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Chikvaidze Yuri

Renowned scenographer, director, artist, production designer, and screenwriter Yuri Chikvaidze was born in Tbilisi in 1934. In 1959, he completed his studies at the Faculty of Architecture of the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, where he forged connections with Oleg Kochakidze and Aleksandre Slovinsky. Together, they established the creative group Sameuli in 1957, concentrating their efforts on crafting scenography for theatrical performances. Their artistic endeavors significantly contributed to the evolution of Georgian scenography, injecting vitality into its artistic lexicon. Through audacious experimentation and original breakthroughs, they played a pivotal role in the success of numerous productions in collaboration with eminent Georgian directors, staged at theatres such as Marjanishvili, Rustaveli, Opera, and Ballet State Theatres, both in Georgia and internationally.

From 1976 to 1996, the Sameuli group was engaged in the artistic realisation of productions including John Fletcher’s The Tamer Tamed (1972), Mikheil Javakhishvili’s Kvachi Kvachantiradze (1974), and Sophocles’ Oedipus the King (1978), among others. Before this period, the trio had already made significant contributions to productions at the Shota Rustaveli Theatre, including George Nakhutsrishvili’s Chinchraka (The Wren, 1963), Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (1965), and Merab Eliozishvili’s Beberi Mezurneebi (Old Zurna Players, 1966). They also participated in the performance A Soldier is a Soldier (1965) at the Lenkom Theatre, named after Lenin’s Komsomol. Their stage designs were meticulously crafted for each performance, adhering to contemporary scenography standards. Their forays into theatre coincided with an era of experimentation and a quest for a novel style in theatrical art, establishing them as pioneers in innovating the theatrical space. Beyond their contributions to theatre, the group members were engaged in architectural projects, including the design of the Ushba car motel (Dighomi, 1962), a tourist hotel (Bakuriani, 1974), and others. They also played a role in designing the Bichvinta Naval Station (1968), the Tbilisi Chess Palace, and the Alpine Club.

Yuri Chikvaidze’s influence extended to the realm of animated films, where he played a significant role in the production of notable works such as Konkurencia (Competition 1970), Jadosnuri kvertskhi (Magic Egg 1974), and Sada khar chemo Savana? (Where are you, Savannah? 1975), as well as Oqro (Gold 1966) and Sizmara (1983), among others.

In 1993, Yuri Chikvaidze relocated to the United States of America, where he passed away in 2004.

In 2015, the exhibition Scenography of Sameuli presented the works of Georgian scenographers Oleg Kochakidze, Alexander Slovinsky, and Yuri Chikvaidze at the Dimitri Shevardnadze National Gallery of the Georgian National Museum. This exhibition commemorated the 80th anniversary of the Sameuli group, whose works had not been on display since the 1980s.

Yuri Chikvaidze
Date of Birth1934Date of Death2004Share