Restored artworks of the progressive Georgian artist Petre Otskheli on display
28 November, 2017
This year marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Petre Otskheli, one of the leading 20th century modernist artists and set designers of Georgia.

On November 30, TBC Gallery will host the exhibition of the collection of restored works of one of the founders of Georgian modernism and stagecraft Petre Otskheli. Alongside Petre Otskheli’s restored artworks,the venue will host the collection of Georgian Theater, Music, Cinema and Choreography Museum.

30 costume sketches and paintings of Otskheli were restored jointly
by TBC Bank and Georgian Art Palace,. The restored costume sketches and the paintings made during his life as a student represent valuable works that are unknown to wider public.
Petre Otskheli, a Georgian artist renowned for his contribution to the theatrical arts in the 1920s was one of the most distinguished Georgian avant-garde and progressive painters of his time. It is noteworthy that Petre Otskheli is the first Georgian painter whose artworks were presented at Google Cultural Institute, which is the biggest virtual association in the world that incorporates the artworks of world famous artists around the world.
Unfortunately, not much is known to the world of art about this great person and his extremely distinctive and modernist works. Even though, this theatrical wunderkind’s life was too short (1907-1937), like many geniuses he still managed to leave a priceless cultural heritage to Georgia as well as to the rest of the world.
Born in Kutaisi, Otskheli studied at the Kutaisi secondary school and the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in the 1920s. Through most of his career Otskheli cooperated with the outstanding director Kote Marjanishvili who invited the young artist to his theatre in Kutaisi in 1928.
Otskheli’s visual experiments and skillful use of stage for massive designs with a series of subtle elements earned him recognition, but he soon came under pressure from Stalin’s lieutenant in the Caucasus, Lavrentiy Beria. In 1936, Otskheli fled Beria’s persecution to Moscow where he was recruited by his fellow countryman Sergo Amaghlobeli, then the director of Moscow Maly Theatre. In 1937, both Otskheli and Amaghlobeli were arrested and shot on trumped-up charges of treason.
It should be mentioned that he was only 22 when he designed “Hurriel Acosta”, a play staged by Kote Marjanishvili, which is why he was called a “wunderkind”.
Petre Otskheli was undoubtedly an outstanding professional of his time. A great number of his drawings were created for stage productions but the sophisticated nature of his sketches effortlessly turns them into autonomous masterpieces of graphic arts, imbued with independent aesthetic value. Otskheli’s artistic ideals coincided with those of the epoch he lived in.
Petre Otskheli’s artworks are simultaneously simple and extravagant. His sketches are completed, monumental works. The young artist’s progressive and modernist vision as well as skillful use of geometrical shapes in his works with art deco and expressionist elements distinguishes him from other artist of that time.
TBC Gallery is located on the fourth floor of TBC Bank's head office, Marjanishvili street #7, Tbilisi.
The gallery’s working hours are:
Monday - Friday 11:00 - 19:00
Saturday 11:00 -19: 00.

Related stories:

Petre Otskheli – A progressive Georgian artist of 1930s that the world must know

Georgian artist Petre Otskheli’s artworks to be restored

Georgian modernist artist’s works presented at Google Cultural Institute

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