Georgian Museum of Fine Arts reopening after lockdown with fresh displays

  • 'Untitled' by Ana Shalikashvili, one of the three artists whose work will comprise a new exposition of the Tbilisi venue. Photo via Georgian Museum of Fine Arts., 29 Jun 2020 - 18:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

Works by three Georgian artists will become new additions to the space of the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts starting on Tuesday, as the Tbilisi venue reopens following the lockdown.

Cultural institutions and galleries are coming out of the extended spring shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and among them is the museum in downtown Tbilisi, unveiled in 2018. Its return will be marked by a showcase of works by Ana Shalikashvili and Ketevan Maghalashvili - two women artists of the 20th century Georgian scene - and young creative Giorgi Kukhalashvili.

In the post-pandemic space of the museum, Shalikashvili will be featured following a 2019 personal display marking 100 years since the birth of the late painter and illustrator, as well as Hopskotch, a generational show where her creations were selected along with those by 15 other artists.

Her works in painting and drawing as well as sketches made for animation films have been picked by curators for the new show. The selection is aimed to showcase the breadth of her practice, with the artist particularly known for animated work in the Soviet-era Georgian Film production studio.

Organisers at the museum have also gone through their vaults to pick artwork by Ketevan Maghalashvili - who was also included in the 2019 group exhibition - and move them to public view.


Recognised for her place in the portrait genre, the late painter authored many of the paintings featuring public personalities and professionals of the field of culture in Georgia throughout the last century.

Studying in the early decades of the century in Moscow and later in Paris, Maghalashvili returned to Georgia in the second half of the 1920s to work at Tbilisi's National Gallery venue and at the 'Metekhi' Museum of Art.

The artist's work has been recognised in publications including a 2017 book by art historian Irina Arsenishvili on the history of the local scene of easel painting, unveiled at the Georgian National Museum. In 2016, a display during the National Museum Week also celebrated her legacy to mark 120 years since her birth.

The Museum of Fine Arts will also host viewers to introduce them to Giorgi Kukhalashvili, as paintings by the creative - featuring a mix of artistic tendencies - join its permanent exhibition in the reopening.

Graduating from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 2007, Kukhalashvili is also the founder of 'Language of Art', a Georgian-based young artists' union. His work was introduced to viewers in the Netherlands in a 2017 personal exhibition at the Groeneveld Castle, with the Tbilisi History Museum and the Gallery Gremi in St Petersburg, Russia also displaying his creations.

A release by the Tbilisi museum said the new displays would be hosted using "all measures and recommendations" issued to museum venues internationally for COVID prevention. Georgia's culture and health ministries issued their own guidelines for cultural and artistic organisations earlier this month.

Launched in October 2018, the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts aims to preserve and display works by Georgian artists from the 1940s through to contemporary era. Located at 7, Rustaveli Avenue in the city, the venue’s display space is home to 3,500 works by over 100 artists, dispersed throughout 31 exposition halls and a repository.