Lado Gudiashvili, the outstanding figure among Georgian modernists with his unique and distinguished style, represents a prolific artist whose carrier spans more than 60 years and comprises the periods of both the Tbilisi Modernism and Socialist Realism.
He graduated from the Tiflis School of Painting and Sculpture of the Caucasian Society for the Promotion of the Fine Arts (an affiliate of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts) with the first-class certification as a drawing teacher. There he studied under Oscar Schmerling, Yegishe Tatevosyan and Yakob Nikoladze. He started his job as a drawing teacher in the 1st Tbilisi Gymnasium for boys.
In parallel with teaching Gudiashvili actively collaborated with many popular papers and magazines of the time. Among them should be specially noted “The Ramp and Life” magazine for which he made a great number of illustrations.
In 1917 he joined the scientific expedition initiated by the professor Ekvtime Takaishvili to study and sketch Georgian monasteries, churches and other architectural monuments of the historical Southern parts of the country the materials of which, in the form of mural copies and architectural sketchers were exhibited in Tiflis. The same years he joins the Avant-garde circles of Tbilisi and becomes involved in their regular discussions, symposia and artistic activities: he made murals for the cafes Fantastic Tavern and Kimerioni and together with Ziga Valishevski, Kirile Zdanevich, Natalia Goncharova, Igor Terentiev and Alexandre Bazhbeuq-Meliqov illustrated the book Sophia Melnikova’s Fantastic Dukhan.
In October 1919 he was sent to Europe to continue his education. In Paris he attended the classes of the Paris Art Academy and later the Roncon Academy but the professors were unanimous in their judgment: “You have nothing to learn here. You are a professional and should exhibit your works independently in the Salons.” He exhibited his works in the leading galleries of Paris – the Salon d’Automne, Gelerie Jouseph Billiet and Galerie de la Licorne. His name frequently appeared in the Paris Press.
In 1926 her returned to Georgia and designed sets for Mardjanishvili productions. In 1928 he took part in the 16th International Exhibition in Venice.
Throughout his long artistic career Lado Gudiashvili has made a number of solo-exhibitions, and worked in different genres be it portraiture, large-scale canvases, set-designs and costumes, mural paintings (the sanctuary of the Qashveti Church, Tbilisi) and book illustrations, among which special stress should be made on his illustrations of Georgian Folk Tales, The Knight in the Panther’s Skin, Balavariani, The Wisdom of Lies and many others.
He was awarded many highest orders and titles during the Soviet era: People’s Artist of the USSR, the title of a Hero of Socialist Labor and the Order of Lenin.
His studio was a place of attraction for many outstanding guests visiting Georgia.
Lado Gudiashvili is buried in the Pantheon on Mount Mtatsminda.
Content is based on the Album issued by Aurora Art Publishers, 1984 and the biographical outline by Lydia Zlatkevich.