avant-garde. In a climate of artistic exchange, creative processes and practices in the visual arts soon were reflected in theater, and the specific expressions of various movements from Cubism and Futurism to Constructivism gradually found an introduction to the stage.
«Tbilisi has become fantastic. A fantastic city needs a fantastic corner,» the Georgian modernist writer and theorist Grigol Robakidze proclaimed in the early twentieth century. The «fantastic corners» that he referred to were the Tbilisi artist cafés: places that unified the creative energies of the period...
Nail in the Boot (Lursmani cheqmashi Gvozd’v sapoge), 1930/32, Michail Kalatosow (1903–1973), film, black/white, no sound, 53 min.
Text by Mzia Chikhradze
During the beginning of the 1910s, the Russian Futurists worked together with their Georgian colleagues in Tbilisi in the pursuit of artistic research. The freedom to work against the academy was typical of the aims of the movement and was reflected in the design of Futurist books produced first in Russia, and then in Tbilisi. In particular, the books produced from 1917 to 1919 are among the most important artistic artifacts from the rich cultural life of Tbilisi. They present a strong example of the multicultural and international collaborations that...
Ilia Zdanevich (known also as Iliazd or Eli Eganbjuri) is a figure that only the early 20th century could produce: Avant-garde artist, writer, collector, publisher, typographer, researcher, Dadaist, graphic designer, performer, fashion designer, promoter and catalyst of the arts in Georgia, Russia, and France.