Being first and foremost an artist, Rezo Gabriadze has gained an international reputation as a screenwriter, film and stage director, painter, sculptor and puppeteer.
Gabriadze was born in the town of Kutaisi in what was then Soviet Georgia. He grew up surrounded by literature and fine art. As he matured creatively, his attention was drawn to film. He went on to write over 35 screenplays, including the Soviet film classics: “Don’t Grieve!”, “Mimino”, and “Kin-Dza-Dza!”.
Frustrated with the lack of intellectual freedom during the Soviet era, he turned to puppet theatre as a surreptitious way of telling his dramatic stories. In 1981 he founded The Gabriadze Theatre – a marionette drama theatre in the old town of Tbilisi. His productions of “Alfred and Violetta”, “The Autumn of My Springtime”, “The Battle of Stalingrad”, “Ramona”, “Diamond of Marshal de Fantié” brought international recognition to the theatre. It has been touring the world ever since.
As a painter and graphic artist, Rezo Gabriadze has contributed to over 50 books. His illustrations have accompanied the writings of Pushkin, Kharms and Bitov. His art works have been exhibited in numerous museums including The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, The Dostoyevsky Museum in Moscow, and Lenbach House Gallery in Munich, as well as in private collections. His iconic sculptures “Chizhik-Pizhik”, and “Major Kovalyov’s Nose” have become major attractions in St. Petersburg.
In October 2012, Moscow’s Pushkin Fine Arts Museum presented the first major personal exhibition of Gabriadze’s paintings, drawings and sculpture. In 2018, a permanent exhibition of Rezo Gabriadze’s artworks, including puppets and ceramics was opened in Tbilisi, Georgia.
He has earned many international awards, including “Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic”.
From 1968 to 1977 Rezo Gabriadze cooperated with film studios “Georgian Film” and “Mosfilm” as a screenwriter. During this period he created screenplays for more than thirty movies.
1968 An Unusual Exhibition
1969 Don’t Grieve!
1973 White Stones
1974 The Eccentrics
1974 The Bet
1990 The Passport
“He is indeed a creator of great ingenuity. His imagery is deeply personal and it brings to the theatre a quality of poetic and transcendental realism for which I know no equivalent. His long experience in many artistic fields now enables him to reach the ideal of the completely creative director proposed by Gordon Craig. His art brings an artistic force and positive human vision into European theatre at a moment when it is badly needed.”
“Gabriadze’s world is Georgia, the very essence of Georgia, it is Georgia to an extent where one cannot imagine this representation of the country could possibly have a creator.”
“I love Georgia. This country has given me many happy days. I remember my friends – Rezo Gabriadze, who in my opinion is one of the best artists in the world.”