Georgian female artists from past, present introduced in online series

  • 'The Last Room', a 2020 work by Rusudan Khizanishvili, one of the 12 female artists featured in the online series hosted by Nina Mdivani. Image via Nina Mdivani on Facebook., 14 Dec 2021 - 17:18, Tbilisi,Georgia

A dozen Georgian female artists, from award-winning photographer Natela Grigalashvili to pioneering 20th century painter Elene Akhvlediani and contemporary creative Tamara Kvesitadze, are being introduced to online audiences by New York-based art writer and curator Nina Mdivani, with the concluding event of the series set for next month.

Mdivani, a Tbilisi-born curator now based in New York City, has been hosting the online series bringing discussions on the works and lives of the select group of artists since June. The six conversations to date have brought forward both widely recognised personalities and those who "deserve to be rediscovered".

The first meeting of the series introduced to listeners Grigalashvili -  recipient of the Direct Look Award from the Moscow-based FOTODOC Centre for Documentary Photography - and contemporary artist Rusudan Khizanishvili, one of five creatives who represented Georgia at the 56th Venice Art Biennial.

Painter Vera Pagava, who emigrated from Georgia in 1920 and subsequently saw her works widely exhibited throughout Europe - including being featured as France's representation at the 33rd Venice Art Biennial - was the focus of the second event in the series, held in July. This was followed by Mdivani showcasing Elene Akhvlediani - painter, stage designer and graphical artist recognised for her works featuring views of Georgian towns, in the third episode in September.


Late painter Natela Iankoshvili, posthumously celebrated with a display in honour of her 100th birthday in 2018 and with a book released in Germany about her work, was the subject of the fourth meeting in the programme, along with Tamar Abakelia - a sculptor, illustrator and stage designer recognised for her work in both set design and sculpture between the 1930s and 1940s.

Painters Gayane Khachaturian and Ema Lalaeva-Ediberidze - the former featured in displays in Georgia and abroad between 1970-2010, including at the 53rd Venice Art Biennial, the latter an avant-garde artist described as "essential to [the] understanding of Georgian modernism" - were discovered by those who tuned in to the November episode.

The most recent edition featured Esma Oniani - a multiprofile artist known for her work in painting, poetry, illustration and writing, and presented in exhibitions in Georgia and abroad in the second half of the 20th century - and Soviet-born and German-based artist Keti Kapanadze, whose work has been selected for displays from Galerie Gisela Clement to Kunstmuseum Bochum.

In the final and upcoming meeting of the Georgian Female Artists, Mdivani will host a conversation highlighting Tamara Kvesitadze and Mariam Natroshvili, two contemporary artists recognised both in Georgia and beyond. Kvesitadze's work has been featured at displays including the 2011 Venice Art Biennial and Berlin’s Galerie Kornfeld, while Natroshvili is known for works exploring cultural reference in videogames and multimedia, among others.

Mdivani is presenting the meetings in collaboration with The Georgian Association in the United States.