Address: 21, Andrew's Descent Str., Kiev
Phone: +38 (044) 4160389
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 18:00
Closed on Monday
He was a genius. Ivan Kavaleridze is called Ukrainian Michelangelo. He was one of the greatest Ukrainian talents of the past century and an ambiguous personality, a philosopher in his creative work and art thinker. The very fact of such diverse talents – a sculpture, a dramatist, a stage director – show the level of his talent and the metaphoric and epic level of Ivan Kavaleridze`s cognition of reality. His films are called “flexible” – quite a sculptural term, since the images, created by Kavaleridze were either cubic well-defined and angular, or torn, kind of rising from the block of stone. That shows the author`s hot soul and his thoughts of the heart, when creating each work.
Ivan Kavaleridze lived on Ukrainian land for almost a century (1887-1978). He was a son of a Georgian peasant, whose ancestors were brought to this territory from the Caucasus and “attached” to this land. That is why he inherited his thirst for freedom. So, he accepted the revolution and saw a source of creative inspiration in it. He was saturated with ideas of revolutionary revival of Ukrainian people, but he reproduced this idea of revival in such a way, that the orthodox communist art machine couldn`t “digest” it. Kavaleridze`s first monuments – the monument to Shevchenko in Romny and to Artem in Svyatogorsk caused accusations in formalism. But Kavaleridze of those years entered the history as the most outstanding Ukrainian sculpture – cubist. The monuments, created by him, still stand in Ukrainian cities, reminding us about the epoch of fierce searches and the struggle of sculptural courses. There are very few monuments of the 1920th left in Ukraine, which makes Ivan Kavaleridze`s work even more valuable for us.
He was attracted by images of Shevchenko, Skovoroda and Prometey. His creative work in Kiev lasted for 67 years – from the monument to Princess Olga (1911) to the monument to Grigoriy Skovoroda (1978). The monument to Yaroslav Mudriy (1997) became the posthumous recognition of Kavaleridze`s talent. The chamber statuette of the Prince, created in 1959, became the basis of the monument.
At the end of the 1920th Ivan Petrovich planned a cinema trilogy about the struggle of Ukrainian people for its independence. Shevchenko`s ideas, implemented in the poem “Gaydamaky”, inspired Kavaleridze to create a film “Cloudburst” (1929). Creative work of the revolutionary Shevchenko found its further realization in the films “Koliivschina” (1933) and “Prometey” (1935). Then there were “Dig out” (1930), Natalka Poltavka (1936), “Zaporozhye Cossacks across the Danube” (1938). This Kavaleridze`s screen versions of classics became a great contribution into Ukrainian cinema, defined its revolutionary-romantic epic line. The Caucasian leader of all the peoples didn`t like “Prometey”, where the stage director showed the scene of defeat of imperial troops by highlanders. He perceived Caucasian separatism in it. But he didn`t punished the master. In 1941 Kavaleridze continued to work in occupied Kiev. The German wanted to get the proof of loyalty of the world-known master, but without success. Creative work of Ivan Petrovich was forbidden for a long time after the war. But Kavaleridze`s fame was of use again – he wasn`t arrested, although his works were stagnated and he was stigmatized as an “accomplice”. But he still went on working and his destiny granted him with another rise of his talent. At the advanced age of 78 Ivan Kavaleridze revealed his talent of a prose-writer. He created such dramatic works as “Votan`s Sword”, “Dig Out”, “Grigoriy and Paraskeva”, “The first furrow”.
The museum of the outstanding Ukrainian with the Georgian family name was founded on St. Andrew`s Descent in 1993. Models and project of the famous artist are stored there – the first monument to Shevchenko in Ukraine in Romny (1918), to Grigoriy Skovoroda in Lokhvitsa village (1926), numerous originals of his easel sculptures, rare intravital photos, manuscripts, archive materials, video cassettes with Kavaleridze`s films, books and editions about him. There is a creative workshop, which has produced several films about the artists and helps to implement his unrealized intentions into life.
The video hall and the gallery in Ivan Kavaleridze`s House popularizes the best figures of the national art and talented young people. Ivan Kavaleridze`s Museum – Workshop is one of the most famous art objects on St. Andrew`s Descent, where art exhibitions are constantly held. There is a small garden by the museum with several works of the sculpture, for which there was not enough space in the museum. The original of the first monument to Princess Olga, unfortunately beheaded by Bolsheviks, is among them.