The Best Art Galleries in Tbilisi, Georgia


Places To Visit - Georgia
Street art in Tbilisi. Photo by EyesWideOpen/Getty Images

Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia (a small country located right at the border of Europe and Asia), has been enjoying a slow but consistent rise in popularity among international travelers for the last few years. Its unique, and often incongruous, architecture mixes medieval churches, USSR brutalist buildings and slick modern highrises—all standing against a backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty. There’s also an active and much-lauded nightlife and club scene, and of course, the rich food culture for which Georgia has rightly become famous among travelers. It wasn’t that long ago that the Republic of Georgia was even being hailed as the fashion capital of Eastern Europe.

But as much as these and other draws have turned the former Soviet territory into a must-visit destination for travelers in the know, the Tbilisi art scene remains relatively unexplored and only a handful of the most dedicated art explorers make it past famous names like Niko Pirosmani, Elene Akhvlediani and Lado Gudiashvili, aka the “Georgian Goya.” While Georgia’s most famous artists deserve the attention they get, Tbilisi as an arts destination has lots more to offer, from vibrant street art to a growing list of galleries worth making a trip for.

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The art scene in Tbilisi is a reflection of the city itself: it’s eclectic and abundant, with works by great art masters sharing spaces with fresh contemporary talent. The Tbilisi Art Fair focuses on young, emerging and mid-career artists—particularly from the less visible contemporary art scenes growing in the nations of Europe’s Eastern and Southern frontiers: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Poland, Turkey and the Baltic States. And overall, the scene’s vibe is inclusive—galleries like those below, along with honorable mentions Window Project, Gallery Artbeat and LC Queisser, do a lot to raise up contemporary Georgian artists to greater prominence.

Tbilisi’s Best Art Galleries

Art Gallery Noblesse

The interior of an art gallery with a tall ceiling
Art Gallery Noblesse © Art Gallery Noblesse

Now a contemporary gallery and cafe, Noblesse’s roots reach deep into the Tbilisi art scene. Established back in 1995, it embodies a revamped concept of the classic art salon. Noblesse’s roster of artists, while by no means the largest in the city, is certainly one of the best curated, with some of the most beloved and celebrated modern Georgian talent on display. Their oft-updated exhibitions boast works by the likes of Rusudan Petviashvili, Merab Gagiladze, and Levan Chogoshvili, along with names so new they might not be indexed in Google (just yet). Noblesse’s mission, according to its creators, is to present different generations of Georgian artists beside each other, showcasing the heredity of modern Georgian art.

Baia Gallery

The interior of an art gallery with large art on the walls
Baia Gallery. © Baia Gallery

First established in 1992, Baia Gallery is the oldest privately-owned art gallery opened in post-USSR Georgia that’s still in operation. With two large exhibition spaces in central districts, Baia specializes in contemporary art but shows some of the most famous pieces by Georgian artists, including those of Elene Akhvlediani, David Kakabadze, and Irakli Parjiani. Aside from its impressive exhibitions, Baia Gallery also acts as an archive, with a gallery database hosting more than 5,000 images of and documents on Georgian art.

Ch64 Gallery

The interior of an art gallery with a scaffolding in the center of the floor
Ch64 Gallery. © Ch64 Gallery

One of the under-the-radar Tbilisi art galleries, Ch64 Gallery is largely dedicated to showcasing the work of contemporary Georgian artists who experiment with form and flow. This is the gallery to visit if you want to get a good idea of what a newer generation of Georgians are trying to say in an art scene that is still largely dominated by love for the country’s venerated talents. The curation here is second to none, with some of the most interesting pieces you’ll find in the city, from experimental installations to shows of watercolors and photography.

Georgian Museum of Fine Arts

The interior of an art gallery with large yellow paintings on the wall and a woman walking through
Georgian Museum of Fine Arts. © Georgian Museum of Fine Arts

While it’s technically a museum, not a gallery, the concept of this enterprise blurs the lines between the two. The largest privately-owned art establishment in the country, the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts was created by Gia Jokhtaberidze and his wife, Manana Shevardnadze (granddaughter of Georgia’s first president, Eduard Shevardnadze), joint founders of Magticom, the leading Georgian telecommunications company. Both fine art lovers, over the years they’ve amassed a collection of over 3,500 works by more than 80 artists. The museum now houses the collection, with the most culturally significant pieces on permanent display over three floors. Some of the notable artists on view include Sergei Parajanov, Elguja Amashukeli, Apollon Kutateladze, Gia Gugushvili (current rector of Tbilisi State Academy of Arts), and Alexandre Bandzeladze (a personal favorite). The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions of the work of local and international artists and photographers—late last year, for example, there was a Banksy show.

Tbilisi Art Gallery

The interior of an art gallery with gray walls; a woman walks past a painting of a giraffe
Tbilisi Art Gallery. © Tbilisi Art Gallery

Like the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts , Tbilisi Art Gallery also blurs the lines, but while the former is more of a gallery despite being called a museum, this one is more of a museum despite being called a gallery. State-owned and operated, Tbilisi Art Gallery has hosted art exhibitions and lectures since 1920. It divides its two-story space between temporary exhibitions and displays of works from the permanent collection. In its rotating shows, you’ll see works by Georgian and international artists and pieces on loan from other museums and private collections, while the permanent collection includes works by Georgia’s most seminal artists, including David Kakabadze and Lado Gudiashvili. For those looking for a deep dive, Tbilisi Art Gallery has one of the most comprehensive displays of the work of Niko Pirosmani.

The Best Art Galleries in Tbilisi, Georgia





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