Avantgarde in Georgia

Brussels, Europalia

04.10.2023 - 14.01.2024

Europalia Georgia festival's opening exhibition, The Avant-Garde in Georgia (1900-1936) at BOZAR (Brussels) highlights, for the very first time, a largely forgotten chapter of avant-garde art in Europe. Works by Niko Pirosmani, David Kakabadze, Ilia & Kyril Zdanevich and many other Georgian artists from the period are on display.

The design of the exhibition was inspired and influenced by observations in Tbilisi. The larger galleries of the exhibition are structured with light screens that refer to the informal yet elegant extensions that form beautiful rear facades and can be seen from the courtyards of many buildings in Tbilisi from the beginning of the 20th century. Carefully selected colours for surfaces on the walls indicate the curatorial chapters and create depth for the large number of paintings, photographs and drawings, occasionally arranging them in groups. The colour fields are an allusion to the showcases that Arto Varadzi designed for the National Museum of Tbilisi in the 1960s, where the artist painted colour fields in the showcases to group archaeological exhibits. Free-standing, large display cases are distributed throughout the galleries and follow on their insides the thematic hues of the colour patches on the walls. Their construction is based on the principles of avant-garde architecture from the same period.

Client: Europalia
Location: BOZAR, Brussels / BE
Curators: Nana Kipiani, Irine Jorjadze, Tea Tabatadze, icw Europalia
Artistic Direction: Dirk Vermaelen with Eva Bialek
Execution: Chloroform
Lighting: Colin Fincoeur / BOZAR
Art handling: Fuller
Graphic design: Sara De Bondt studio
Assistant: Olivia De Bree
Photography: Robbrecht Desmet