Grove Collective is pleased to present the upcoming group exhibition Supple Reverence, featuring artists Anastasia Akhvlediani and Salome Dumbadze, on view in the gallery’s Battersea space and through the Grove Collective website, from November 11th to November 27th, 2021. This is the first time that Grove Collective has worked with either of these artists, and marks the first time that they have shown together.
While bound by a shared country of origin, the connection between Georgian artists Akhvlediani and Dumbadze goes far beyond geography. Both give nods to the past: for one, Salome Dumbadze’s use of floral and animal motifs harkens back to the annals of Georgian art history, while her frames, made out of marble, brass, or wood, gesture to the embellishment of religious iconography. Similarly, Akhvlediani’s figures, often composites of imagination and strangers, resemble the nondescript characters we associate with well-worn fables – figures as sites for the viewers’ own projections. To this end, Akhvlediani’s sculptures – two hands and a sword – only further this association.
However, between these two artists there is also a strong break from tradition; a forceful assertion of the contemporary. For Dumbadze, this comes most clearly in her palette, which is notably youthful. When contextualised by the strong Georgian painterly tradition it draws from, Dumbadze’s work feels fresh and vibrant. For Akhvlediani, her sculptures, reminiscent more of childish plush toys than of historic monuments, exude a new, irreverent voice, casting the world in her terms.
For Grove Collective, Supple Reverence provides many firsts. Foremost, the exhibition marks the first time the gallery has worked with an outside curator, inaugurating W. Alex Fisher, an American curator based between Sweden, the United States, and Ukraine, as a critical point of dialogue towards less-represented artistic territories. Additionally, outside of solo presentations, Supple Reverence is the first show of multiple artists to feature entirely non-UK based practitioners. Having championed an international program from the gallery’s inception, Co-Directors Jacob Barnes and Morgane Wagner hold this exhibition forth as a demonstration of Grove Collective’s ambition and global scope. Moving forward, both hope to continue highlighting a range of global voices, unafraid of introducing new actors into London’s artistic cosmos.