Tolia Astakhishvili: between father and mother

    Tolia Astakhishvili: between father and mother

    May 9–Aug 12, 2024

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    with Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Zurab Astakhishvili, Kirsty Bell, Katinka Bock, Dylan Peirce, and James Richards

    Opening Reception
    Tue, May 7, 2024, 6-8pm

    For more than two decades, Tolia Astakhishvili has worked across sculpture, drawing, painting, sound, and video. At scales that both augment and seemingly disappear into gallery spaces, Tolia’s environments posit architecture as an unfixed and transforming entity shaped by those who live through it. At the same time, her sculpture attends to disavowed space and the overlapping markers of use, authorship, and social position that produce different settings of decay.

    Writer Kirsty Bell has described Tolia’s installations as a form of “simultaneity – whereby a space exists as a plan, a model, a projected vision, a memory and a real place.” [1] Tolia’s work unsettles a building’s ability to designate and distribute its own space, instead overriding it with new structures, layers of used things, and other detritus. To this performed architecture Tolia introduces a vocabulary of figures extending from her ongoing drawing practice, borrowed artworks, and audio compositions.

    At SculptureCenter, Tolia Astakhishvili: between father and mother considers sculpture as a form of sorting, and, by extension, choosing and dividing. In service of this idea, Tolia recasts SculptureCenter’s ground floor gallery spaces as a channeling machine, rigging up two large debris chutes, a major new commission made possible by Valeria Napoleone XX SculptureCenter (VNXXSC), that suggest the mechanism of judgment realized through Tolia’s monumental, assemblage-laden installations. Throughout the exhibition, Tolia integrates works from different disciplines by collaborators Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Zurab Astakhishvili, Kirsty Bell, Katinka Bock, Dylan Peirce, and James Richards. Read as singular artworks, these contributions stand in contrast to the piles of secondhand items, industrial parts, refuse, and construction materials that Tolia meanwhile transforms into representations of found situations: partial recreations of spatial, psychological, and object conditions that might exist both here and elsewhere.

    Self-effacing yet monumental and accumulative, between father and mother performs a problem of discernment familiar to art and life: how to compare unlike things, and how to reconcile incomparable experiences as they play out in the present and return from the past.

    [1] From Kirsty Bell’s “I. Plans and Drawings” published in the exhibition guide for Tolia Astakhishvili: The First Finger, Bonner Kunstverein, Mar 25–Jul 30, 2023.

    Tolia Astakhishvili: between father and mother is the artist’s first exhibition in the United States. The exhibition is curated by Kyle Dancewicz, Deputy Director, with Christopher Aque, Exhibition and Program Manager.

    The art of sleeping (2024) is co-commissioned by SculptureCenter, New York and Hartwig Art Foundation, Amsterdam, to be acquired by the Collection Hartwig Art Foundation. Promised gift to the Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed / Rijkscollectie Netherlands.

    Tolia Astakhishvili (b. 1974, Tbilisi, Georgia) works and lives in Berlin and Tbilisi. Astakhishvili's recent solo exhibitions include The First Finger (chapter II), Haus am Waldsee, Berlin (2023); The First Finger, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn (2023); I Think It's Closed, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld (2023). Her work has been included in exhibitions at Emalin, London (2024); Sweetwater, Berlin (2024); Kunsthalle Zürich (2023); Molitor Gallery, Berlin (2023); LC Queisser, Tbilisi (2023); Shahin Zarinbal, Berlin (2022); Felix Gaudlitz, Vienna (2022); LC Queisser, Tbilisi (2022); Art Hub Copenhagen, Copenhagen (2021); Räume für Kunst, Kerpen (2021); Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn (2021); Capitain Petzel Galerie, Berlin (2021); Goethe Institute Bulgaria / Earth and Man National Museum, Sofia (2019); Malmö Konsthall, Malmö (2019); Cabinet, London (2018). Astakhishvili is one of the ten awardees of the 2024 Chanel NEXT PRIZE, the biennial international award that catalyzes innovation in arts and culture.

    Hartwig Art Foundation is dedicated to fostering and facilitating the production, presentation, mediation, preservation, and collection of contemporary art. Selected by an international group of commissioners for the Collection | Production Fund, ambitious artworks are realized and collected. Hartwig Art Foundation actively seeks to enhance the Dutch State Collection, Collectie Nederland, by adding works that fill gaps in art history, particularly from the early 90s onwards, while also actively following current artistic production and collecting works globally. The works in the collection are continuously donated to the 'Rijkscollectie' (Dutch State). In addition to its multiple activities in productions with artists and partnerships with a wide range of institutions, Hartwig Art Foundation is currently developing a new museum for contemporary art in Amsterdam.


    And how I care for and When the others are within us (both 2024) are made possible by Valeria Napoleone XX SculptureCenter (VNXXSC).

    Major support for Tolia Astakhishvili: between father and mother is provided by The Deborah Buck Foundation. Generous support is provided by the Abakanowicz Arts and Culture Charitable Foundation, and the Henry Moore Foundation. Additional support is provided by David Maclean.

    Tolia Astakhishvili: between father and mother is supported by the Eva Hesse Initiative for New Sculpture.

    Support for all of SculptureCenter’s work with artists from abroad is provided by the International Council: Micki Meng, Thomas Berger, and Anonymous.

    Valeria Napoleone XX SculptureCenter (VNXXSC)
    VNXXSC is an ongoing initiative that funds the production of a major artwork by an artist in a selected exhibition at SculptureCenter. The partnership was launched in September 2015 with the commission of Project for door (After Gaetano Pesce)(2015), the centerpiece of the exhibition Anthea Hamilton: Lichen! Libido! Chastity!, which was nominated for the 2016 Turner Prize. Now embarking on its sixth partnership, VNXXSC has provided significant support in realizing milestone works by Carissa Rodriguez (2018); Fiona Connor (2019); Rindon Johnson (2021); and Lydia Ourahmane (2022).