WORKING HOURS

Tuesday - Sunday, 

From 11:00 to 20:00

To the Left of Leftism. The Georgian Avant-garde in the Book Design

from April 24, 2019 through 30 June, 2019

On April 23, 2019 "Na Shabolovke" Gallery (part of the Moscow City Galleries Network) presents the exhibition "To the Left of Leftism. The Georgian Avant-garde in the Book Design", based on Pavel Chepyzhov’s research.

After the October Revolution Georgia enjoyed a short perion of independence, and Tbilisi became a cultural oasis – one of the center of Russian avant-garde through and practice.

Between 1917 and 1921 it was home to Alexei Kruchyonikh and his experimental synthesis of zaum poetry and avant-garde illustration; it was where Ilia Zdanivich laid the foundation of his innovative letterpress typography; and where his brother Kirill created "the orchestral collages and perfected his approach to cubism. Together with Igor Terentiev, they were responsible for one of most darings book of their time, produced under the auspices of the group 41 Degrees.

In 1922 all of that came to an end and a new epoch began with the birth of the Georgian Soviet Republic. The Russian pioneers left the country and the first avant-garde flames were extinguished. Yet, very quickly, The Phoenix rose from the ashes –the first avant-garde group founded by Georgians themselves, led by Simon Chikovani.

‘Electricity has switched off the moonlight!’ Chikovani proclaimed as he threw himself on the stage to read out the group’s manifesto at the meeting of a rival group of poets. Tables were upended and chairs were thrown at the speaker. The ‘New Georgian Book Design’ was under way!

The self-titled H2SO4 magazine, created by the successor to the Phoenix group, became one of the most advanced letterpress experiments in the 1920s across the whole Soviet Union.

The self-titled H2SO4 magazine, created by the successor to the Phoenix group, became one of the most advanced letterpress experiments in the 1920s across the whole Soviet Union.

Inspired by Vladimir Mayakovsky, the Left Front of Arts, Niko Pirosmani, Ilia Zdanevich, and Igor Terentiev, Georgian art embarked on a period of astonishing creative productivity.

The cover of Radzhen Gvetadze's novell "Bonfire", Tbilisi, 1932

The cover of Grigol Robakidze's poetry book, Tbilisi, 1926

Leo Esakia called this phenomenon, started by Niko Pirosmani, the ‘New Georgian Art’.

The books shown here have not been on public display since they first appeared in the bookshops 80-90 years ago. The reasons for that are complex. After the 1930s most of the key figures involved in creating these books changed their political outlook, were subjected to political repression, or simply abandoned the experiments of their leftist youth.

By contrast, we want to spell out some of the names of the designers responsible for the innovative leftist book art of Tbilisi in the 1920s and ’30s and share their pioneering ideas with you, to demonstrate the independence and significance their creative output.


The art produced in Tiflis in the 1920s were almost forgotten by participants and researchers alike. The fate of many of the artists involved was not happy.
Irakli Gamrekeli died in 1940.
Kirill Zdanevich spent nine years in a prison camp.
Titsian Tabidze committed suicide.
Beno Gordeziani lived until 1975 but in his book Georgian Book Design, printed in 1963 he is silent about 41 degrees, H2SO4 or The Georgian LEF.

It’s time to move your head to the left and appreciate the work of artists and poets working under the flag of New Georgian Art in the 1920 and ’30s.

Gallery "NA SHABOLOVKE"

 

CONTACTS

+7 (495) 954-30-09

info-nashabolovke@vzmoscow.ru

 

FOR MEDIA

pr_artnetwork@vzmoscow.ru

+7 (495) 954-96-60

ADDRESS

Serpukhovskiy Val, 24, building 2

How to get here?

WORKING HOURS

Tuesday - Sunday,

From 11:00 to 20:00

Ticket prices