Group Bouillon, Lado Lomitashvili claim inaugural Zygmunt Waliszewski Visual Arts Award honours

Group Bouillon and Lado Lomitashvili have featured in displays and performances in Georgia and abroad. Images: Lado Lomitashvili on Vimeo/Queensland Art Gallery., 24 May 2019 - 17:16, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian artist collective Group Bouillon has been awarded the first edition of the Zygmunt Waliszewski Visual Arts Award of the Polish Institute in Tbilisi, while artist Lado Lomitashvili was distinguished with the Special Prize from the judges.


In an awards ceremony in the Georgian capital this week, the winners were picked to celebrate the inaugural prize and legacy of Georgian-Polish cultural relations.


Group Bouillon and Lomitashvili were picked out from seven finalists, as Inchina Collective and artists Lado Pochkhua, Tamuna Chabashvili, Nadia Tsulukidze and Nino Kvrivishvili were also shortlisted by Polish judges. The shortlist itself had been drawn from a list of 50 Georgian artists picked by local curators.


The jury panel for distinguishing the winners included art historian Piotr Rypson, artist and curator Waldemar Tatarczuk as well as curators Magdalena Kardasz and Monika Szewczyk.



The physical prize for the award, designed by sculptor David Janiashvili. Photo: Polish Institute in Tbilisi.


The Bouillon collective has featured in displays in Georgia and abroad, including the Tartu Art Museum in Estonia and Artisterium contemporary exhibition in Tbilisi. Lomitashvili claimed Georgia’s first award for photobook artists in 2016 and was part of the Krakow Photomonth Festival in Poland the same year.


Beside the honours the winning entries will also be awarded 3,000 EUR money prizes, while sculptor David Janiashvili created their physical prizes based on a fragment of a work by Waliszewski, who lived in Georgia during his youth.


Studying under artist Nikolay Sklifosovsky, Waliszewski was friends with a group of avant-garde artists who made the Georgian scene a melting pot of creativity in the early decades of the 20th century.

Learn brief facts about Polish artist Zygmunt Waliszewski in a Polish Institute in Tbilsi video below:



Visual artists Lado Gudiashvili, Ilia and Kirill Zdanevich, as well as poets Paolo Iashvili and Titsian Tabidze counted themselves among acquaintances of the Polish creative, who co-created paintings for Cafe Kimerioni, an early 20th century Tbilisi spot.


Located on a lower storey of today’s Rustaveli Theatre building, Kimerioni became a favourite spot for socialising and creative meetings for artists in the newly independent Georgian republic in 1918.


Waliszewski was also among artists who sought to locate and identify works by Georgia’s belatedly recognised primitivist painter Niko Pirosmani, after the latter’s death in obscurity the same year. The Polish artist himself died aged 40 in 1936.


The Zygmunt Waliszewski Visual Arts Award is expected to become a biennial occurrence in Tbilisi, distinguishing contemporary creatives in Georgia.