Kavaleridze, Ivan [Кавалерідзе, Іван], b 26 April 1887 at Ladanskyi khutir near Romny, Kharkiv gubernia, d 3 December 1978 in Kyiv. Sculptor, film director, dramatist, and screenwriter. He studied art at the Kyiv Art School (1907–9), the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts (1909–10), and with N. Aronson in Paris (1910–11). His sculptures include busts of famous people such as F. Chaliapin (1909), and over 100 monuments in various cities of Ukraine: eg, the monument to Princess Olha in Kyiv (1911), which was destroyed in 1934; the Taras Shevchenko monuments in Kyiv (1918), Romny (1918), Poltava (1925), and Sumy (1926); and the Hryhorii Skovoroda monuments in Lokhvytsia (1922) and Kyiv (1977). In the 1920s his work was influenced by cubism, as exemplified by his monument to Artem in Artemivsk (Donetsk oblast). His group compositions—Bohdan Khmelnytsky Sends the Kobza Players into the Villages (1954), A. Buchma in the Role of M. Zadorozhny (1954), and Prometheus (1962)—are somewhat stylized.
In 1928 he became interested in filmmaking. He scripted and directed a number of innovative historical films marked by stylization and monumentalism: Zlyva (The Downpour, 1929), Perekop (1930), Koliïvshchyna (1933), and Prometei (Prometheus, 1936). Accused of ‘nationalist deviation’ and formalism, he was forced to turn to popular themes and a simplified style. He adapted the operas: Mykola Lysenko’s Natalka Poltavka (Natalka from Poltava, 1936) and Semen Hulak-Artemovsky’s Zaporozhets’ za Dunaiem (Zaporozhian Cossack beyond the Danube, 1938) for film. After the Second World War he directed the films Hryhorii Skovoroda (1960) and Poviia (The Strumpet, 1961) based on Panas Myrny's novel.
A retrospective exhibit of his sculptures was held in 1962. He wrote several heroic dramas: Votaniv mech (Wotan's Sword, 1966), Perekop (1967), and Persha borozna (The First Furrow, 1969).
Nimenko, A. Kavaleridze—skul’ptor (Kyiv 1967)
Zinych, S.; Kapel’horods’ka, N. Ivan Kavaleridze (Kyiv 1971)
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine