National Gallery reopens after renovation with Pirosmani, Irakli Parjiani display

Visitors seen at the exhibition of works by Pirosmani and Parjiani in Tbilisi on Tuesday. Photo via Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth., 03 Nov 2021 - 15:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

Tbilisi's National Gallery venue reopened on Tuesday after the first renovation in a decade, with visitors hosted for a display of works by iconic primitivist painter Niko Pirosmanashvili and 20th century postmodern artist Irakli Parjiani.

The reopening followed the culture ministry's reveal earlier in the year of the body's plans to see the gallery reacquire its original mission of hosting temporary exhibitions by both contemporary artists and classic names from across decades.

Minister Thea Tsulukiani said exposition spaces of the venue had been in "dire condition" through damage caused by rainwater leaks into the building, compounding the fact of the halls not having received maintenance since 2011.

The dual display is the first in a series of planned exhibitions set to feature both contemporary artists and renowned names from across decades. Photo via Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth.

The minister also told visitors gathered for the dual exhibition the venue would host works by contemporary creatives, a display of Georgian modernist painting, as well as collections from the vaults of the Museum of Fine Arts, another venue of the Georgian National Museum network.

For the new exhibition, 20 works by Pirosmani, a major name of the local primitivist scene in the first few decades of the 20th centuries, were selected by curators from the Museum of Fine Arts, with an audio tour also prepared by organisers for the selection.

Information on Pirosmani and works about his legacy has also been put together to accompany the exhibition, which also features 80 works by Parjiani, who worked in Germany in the 1980s.

Organised by the culture ministry, the National Gallery, Baia Gallery and the Irakli Parjiani Foundation, the display will run at the venue - located at 11 Shota Rustaveli Avenue - through February 1.