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 Lazar Gadayev

Born:   1938
Deceased:   21 September 2008

He was the most prominent sculptor of modern Ossetia and one of the foremost art masters of multinational Russia


Lazar Gadayev was the most prominent sculptor of modern Ossetia and one of the foremost art masters of multinational Russia.

Lazar Taseyevich Gadayev (born in 1938) belonged to the generation of artists who made themselves known in the 1970s. However even among those bright personalities his creativity stands apart. His original art takes roots in the traditions of national plastic art of his native Ossetia, in mythology and poetry of ancient Alanian culture.

After graduation of the Faculty of Arts and Graphic Design Faculty of North-Ossetia Teachers Training College (1956–1960) Lazar Gadayev entered the Faculty of Sculpture of Moscow Surikov Arts Institute, where he studied under M.G. Maniser and D.D. Zhilinsky. Upon graduation in 1966 he was at once admitted to the Union of Artists of the USSR and started exhibiting his works on a large scale.

A big monographic collection of Lazar Gadayev’s works has been collected in the Tretyakov Gallery. His works are also kept in Museum of Oriental Arts (Moscow), Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russian Museum (St. Petersburg) and P. Ludwig Museum (Germany), in museums of cities of Russia and CIS countries. The sculptor’s works can also be found in many private collections of Russia and other countries.

It is remarkable how the great artist of our time, animator and thinker Yuri Norstein referred to the sculptor: “One should look at Lazar Gadayev’s sculptures with one’s fingers, as if one is blind. The palpability of his plastic art is also painting above all”.


After the first exhibits with his participation in the 1970s Lazar Gadayev became famous as the master of “small plastic art”. Yet, even in his chamber works he manifests his gift for monumental sculpture. According to his own confession, it was merely the tightness of his workshop that prevented him from working with big forms. Later the sculptor contrived to implement a range of his monumental projects: his sculpture compositions are set up in parks of Yerevan, Seoul, Vladikavkaz, and Hoyerswerda (Germany). According to his projects monuments to some men of letters were created: to poet Georgy Maliev(1986) in Vladikavkaz, writer Tembot Kerashev (1990) in Maikop and poet Osip Mandelstan (2008) in Voronezh. A masterpiece of his is the small and yet very expressive and unconventional monument to Aleksandr Pushkin, erected on the initiative of the Our Legacy journal in Neopalimovsky Lane, Moscow, in 1999.

In addition to all Lazar Gadayev was also a keeper of the vanishing written language: he wrote poems and short stories in the Digorian dialect of the Ossetian language.

Lazar Gadayev died on 21 September 2008, on his 70th year and was laid to rest at Troyekurovskoye Cemetery in Moscow.

Here are some of his works:

Sources: (2)

Tags: Russian culture Russian sculptures Lazar Gadayev   

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