Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze. Photo: Maka Kukulava, at.ge

 

Thea Djordjadze (*1971) creates sculptures and installations of singular, idiosyncratic poetry. Her works are suffused with multiple art-historical references, while at the same time they respond to the particular conditions of the exhibition setting. The fragile, process-driven character of the Berlin-based, Georgian artist’s practice dissolves the notion of the artwork as a fixed entity. Her sculptures and installations offer viewers a spatial, physical and psychological experience, casting an unanticipated light on particular environments.

 

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Djordjadze’s installations combine constructed and found elements. The materials she uses are drawn mostly from everyday objects, ranging from rigid wood and metal constructions to amorphous papier-mâché, textile and foam objects. Painted glass panels appear as frequently in her works as her metal sculptures, which resemble three-dimensional drawings of space. Her distinctive plaster sculpture paintings are another important body of work—plaster-filled mahogany frames with sketchily painted surfaces. While many of Djordjadze’s objects have the look of furniture, they in fact are non-functional, hybrid objects, somewhere between art and apparent utility. Viewers are confronted with carpets, folding screens, and shelves, but also architectural elements such as functionless canopies, self-built showcases or exhibition displays for showing works by other artists. Her objects and installations investigate the idiosyncrasies of particular exhibition conditions.

The artist exposes the objects she uses to a process of constant change and exploration, of looking and understanding, feeling-out, selection and rejection. Djordjadze’s exhibitions only keep things in place for a limited period of time, suspending them in a transitory relationship to the gallery or space and its architecture. This open-ended method creates a state of uncertainty that gives her work an incomparable freedom, as well as a persistent air of uncertainty.

The resulting installations are multi-layered spaces that contain numerous echoes and memories of other places, bringing together a multitude of temporal planes and layers of perception. Djordjadze’s aesthetic vocabulary oscillates nimbly between minimalism, architectural history and conceptual art. It draws on aspects of art by the Georgian avant-garde of the 1920s and discovers an experimental space somewhere between Le Corbusier and Donald Judd. The art-historical echoes are never explicit, however. Instead, viewers might get the impression that the diaphanous memories of other spaces, and other eras, are overlapping with the immediate experience of the exhibition space.

Djordjadze’s installations radically question the notion of the “white cube” as a supposedly value-neutral exhibition space and give viewers the feeling of having entered the artwork itself. The works are ambiguous interiors that do not operate according to the usual rules and laws of interiors, depending instead on a subtle dissection of how we perceive space. Djordjadze manages to cross nothing less than a liminal threshold in viewers’ spatial perception. Her installations sometimes resemble sketches for an archaeology of inner landscapes: sketches of memories, desires and feelings made spatial.

 

Thea Djordjadze: one is so public, and the other, so private
Kunst Museum Winterthur, September 7–November 17, 2019

Works
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
Power of No Excuses, 2019

Thea Djordjadze
Power of No Excuses, 2019
Steel, untreated
520 × 600 × 40 cm
204 3/4 × 236 1/8 × 15 3/4 inches

More views
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
take me my lie away, 2019

Thea Djordjadze
take me my lie away, 2019
Steel, acrylic glass, print on copper
135 × 145.5 × 33 cm
53 1/8 × 57 1/4 × 13 inches

More views
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2019

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2019
Plaster, paint, wood
51.5 × 51.5 × 3.5 cm
20 1/4 × 20 1/4 × 1 3/8 inches

Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
She didn't have friends, children, sex, religion, marriage, success, a salary or a fear of death. She worked, 2014

Thea Djordjadze
She didn't have friends, children, sex, religion, marriage, success, a salary or a fear of death. She worked, 2014
Wood, steel, foam, paint, plaster
225 × 420 × 70 cm
88 5/8 × 165 3/8 × 27 5/8 inches

More views
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012
Fabric, paint, foam, wood
approx. 250 × 300 × 600 cm
approx. 98 3/8 × 118 × 236 1/8 inches
Installation view, documenta 13, Kassel, 2012

More views
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
Space under, 2016

Thea Djordjadze
Space under, 2016
Plexiglass, paint, wood
700 × 420 × 47 cm
275 5/8 × 165 3/8 × 18 1/2 inches
Installation view, MoMA PS1, New York, 2016

More views
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
The Ceiling of a Courtyard, 2019

Thea Djordjadze
The Ceiling of a Courtyard, 2019
Aluminum, sanded
168.9 x 70 x 28 cm
66 1/2 x 27 5/8 x 11 inches

More views
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2013

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2013
Steel, lacquer, foam
39 × 208 × 63 cm
15 3/8 × 82 × 24 7/8 inches
Installation view, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 2013

Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
Explain away, ე.ი., 2009

Thea Djordjadze
Explain away, ე.ი., 2009
Wood, hardboard, carpet, paint, clay, fabric
360 × 505 × 906 cm
141 3/4 × 198 3/4 × 356 3/4 inches

More views
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014
Painted steel, wicker, paint, cardboard, clay, plaster, wood, transparent paper
240 × 400 × 70 cm
94 1/2 × 157 1/2 × 27 5/8 inches

More views
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014
Brass
70 × 120 × 18 cm
27 5/8 × 47 1/4 × 7 inches

More views
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2015

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2015
Found loading pallet, caster wheels, plastic, rubber, plywood, soil, cheese plants, steel, cable ties, blown glass, lighting element
270 × 120 × 259 cm
106 1/4 × 47 1/4 × 102 inches
with plant: 350 × 190 × 259 cm
with plant: 137 7/8 × 74 7/8 × 102 inches

More views
Details
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Power of No Excuses, 2019
Steel, untreated
520 × 600 × 40 cm
204 3/4 × 236 1/8 × 15 3/4 inches

Thea Djordjadze
Power of No Excuses, 2019
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Power of no excuses, 2019
one is so public, and the other, so private, installation view, Kunst Museum Winterthur, 2019
Photo: Reto Kaufmann

Thea Djordjadze
one is so public, and the other, so private.
Installation view, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, September 7–November 17, 2019
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
take me my lie away, 2019
Steel, acrylic glass, print on copper
135 × 145.5 × 33 cm
53 1/8 × 57 1/4 × 13 inches

Thea Djordjadze
take me my lie away, 2019
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
take me my lie away, 2019 (detail)

Thea Djordjadze
take me my lie away, 2019
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
take me my lie away, 2019 (detail)

Thea Djordjadze
take me my lie away, 2019
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2019
Plaster, paint, wood
51.5 × 51.5 × 3.5 cm
20 1/4 × 20 1/4 × 1 3/8 inches

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2019
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
She didn't have friends, children, sex, religion, marriage, success, a salary or a fear of death. She worked, 2014
Wood, steel, foam, paint, plaster
225 × 420 × 70 cm
88 5/8 × 165 3/8 × 27 5/8 inches

Thea Djordjadze
She didn't have friends, children, sex, religion, marriage, success, a salary or a fear of death. She worked, 2014
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
She didn't have friends, children, sex, religion, marriage, success, a salary or a fear of death. She worked, 2014 (detail)

Thea Djordjadze
She didn't have friends, children, sex, religion, marriage, success, a salary or a fear of death. She worked
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012
Fabric, paint, foam, wood
approx. 250 × 300 × 600 cm
approx. 98 3/8 × 118 × 236 1/8 inches
Installation view, documenta 13, Kassel, 2012

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012 (detail)
Installation view, documenta 13, Kassel, 2012

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012 (detail)
Installation view, documenta 13, Kassel, 2012

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012 (detail)
Installation view, documenta 13, Kassel, 2012

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012 (detail)
Installation view, documenta 13, Kassel, 2012

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012 (detail)
Installation view, documenta 13, Kassel, 2012

Thea Djordjadze
As sagas sa, 2012
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Space under, 2016
Plexiglass, paint, wood
700 × 420 × 47 cm
275 5/8 × 165 3/8 × 18 1/2 inches
Installation view, MoMA PS1, New York, 2016

Thea Djordjadze
Space under, 2016
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Space under, 2016 (detail)
Installation view, MoMA PS1, New York, 2016

Thea Djordjadze
Space under, 2016
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
The Ceiling of a Courtyard, 2019
Aluminum, sanded
168.9 x 70 x 28 cm
66 1/2 x 27 5/8 x 11 inches

Thea Djordjadze
The Ceiling of a Courtyard, 2019
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
The Ceiling of a Courtyard, 2019
Installation view, one is so public, and the other, so private, Kunst Museum Winterthur, 2019

Thea Djordjadze
The Ceiling of a Courtyard, 2019
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
The Ceiling of a Courtyard, 2019 (detail)

Thea Djordjadze
The Ceiling of a Courtyard, 2019
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2013
Steel, lacquer, foam
39 × 208 × 63 cm
15 3/8 × 82 × 24 7/8 inches
Installation view, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 2013

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2013
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Explain away, ე.ი., 2009
Wood, hardboard, carpet, paint, clay, fabric
360 × 505 × 906 cm
141 3/4 × 198 3/4 × 356 3/4 inches

Thea Djordjadze
Explain away, ე.ი., 2009
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Explain away, ე.ი., 2009 (detail)


Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Explain away, ე.ი., 2009 (detail)

Thea Djordjadze
Explain away, ე.ი., 2009
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014
Painted steel, wicker, paint, cardboard, clay, plaster, wood, transparent paper
240 × 400 × 70 cm
94 1/2 × 157 1/2 × 27 5/8 inches

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014 (detail)

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014 (detail)

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014
Brass
70 × 120 × 18 cm
27 5/8 × 47 1/4 × 7 inches

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014 (detail)

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014 (detail)

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2014
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2015
Found loading pallet, caster wheels, plastic, rubber, plywood, soil, cheese plants, steel, cable ties, blown glass, lighting element
270 × 120 × 259 cm
106 1/4 × 47 1/4 × 102 inches
with plant: 350 × 190 × 259 cm
with plant: 137 7/8 × 74 7/8 × 102 inches

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2015
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2015 (detail)

Thea Djordjadze
Untitled, 2015
Details
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Current and Upcoming
Thea Djordjadze
one is so public, and the other, so private., installation view (detail), Kunst Museum Winterthur, September 7–November 17, 2019
Photo: Reto Kaufmann

Thea Djordjadze
Gropius Bau, Berlin
April–August 2021

Influenced in equal measure by historical artefacts and concepts of modern art and architecture, Thea Djordjadze’s sculptural works are characterised by formal ruptures and an idiosyncratic material aesthetic. By combining materials such as plaster, metal, rubber, textiles, wood or papier-mâché, Djordjadze creates fragmentary spatial settings in which she reformulates the classic display – vitrine, plinth, framing and pedestal – as a recurrent theme in her work.

Link

My Body Holds Its Shape
Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong
May 25–September 1, 2020

Set in the historic F Hall—a former printing facility and women’s prison—this exhibition of five artists circles around the expansion of limits and constraints, working through how they could serve as an artistic framework rather than as objects of antagonism. In the metaphorical shape of a body, the exhibition is alive from the first hour to the last. Experimenting with concepts of “sculpture”, the artworks are ways of exploring our multifaceted facts and ecologies, spanning lived-through stories and realised imaginations.

Link
Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze, His and My Own Measures, 2016/2019 (detail)
Photo: Timo Ohler
Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers

Thea Djordjadze
if I were an early person
April 9–June 1, 2019
Los Angeles

The work of Thea Djordjadze concerns itself, first and foremost, with the poetics and particularities of space. She combines a variety of artistic, industrial, and unconventional materials to produce works full of contrasts and complexity, which she puts into conversation with the architecture and atmosphere of her exhibition spaces through intimate, considered arrangements. Each of her projects is thus ephemeral in nature, open to future reconfiguration.

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Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Rosemarie Trockel / Thea Djordjadze
Un soir, j’ai assis la beauté sur mes genoux. And I found her bitter. And I hurt her.
July 7–August 26, 2017
Berlin

Un soir, j'ai assis la beauté sur mes genoux. And I found her bitter and I hurt her is a joint exhibition by the long-time collaborators Rosemarie Trockel and Thea Djordjadze. It is the first time that the two installations from 2007 and 2008 are on view in Berlin. The works have an allegorical nature that explores a number of themes pertinent to contemporary art. Issues around the boundaries of media, and the artwork as a fixed concept are called into question, as well as the exhibition space as a representational frame.

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Thea Djordjadze
listening the pressure that surrounds you
April 30–June 25, 2016
Berlin

Interiors are sites of existential symbolism. They are the place where a child first clashes with the world – a location of real and symbolic protection for the ego. They collect the sediments of cultural history and of our own lives, marking an interspace between us and the world. Few contemporary artists have so cannily, idiosyncratically explored the existential experience of the interior as Thea Djordjadze, whose expansive sculptural installations combine constructed and found elements into intuitive arrangements.

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Thea Djordjadze
Thea Djordjadze

Thea Djordjadze
Spoons are different
September 1–September 29, 2012
London

For her multipartite sculptural ensembles, Djordjadze uses everyday materials such as foam, steel, fabric, glass and plaster along with found objects which refer to the classical materials of sculpture but also the traditions of arts and crafts. The artist’s sculptures themselves are situated between form and anti-form, a combination of stable structures and fragile, gestural renderings typically exhibited together in a carefully choreographed setting. The installations, incomplete and fragmentary in character, oscillate between open spatial designs and dense performative gestures, emphasizing the contrasts between mental and actual interior spaces, between intimacy and public presence.

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Thea Djordjadze
Explain away, ე.ი.
September 22–November 7, 2009
Berlin

Standing at the center of ‘Explain away, ე.ი.' is a wooden construction, a space which may be viewed and entered, a house or the fragment of a house. A site where the ordered delineations between living and working, between private and public have been canceled. Arrangements of things both objective and non-objective, which receive every person with a relaxed easiness and equanimity, regardless of whether he attempts to decipher them or not. Delicate, amorphous forms made of clay, plaster or papier-mâché enter into contact with sketchy paintings and dysfunctional constructions which bear witness to a profound investigation of modernism.

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Thea Djordjadze
Press

Thea Djordjadze. Kunst Museum Winterthur
Artforum International, review by Jacob Proctor, February 2020

Ausstellungspreis für Frankfurter Kunsthalle Portikus
Frankfurter Rundschau, article by Florian Leclerc, March 15, 2019

Frankfurt/Main THEA DJORDJADZE o portio n.
Kunstforum International, article by Christian Huther, November – December 2018

Thea Djordjadze If not Art… Art alone.
Georgia To See, article by Nino Gvalia, October 10, 2017

Thea Djordjadze. To be in an upright position on the feet (studio visit) Secession, Vienna
Art Review, article by Kimberly Bradley, December 2016

Detailverliebte Produktion. Tobias Vogt über Thea Djordjadze bei Sprüth Magers, Berlin
Texte Zur Kunst, article by Tobias Vogt, September 2016

How to Understand the Spectral Minimalism of Thea Djordjadze’s Sculpture
Artspace, Artspace Editors, April 6, 2016

Shape Shifting: The migrating forms of Thea Djordjadze
Frieze, feature by Matthew Mclean, March 10, 2016

Biography

Thea Djordjadze (*1971, Tbilisi) lives and works in Berlin. Selected solo exhibitions include Kunst Museum Winterthur (2019), Portikus, Frankfurt (2018), Pinakothek der Moderne, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich (2017), Secession Wien, Vienna (2016), MoMA PS1, New York (2016), South London Gallery (2015), MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA (2014), Aspen Art Museum, CO (2013), Malmö Konsthall (2012), The Common Guild Glasgow (2011), Kunsthalle Basel (2009) and Kunstverein Nürnberg / Albrecht Dürer Gesellschaft, Nuremberg (2008). In addition, important group exhibitions include Tai Kwun-Centre for Heritage and Arts, Hongkong (2020), Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2019), Triennale di Milano (2017), Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich (2017), 56th Venice Biennale (2015), Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2014), 55th Venice Biennale (2013), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013), documenta 13, Kassel (2012), Sculpture Center, New York (2011), Hayward Gallery, London (2010) and the 5th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2008).

Education
2000 Master student with Rosemarie Trockel, Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf
1998–2001 Class of Rosemarie Trockel, Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf
1995 MFA, Academia of Arts, Tbilisi
1994–2001 Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf
1993–94 Gerrit Rietveld Akademie, Amsterdam
1988–93 Academia of Arts, Tbilisi
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
2018 Dr. Marschner-Ausstellungspreis (for the exhibition 'o potio n.’ at Portikus, Frankfurt)
2015 Residency at South London Gallery, London
2014 Villa Aurora, Los Angeles
2009 Art award Böttcherstraße, Bremen
2008 Catalog Grant from Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung, Essen
2008 Grant, Kunststiftung NRW
2007 Studio Voltaire, Artist residency, London
2006 Sommerakademie, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
2004 Scholarship for female visual artists with children, North Rhine-Westphalia
2004–08 Studio Grant, Imhoff–Stiftung and Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne
2001 Travel Grant, SK-Stiftung Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf
2001 Peter Mertes scholarship, Bonn
Special projects
1999–2003 Member of artist group hobbypopMUSEUM, artist-run space in Dusseldorf, exhibitions and projects in different locations, curating, movies, several publications
Public Collections
Arten Foundation, Dusseldorf
Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
Boros Collection, Berlin
Essl Collection, Klosterneuburg
FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon
FRAC des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou
KiCo Collection, Munich / Bonn
Kunst Museum Winterthur
Lenbachhaus, Munich
Migros Museum, Zurich
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Rubell Museum, Miami