Works by 20th century avant-garde artist, theater designer Petre Otskheli at first exhibition in western Georgia

More than 100 works by renowned 20th-century Georgian avant-garde artist and scenographer Petre Otskheli were exhibited to residents of the western Georgian city of Zugdidi for the very first time, with the Tbilisi Palace of Art Museum presenting exhibits of his collections at the Dadiani Palace. .

Marking 115 years since the birth of the young designer who, despite his age, became a prominent figure among the pioneers of the avant-garde in the 1920s and 1930s, the exhibition brings theatrical sets and costumes to the royal residence of the 19th century which joined the Network of European Royal Residences last year.

Art Palace has declared works for theatrical productions ranging from othello at Uriel Acostathe selection exhibited in Zugdidi also shows oil paintings by Otskheli, while the opening event also unveiled a catalog of the artist’s works.

The exhibition presented at Dadiani Palace had been exhibited in Tbilisi and a number of European museums by Art Palace, which also featured Otskheli’s works on the Google Arts & Culture platform.

Zugdidi’s exhibit presents more than 100 works for theater sets and costumes, as well as oil paintings, to audiences in the western Georgia city for the first time. Photo via Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth

Despite his short artistic career – interrupted under Stalinist repression at the age of 29 – Otskheli is considered a major figure in the Georgian constructivist avant-garde of the 20th century. He is also recognized as one of the founders of the art of Georgian theater design and for themes based on mythology and futurism which play a prominent role in his works.

Collaborating with renowned Georgian director Kote Marjanishvili to design local productions, Otskheli has also gained international recognition. The 1939 International Exhibition of Scenography in London awarded him a gold medal posthumously, two years after he was executed in the Great Purge of 1937, on false charges of treason.

In 2017, the 110th anniversary of the artist was marked by the restoration of 30 works by Otskheli, later shown in exhibitions and exhibited in public spaces across Tbilisi.

In Zugdidi, the exhibition of the artist’s works will welcome visitors until September 10.

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