Tamar Abakelia

1905-53 / sculptor, painter

While studying at the Tbilisi State Academy of Art, young Tamar attracted the attention of Iakob Nikoladze, who invited her to his studio to learn sculpture. Afterwards, she focused mainly on that medium. She made a name for herself already as a student, and later enjoyed success as a theatre set designer and book designer.

Like many other artists of her generation, she failed to escape the Soviet regime's ideological grip. In the 1930s her work began to reflect the building of socialism: the social essence of her figures was expressed in national form.

In 1936-37 was her most fruitful period. In this time she made haut-reliefs for the pediment frieze of the Georgian Institute of Marxism-Leninism, which is considered by art historians to be a groundbreaking work towards reviving Georgian relief sculpture.