Born in Georgia – Contemporary Art from Georgia – Cobra Museum, Amstelveen






Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amstelveen (NL)



Born in Georgia – Contemporary Art from Georgia
through 14 June, 2009



The Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen is the first museum in the Netherlands to present a major overview of contemporary art from Georgia, a nation with a rich culture that long predates our written history. In over 70 works by 27 artists, a fascinating image is sketched of the way a new generation of Georgian artists relate to contemporary developments in art. It is evident that the current political situation must play a role here, but it does not provide direction.


Guram Tsibakhashvili



Guram Tsibakhashvili
Zwilinger,vanaf 1998,
serie Pépineristes, foto, 100 x 100 cm
© All rights reserved


In Europe, the early 1990s marked the beginning of a period of relative calm. The Soviet Union had broken up and the resulting nations steadily developed societies in which freedom and democratic values were no longer a utopia, but had in fact become reality. But there were exceptions. The Caucasus, and specifically Georgia, was burdened with successive wars and remained very unsettled. Despite, or perhaps because of this, art began to flourish as never before. It is fascinating work that, in terms of forms of expression, wholly fits within contemporary Western art traditions, but in terms of content is deeply rooted in the region from which the artists come.

The exhibition begins in the early 1990s. After being ruled by Russia for many decades, Georgia regained independence, but all too quickly had to cope with two wars and abandon its bond with Russia. Among older artists, the influence of these events is still very visible in their work. The conflicts meant that for ten years, artists of his generation had almost no contact with long-time friends and fellow artists in Russia. As did the new political situation, they began to look increasingly to the West. Despite new freedom, a third of the young artists left the country to begin a new life, especially in Germany. Among those who remained, a remarkable nostalgia for the Soviet era could sometimes be discerned in their work, as was the case in many other former Soviet countries. Art from this period includes many performances, installations, videos and photographs, comparable to contemporary developments in art in Russia. An astonishingly small amount of painting took place. The painting that was produced demonstrated a period of innovation, but this seems since to have completely disappeared.


Thea Gvetadze



Thea Gvetadze
Zeit des Mondes, 2008,
mixed media op doek, 140 x 200 cm
© All rights reserved

Maia Naveriani



Maia Naveriani
Girl with lemons, 2006,
kleurenstift op papier, 133 x 130 cm
© All rights reserved

Vato Tsereteli



Vato Tsereteli
Silent Talk, 2008, video, 60 min
© All rights reserved


Art by the younger generation presents a completely different picture. For them, their political heritage plays a far smaller role. What is remarkable about this most recent art from Georgia, and which is well represented in this exhibition, is that there are exceptional numbers of active women artists. Their work presents a powerful feminine side, generated by the strong social position of women in Georgia. Their preferred media are still film and video, in contrast to those Georgian artists who left Georgia in order to rekindle painterly traditions. If there is one thing that characterizes contemporary artists from Georgia, it is that they are poetic dreamers, sometimes enclosed within in their own thoughts, sometimes desiring expression in very emancipating fashion. It makes no difference to their art where they now live: as the nation of their birth, Georgia remains an indelible given, one all of the artists continue to carry with them.


Iliko Zautashvili



Iliko Zautashvili
Unlimited Gaps in a Limited Time, 2008
25 kussens met b/w afbeeldingen geprint op zijde, 500 x 500 cm
© All rights reserved

Theo Telia



Theo Telia
He likes, 2005
dvd 2 min 22 sec
© All rights reserved


The artists whose work is presented at the exhibition are:

Tolia Astakhishvili, Nino Chubinishvili, Gia Edzgveradze, Thea Gvetadze, Keti Kapanadze, Anna K.E., Tamara K.E, , Tamuna Karumitidze, Ira Kurmaeva, Luka Lasareishvili, Group LOTT, Maia Naveriani, Koka Ramishvili, Nino Sekhniashvili, Gio Sumbadze, Maia Sumbadze, Thea Telia, Vato Tsereteli, Niko Tsetskhladze, Guram Tsibakhashvili and Iliko Zautashvili.

The accompanying bilingual catalogue includes texts by Jan Hein Sassen, interim director of the Cobra Museum for Modern Art, and Jane Sharp, PhD, researcher with the Norton & Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union at the Jane Vorhees Zimmerli Art Museum in the US. The catalogue is published by 99 Publishers (www.99publishers.nl).



    Courtesy The Cobra Museum of Modern Art
    Images © All rights reserved


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Stampfli & Turci – Art Dealers


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~ by Stampfli & Turci on April 30, 2009.

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