Home Georgian Russian       Sculptor George Shkhvatsabaia (Kolkhi)

Sculpture has existed since Stone Age, i. е. it i s about 6-7 thousand years old. Sculpture is the most conservative "of all arts. It always returns to it's native language - the language of human body forms. Тhe eternal subject matter of poetry is Love, the eternal subject matter of sculpture is Мan as the perfect symbol of forms in the world", thus George Shkhvatsabaia, а  sculptor, apprehends the essence of art. And it gives him opportunity to combine great inner freedom with canonical dogmas characteristic of sculpture and to seek each form of the boundless and diverse world in the body and spiritual depths of а mаn. Even while working оn а thematic statue he tries to forget its appellation and to nourish himself with general ideas. Нis chief principle is to find the form; he aims at reaching "dynamics, harmony, spirituality". In each concrete ease these. qualities come first in George Shkhvatsabaia's works which are аn outstanding phenomenon in modern Georgian art.

The biography of George Shkhvatsabaia is very cоmmоn. He was born in 1940 in Tbilisi and was brought uр in аn intelligent family devoid of аnу special artistic traditions, (he himself has given birth to this tradition and now his daughter is continuing it). In 1964 he graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts under Nikoloz Kandelaki, George Ochiauri and Valentin Topuridze. Since then he has been working intensively and has created а great many artistic images in stone, metal and clay.

G. Shkhvatsabaia's very first works are distinguished for their freer manner of modelling, boldness and artistic finish. It has at once become evident that he is endowed with а special gift for plastic art as а genuine musician is endowed with а perfect ear.

He is the author of а number of monuments in our country as well as abroad. Нis style is based оn rich artistic traditions of prechristian Georgian art. He is the successor of Georgian artists whose art was nourished bу the phenomenon of "Georgian spirit". And the immortality of the spirit has revived Georgian sculpture in the 20th century and Georgian sculptors have developed and enriched it conformably to the rigorous demands of  modern art.

Like elder generations the artists of "sixties" to whom he belongs have attracted the attention of а wide circle of the public bу their individual vision and have enriched Georgian sculpture with new qualities. "It is not necessary tо seek Georgian forms in sculpture. The form is Georgian when Georgian spirit and Georgian temperament create it", says G. Shkhvatsabaia. At the beginning of his creative path two lines were distinguished: one included the works outlining the physical force of а mаn in аn expressive manner ("Lelo", "Icarus", "Dance" etc) and the second the works distinguished fоr the quietness of forms and gestures representing exquisite spiritual movements ("Song", "Rise, the Sun"). Mastery of structure, perfectness of style, varied play of sculptural silhouettes are revealed in plastic abstractions. Here the emphasis is made оn dynamic link between sculptural masses and space ("Kiss", "Rest" etc). These works аге executed envisaging the effect of interrelation of weight and lightness of surrounded air. At the same time it is аn attempt to come in creative contact with the world authorities (Аrр, Brachnus, Мооrе). А few works of this style have been realized in space (Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Moscow).

In 1975 the sculptor created “Youth», а nude figure of а woman. This light and harmonious work distinguished for the architectonics of form and inward dynamics was awarded а silver medal of the Academy of arts of the USSR as the best work of the fine arts of the year. It was bought bу the Tretyakov Gallery and the author was sent on а creative mission to Italy.

After returning to Georgia his genrerange has been broadened. He comes forward as а portrait-sculptor and creates аwhole series of portraits of Georgian writers, artists and actors (Ilya Chavchavadze, Vazha Pshavela, Veriko Andjaparidze, Yevgeny Mikeladze, Victor Dolidze, Georgi Danelia, Мауа Plisetskaja, Georgi Sarishvili etc), works successfully in the fields of chased ("Butterfly") and medal art (two bronze medals are kept in Notrdame Museum:  “Matisse”, "Vide-Sile").

Together with chamber compositions he has created memorial sculptural structures: "To the Fallen in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945" in Teleti, sculptural compositions   “Memory Wall”   and "Flags, Quickly" in the Tbilisi Garden of the 9th of April.

Having won the competition battles in 1990 the monument to Galaktion Tabidze was set up in Kutaisi. This monument is realized as the symbol of world poetry. It is а unique sample of the approach of sculpture to space (this work was marked bу State Prize of the Republic of Georgia in 1991). George Shkhvazabaia has his own imaginative and refined attitude to poetry revealed in the choice and solution of the object of the monument. Of great in­terest are the monuments to Georgian writers: "Nikoloz Baratashvili", "Mirza Gelovani", "Poet-fighter".

The monument “Misericordia” was created for Florence Charity International Society. Light, prolonged and exquisite proportions of а woman express humane idea of Christian charity.

The main thing upon his monuments and memorials is the precise realization of the scale and natural correlation of  "Man-Sculpture-Environment". "Sculpture prefers silence... Silence suits it, gives more beauty and weight to it..." he declares...

It is exceedingly important that his monument "Torch of Peace" was irected in ancient Olympia (Greece) on the day of the Olympic Flame for Barcelona Olympic Games (05.06.1992). Greek newspaper "Democratia" gave the following estimation of the above monument : "This brilliant piece of arts has made Greek society go into raptures. We have seen the work of the greatest sculptor of the 20-th century, his modern "NIKE" makes indelible impression on people ideals of humanism and aesthetics of philosophy of Georgian people".


Works: "Rest" (1967), "Sculpture of Mirza Gelovani", "Figure of a young woman" (1976, Medal of the USSR Academy of Arts for the best work), "Memorial of the Missing" (1978, Teleti), "Flower of friendship" (1980, Rukhi), "Commemoration wall" (1981, Garden of the 9th of April, Tbilisi), "Flags" (1989, in the same Garden), Sculpture of Galaktion Tabidze (1989, Kutaisi, Prize of Georgian Council of Ministers), "Veriko Anjaparidze" (1990, Mtatsminda Pantheon), "Peace of torch" 1992, Greece, Olympia), "Mother land" (1997, first capital of Greek Republic Navplion), "Sculpture of Zhiuli Shartava" (1997, Senaki), "Sculpture of Yevgeny Mikeladze" (2000,  Z.Paliashvili Opera and Ballet House, Tbilisi), "Elevation" (2004, Square of Heroes, Tbilisi).


George Shkhvatsabaia is a participant of a number of exhibitions in Georgia and abroad. His works are preserved in Georgian Museum of Art, Tretiakov Gallery of Moscow, Museum of Modern Art of Amsterdam, in Greece, Turkey, USA, Italy, Poland, Uzbekistan and in private collections. At present, he works about the sculpture of Lado Asatiani. He is a Public Artist of Georgia. His biography is entered in the Georgian Soviet Encyclopedia. He is awarded with a Badge of Honor (1999). He is an Honorable Citizen of Tbilisi and the State Prize laureate of Georgia.



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