Zurab Tsereteli Museum of Modern Art, Tbilisi
Address: 27, Rustaveli Ave., Tbilisi
Phone: (+995 32) 298-60-30
Working hours: Wednesday-Monday 11:00 a.m. till 06:00 p.m.
Closed: on Tuesday
Zurab Tsereteli Museum of Modern Art in Tbilisi, also known as MoMA, is dedicated to the works of Zurab Tsereteli, the famous Georgian sculptor, painter, and architect. This engaging museum is filled with the artist’s bizarre and amusing sculptures, paintings and enamel works which buoyantly express the boundless human imagination and the profound artistry of one man.
About Zurab Tsereteli
Zurab Tsereteli is a famous Georgian artist who currently resides in Moscow. Although most of Tsereteli’s works are found in Russia and the country of Georgia, the West became familiar with his creations through the Tear of Grief sculpture, presented as an official gift to the United States from the Russian government to commemorate the victims of the September 11 attacks. Tear of Grief Memorial now stands on the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor in New Jersey. Closer to home, Tsereteli is known as the sculptor of the St. George Statue in Tbilisi, which he gifted to the Georgian people in honor of the nation’s independence.
The Historic Building of MoMA
The building which now houses MoMA was originally intended for the Tiflis Cadet Corps, a prestigious institution in Tiflis (Tbilisi) whose graduates were permitted entry into any higher educational institution without entrance exams. Tiflis Cadet Corps used the facility from 1882 until 1909, around which time the building was renovated and the institute was closed. During Soviet times the building housed the Electrical Equipment Institute and later a dormitory, a kindergarten and finally a bank.
In 2005, Zurab Tsereteli started restoration of the building with the intent of opening his museum. Under the leadership of the famous architect Givi Metreveli, engineer Davit Pirtskhalaishvili and designer Nia Mgaloblishvili, the building’s historic exterior was successfully preserved while cutting-edge
architectural designs resulted in a museum of the highest standards.
Zurab Tsereteli Museum of Modern Art received its first visitors in 2012. In addition to the museum exhibits, MoMA now has a children’s corner, a gift shop and a conference hall used for presentations, special events and art evenings. On the patio of the small restaurant and lounge, patrons can admire Tsereteli’s artwork as they dine.
The bright and airy museum holds three floors of exhibits which amount to nearly 300 highly creative works by Zurab Tsereteli. You may find yourself in Johnathan Swift’s Gulliver's Travels on your own voyage to Brobdingnag, where most of the sculptures are so huge that you will feel like an ant in a goliath’s world. In many of the paintings on display in the museum, the characters appear to be escaping the boundaries of the frames.
On the first floor is a courtyard with a huge bronze apple monument, a replica of Tsereteli’s well-known display in the Russian Academy of Arts in Moscow. The unique engineering structure is 9 meters high and adorned with 145 bronze reliefs which form a single composition. Visitors can even go inside the monument to trace the history of human interests from the very beginning of time. The first floor also contains “Argonauts”, an interesting three-dimensional composition made of enamel and serigraphy (silk screen printing) which was created over a period of several years.
The museum’s second floor showcases several compositions, including “My Favorite Artists” and “The Townspeople” plus various oil paintings, graphics, black-and-white serial serigraphies and 1999-2001 album plates. The third floor features photos from Zurab Tsereteli’s personal album as well as various enamel works and compositions.
Anyone interested in the arts will find a visit to Zurab Tsereteli Museum of Modern Art to be a fun and unforgettable experience.