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Kandareli Givi

Painter, ceramist and  tapestry master,  Givi Kandareli  was  an artist whose name is firmly linked to the genesis of the modern Georgian tapestry school and its further development. He was the first to start the creation of a new-style, modern tapestry in  the the Soviet period.

During the 50-es of the last century  Georgian patriotic content gained special significance in art, both in the fields of monumental and decorative art, facilitated by the Soviet ideology of promoting national narratives. Kandareli’s tapestries, which depicted Georgian motifs, were very popular both in the then Soviet Republic of Georgia and abroad.

Givi Kandareli was born in Sagarejo in 1933. In 1950, he became a student of the ceramics department at the Tbilisi Academy of Arts. His teachers were Duda Gabashvili, Vasili Shukhaev and Vakhtang Beridze, under  guidance of which  the future artist gained systematic knowledge in art practice, theory and history.

In 1956, Givi Kandareli continued his postgraduate studies in ceramics.  In 1960, he became a teacher in the same department. Regardless of the chosen path, from 1950 he began to work on textiles being mostly  interested in the decorative properties of fabric and the principles of ornament-creation. Dimitri Tsitsishvili, a graphic artist and art critic, who in turn, together with Apollon Kutateladze, founded the Faculty of Decorative and Applied Arts at the Art Academy in 1959,  contributed to his passion for textiles and encouraged and stimulated his interest.

In 1963, Givi Kandareli went to Czechoslovakia for an internship at the High School of Arts in Prague. There, Antonin Kibala – himself a student of the famous French tapestry artist, Jean Leurs – taught the art of textile.  Kibala’s artistic language had a great influence on the style of woven textiles in Europe at the time.

Kandareli mostly wove lint-free woolen gobelens and dyed the threads himself eschewing  visual flamboyance and efficiency.

In addition to weaving and painting, he was engaged in teaching and administrative activities.

A member of the board of the Union of Artists of the USSR and the head of the  board of the decorative-utility section of the same organization, he worked as a teacher at the Faculty of Architecture of the Polytechnic Institute of Georgia and headed t the Department of Textiles and Tapestry of the Tbilisi Academy of Arts. During his life he received a great number of accolades and was given ever higher honors: He was the Honored Worker of the Arts of the USSR of Georgia (1980), laureate of the Order of Honor and the State Prize of the USSR (1983).  Throughout his life he participated in number of group exhibitions and held several highly praised personal shows at the same time being a visiting professor of the Beijing Academy of Applied Arts


Givi Kandareli
Date of Birth1933Date of Death2006Share