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David Kakabadze, Industry, 1927, india ink and lacquer on cardboard, 18 7/8 x 15".

David Kakabadze

Georgian National Museum Dimitri Shevardnadze National Gallery

David Kakabadze, Industry, 1927, india ink and lacquer on cardboard, 18 7/8 x 15".

Following World War I, the Georgian avant-gardist, theoretician, and inventor David Kakabadze (1889–1952) was one of the first among a group of artists to position Georgian art within the global modernist movement. In turn, the modernist language that he brought to the Caucasus—reflecting an admixture of emergent trends, including Futurism, Cubism, and abstraction—provided his newly independent country with a fresh visual vocabulary.

During his studies in Saint Petersburg, Russia, from 1910 to 1915, Kakabadze became interested in the concurrent debates in the arts and sciences—a conversation he would continue to follow even after moving, in 1919, to Paris, where he would remain until 1927, circulating among the European avant-garde. “Every artist should remember that art is a science,” he would often say. This credo would soon become a liability, however, as imbuing

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