The Zdanevich Brothers - Polish Avant-garde in Georgia



ms², Ogrodowa 19, audiovisual room



May 9, 2019, at 6.p.m.

Lecture by Ketevan Kintsurashvili, co-author of the publication The Zdanevich Brothers: Kirill & Ilia. From 1892/4 to 1921. Polish Traces in the Georgian Avant-garde.

The book is dedicated to two brothers - Kirill (1892-1969) and Ilia (1894-1975) Zdanevich. They were Polish by their father, and Georgian by their mother. Kirill, the elder brother, was an artist and writer, whereas the younger Ilia was a poet, writer and book designer. Both played an important role and left an indelible contribution to the Georgian, Russian and international chapters of the history of the Avant-garde movement during the 1910s. In addition to their own artistic work, the Zdanevich brothers will also always be remembered for their discovery of the Georgian genius Niko Pirosmanashvili (1862-1918). They were the very first to pay attention to the work of this self-taught painter, and it was they who ensured that Pirosmani’s paintings were collected and studied.

The book focuses upon the period when the brothers were almost unseparated - from the birth of Kirill (1892) and later Ilia (1894) until the day when they parted ways in Istanbul in 1921. This is a period during which the brothers played a fundamental part in the formation and development of Tbilisi’s avant-garde. Their names are linked to the foundation of the Futurist union ‘41°’. Their artistic inheritance is an inseparable part of Georgian modern art and culture, but thanks to their Polish origins, everything that is linked to them also represents an important part of Polish culture, which forever merged with the history of its Georgian counterpart.

Ketevan Kintsurashvili, Ph.D., is an art historian specializing in 20th-century and contemporary art. In 1995-96 she conducted research on David Kakabadze and ‘The Societé Anonyme’ collection at the Yale University Art Gallery. In 1998 she wrote a monograph David Kakabadze: a 20th-century Classic. Her books on David Kakabadze have been published in Russian in St Petersburg (Arbat: 2002), and in English in Tbilisi (Saari: 2006) and New York (Nova: 2012). She is the author of other books, numerous articles and a textbook on 20th-century art. She has produced TV programmes and curated exhibitions. She has participated in international conferences and in seminars and research programmes (Fulbright, IREX, Open Society Foundations, Oxford Colleges Hospitality Scheme, Salzburg Global Seminars), and teaches periodically at institutes of higher education in Georgia and abroad. She has been working with the designer David Janiashvili since 2005, with whom she has produced around 20 art books. In 2015 they founded a professional union, ‘KJArts’, whose aim is to create books that invite readers and viewers to participate in an endless journey into the world of art and artists.

Organized by Polish Institute in Tbilisi.

Lecture will be presented in English

Tickets: PLN 1 (available at the box office before the event)

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