The roots of contemporary Georgian art can be traced back to the 1910s and 20s when Georgian Modernism was flourishing and Dada artists such as Iliazd and Kirill Zdanevich and the Futurist 41 degrees group were active on the local and international arts scenes.
In the late 20s the process of Sovietization began replacing independent cultural activity with Soviet mass-culture. However, many artists continued to practice experimental and avant-garde art despite censorship and the ever-present threat of repression. Of particular note are David Kakabadze (active in 1930s-40s) a painter, graphic artist and set designer who was creating abstract and formalist works; Alexander Bandzeladze (1970s) who is considered a leader of the Georgian abstract expressionist school and Vladimir Kandelaki (1970s) who worked in a variety of media often commenting on and parodying Soviet propaganda.
In the 1980s, as perestroika and glasnost progressed, experimentation and questioning remained prevailing attitudes amongst many Georgian artists. Artists such as Gia Edzgveradze, Mamuka Japharidze, Iliko Zautashvili and ‘10th floor group’ came into view. Several contemporary art galleries opened, often in museums and other spaces provided by the government free of charge.