Tabula Rasa – Gabriela von Habsburg 20 years in Georgia

Date: 04 May 2019 – 29 June 2019

Kunsthalle Tbilisi andGoethe-Institute Georgia are pleased to present Tabula Rasa, an exhibition of stainless steel sculptures by Gabriela Von Habsburg. 

As well as a sculptor, Gabriela von Habsburg is a diplomat and was Georgia’s ambassador to Germany from 2009 to 2013. She is also a professor at Free University of Tbilisi. In her many roles, Von Habsburg has said her goal has been to raise the international profile of Georgia and its art scene. This exhibition marks 20 years of her involvement with the country.

On display in the courtyard of the Georgian National Museum, the show contextualizes her work with that of four students from the Visual Art, Architecture and Design School at the Free University of Tbilisi: Giorgi Geladze, Salome Chigilasvhili, Liza Tsindeliani and Giorgi Vardiashvili.

Tabula Rasa explores common ground between von Habsburg and the young artists. Title of the show refers to the freedom of context, the clean slate, Georgia provided for her. Twenty years ago when Georgia has been a place with its own distinct artistic identity, independent of the Western art scene, where she too could be free to create and exhibit without the pressure of influences back home. Similarly, the young Georgian artists in this show are starting from zero, without reference to their immediate predecessors, simply responding to their time and environment.

In addition to her work on show at the museum, Von Habsburg has three public sculptures on show in Georgia. Most notable is the revolving sculpture in front of the former presidential palace in the capital Tbilisi. Another is installed in the city’s central Mziuri Park. The third work is to be found in the Sculpture Park in the Black Sea port city of Poti.

Salome Chigilashvili is exhibiting a readymade sculpture with a sound installation. Lisa Tsindeliani’s steel sculpture echoes the surrounding space of the museum courtyard. Giorgi Vardiashvili has constructed a triumphal arch with scaffolding bars, veiling it with industrial fabric. Giorgi Geladze paints on the wrapping for construction materials and this serves as a backdrop for the exhibition.  

Gabriela Von Habsburg’s work has recently been on show at the following locations: Museum Schloß Mochental, Museum Meiningen, Schlosspavillon Ismaning and Diözesan Museum Freising. Her work is also part of Biennale Internationale Donna in Triest, Italy.

Exhibition includes works by:

Giorgi Geladze

Salome Chigilashvili

Liza Tsindeliani 

Giorgi Vardiashvili

Curated by: Irena Popiashvili

The exhibition is accompanied by catalogue with essays by Kimberly Bradley and Saul Anton.

The exhibition is supported by the Georgian National Museum.

Exhibition Opening: Saturday, May 4, 6-8pm

Exhibition duration: March 27 - May 27, 2019

Venue: Museum Courtyard, 3, Shota Rustaveli Ave., Tbilisi, Georgia.