Goudji was born in 1941 in a small Georgian town of Borjomi in a family of a physician and a lecturer of natural sciences; later the family moved to Batoumi on the Black sea coast.
At the age of 17 Goudji enters the Academy of Fine Arts in Tbilissi where he studies painting, sculpture, graphic arts and art history under talented professors, he has learned drawing under Vassily Shoukhayev, a Russian artist of l'Ecole de Paris who lived in France in the twentieth and thirtieth. Goudji devours books on history and theory of art and soon enough is offered a job at a workshop where he is modeling toys and ornaments out of samak - an alloy of zinc, tin and lead - for further industrial production. His competence and crectivity are duly appreciated: at the age of 23 he joins the USSR Artists Union thus becoming the youngest member of the prestigious body. Now he is very much in demand, he is getting orders for designing commemorative medals and postal stamps. It all gives him ample opportunities to travel, to spend time in the famous "homes of creativity" run by the Artists' Union for its members, to read as much as he wants to widen his scope of art knowledge. `
After his father's death in 1967 Goudji returns to Georgia. There he makes friends with two old artisans who from morning to nighifall are engaged in manufacturing identical copper trays and kettles to be sold at the bazar. Goudji watches them at work then little by little starts lending them a hand. This is a unique chance to master a technic kept alive for long ages,transmitted only through apprenticeship. In a couple of months Goudji acquires the skills of copper solUering, riveting, forging, chiselling.
Having come again to Moscow Goudji meets Katherine Barsacq, daughter of the famous director of Paris 's Theatre de l'Atelier André Barsacq and grand niece of Leon Bakst, decorator of the Russian Ballet of Diaghilev, working in the Cultural section of the French Embassy in the USSR. In spite of innumerable obstacles they get married in 1969 and apply for a French visa for Goudji. It immediately turns Goudji into a parich in the eyes of the Soviet state and society. He is left without any job or orders to wait for five long yeors for the permission to leave the country. He used the time to discover for himself andleorn from artisans of Oussolye (in the north-east of Russia's European part) the delicate technic of finift, a combination of copper and vitriol which is either spreud in layer upon layer or put into cells formed by copper mesh.
Thanks to repected efforts of President of France Georges Pompidou Goudji finally gets his exit visa. On January 31,1974 Goudji and Katherine arrive in France. They settle in Paris where the 33 yeors old artist can freely realize his creativity. On his own he masters the art of working precious metals evolving his instruments as the need arises. In the Soviet Union he was melting a couple of his grandfather's silver teaspoons to fashion some broches decorated with tiny sea pebbles...
In 1986 the French artist Goudji has become chevalier and in 1996 Comandor of the Order of Arts and Literature. In 1998, Goudji receives the title of "Maître d'Art" by the French Minister of Culture.
1941 Born in a small Georgian town of Borjomi.
1958-1962 Studies at the Academy of Fine Art in Tbilissi (Sculpture Department), where he studies painting, sculpture, graphic arts and art history under talented professors, he has leorned drawing under Vasily Shoukhayev, a Russian artist of l'Ecole de Paris who lived in France in the twentieth and thirtieth.
1964 Settles in Moscow, and becomes a member of the Soviet Artists' Union at the age of twenty-three.
1969 Marries a French lady, Katherine Barsacq, daughter of the famous director of Paris' Theatre de l'Atelier Andre Barsacq and grand niece of Leon Bakst, the decorator of the Russian Ballet of Diaghilev.
1974 Thanks to repected efforts of President of France Georges Pompidou Goudji finally gets his exit visa. Goudji and Katherine settle in Paris where the 33 yeors old artist can freely realize his creativity. On his own he masters the art of working precious metals evolving his instruments as the need arises.
1978 Is granted French nationality.
1986 The French artist Goudji has become chevalier and in 1996 Comandor of the Order of Arts and Literature.
1988 The French Minister of Culture gives him the title of "Maître d'Art". This French official title reminds what the Japonese call "Living Treasure" in their country.
ONE MAN EXHIBITIONS
1975 Galerie Sven, Paris, France (by patronage of Hubert de Givenchy). 1981 Galerie Faris, Paris, France. 1982 Jansen, Paris, France.
1983 Galerie Altes Rathaus, Germany.
1985 Galerie Jean Hilger, Luxembourg.
1985-1986 Galerie Alice Pauli, Lausanne, Switzerland.
1986 Galerie Altes Rathaus, Germany.
1986-1987 Arras Gallery - Trump Tower - New York, USA.
1987- 1988 Gallery 99 in cooperation with Arras Galerie, New York -Bal Harbour, Miami, USA.
1987-1988 ASB Gallery, London, Great Britain.
1988 GalerieASB, Munich, Germany.
1988 Galerie La Cour21, Nantes, France.
1988 GalerieCapazza- Grenier de Villâtre Nancay du "GrandMeaulne", France.
1988 Arras Gallery - Trump Tower - New York, USA.
1988 Galerie ASB, Barcelona, Spain.
1988 Galerie Alice Pauli, Lausanne, Switzerland. .
1989 Galerie Place des Arts, Montpellier, France.
1989-1990 Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris, France.
1991 Salon de Mars, booth Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris, France.
1991 Musée des Beaux-Arts F. Mandet, Riom, France.
1991 GalerieASB in cooperation with FineArtSociety, London, Great Britain. 1991-
1992 Place des Arts - Galerie Polack, Montpellier, France.
1992 Galerie ASB in cooperation with Galerie David Koetser, Zurich, Switzerland.
1993-1994 Musée Thomas-Dobrée, Nantes, France. Goudji's first important retrospective show: "De pierre, de métal et de feu. Goudji, orfèvre contemporain " (Of Stone, Of Metal, Of Fire. Goudji, Contemporary Goldsmith.)
1993-1994 Galerie Plessis, Nantes, France.
1993-1994 Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris, France. 1994 Kunsthaus Dr. Hans Hartl, Freising, Bayern, Germany.
1995 The European FineArtFair booth Galerie Claude Bernard, Maastricht, Holland.
1996 Brenda Kroos Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio and PineNurst, North Carolina, USA.
1996 Galerie Lieve Hemel, Amsterdam, Holland.
1996 Galerie Plessis, Nantes, France.
1997 Tefaf Maastricht- Galerie Claude Bernard, Maastricht, Holland.
1997 Place des Arts, Montpellier, France.
1998 Tefaf Maastricht - Galerie Claude Bernard, Holland.
Participation in many group shows such as:
1994-1995 A New Century in European Design, seven museums of Japan, organized by Toyojiro Hida of National Museum of Modern Art and NHK Television.
1983 Musée des Arts décoratifs (Paris, France), gold torque with lapis lazuli, acquisition FNAC.
1984 Musée Languedoc-Roussillon (France), silver table pieces, acquisition FNAC.
1990 Musée de Riom (France), two chandeliers, one garden cart and an ewer all silver.
1991 Musée de Riom (France), silver plate, sodalite and jasper, acquisition and gift to the Museum by a Patron of l'Association des amis du musée de Riom.
1994 Musée Thomas-Dobrée (Nantes, France), silver basin with bird, sodalite and jasper.
1995 "Golden unicorn" (gold, ivory, mother-of-peorl, "falcon's eye"), Kunsthaus, Freising, Germany.
PRIZES AND AWARDS IN FRANCE
1980 Oscar d'or, Salon international Bijorhca, Paris, France.
1982 Palme d'or, Salon international des Ateliers d'art, Paris, France 1986 Named as Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Literature.
1988 Grand prix régional des Métiers d 'art, région 11e-de-France, Paris, France. 1992 Grand prix national des Métiers d 'art, France.
1994 Honorary medal awarded by the town of Nantes, after the success of the show "De pierre, de métal et de feu. Goudji, orfèvre contemporain" at the musée Thomas-Dobrée de Nantes which brought 25 000 visitors in three month.
1994 Médaille d 'honneur de la ville de Freising, capitale médiévale de la Bavière.
1996 Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
1998 The French Minister of Culture gives him the title of Maître d'Art, which is similar in Japan as "Living Treasure ".
1994- 1997 Membre du Conseil national des Métiers d 'Art du Ministère de la Culture.
Designs and crafts the swords for: 1976 Félicien Marceau, French Academy.
1991 Robert Turcan, Academy of Inscriptions and letters. 1991 Hélène Carrère d'Encausse, French Academy.
1992 Jean Cluzel, Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. 1992 Jacques Boré, Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.
1993 Maurice Allais, Nobel Prize for Economics, Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.
1993 Paul Bernard, Academy of Inscriptions and letters.
1995 Gilbert Dagron, Academy of Inscriptions and Letters.
1996 Bernard Destremau, Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.
Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris
1986 On the request of François Mathey, Chief Curator of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs of Paris, design and craft of: baptistry, ewer, Easter chandelier, for the National Bocrd of Sacred Art, acquisition FNAC.
Cathedral Notre-Dame de Chartres
1992 During the re-instalation of the sanctuary in the Chartres cathedral at the transepts by Mr. Guy Nicot, Chief Architect of Historical Monuments, design and crait by Goudji of the pieces used for liturgical ceremonies: main alter, episcopal cathedra, removable episcopal emblems, alter crosses, four headed pulpit, two seats, six great candelabras, chalice, the paten, and the cruets. Materials: silver, vermeil, semi precious stones, ock, wrought iron. May 30 1992, Mgr Jacques Perrier, bishop of Chartres, consecrates the main alter.
1992 On the clergy's request, Goudji designs and crafts the distinguishing mark of the Basilica Notre-Dame in Chartres, removable emblem and a second cross for the altar.
1993 A great chalice and its lable for the ordination of priests.
1993 On the request of Mgr Perrier, Bishop of Chartres, design and craft of aeucharistic dove-shaped tabernacle (silver, sadalite, mother-of-peorl).
1994 For the celebration of the eight hundredth anniversary of the cathedral, Goudji designs and crafts an episcopal censer and its incense holber. Binding for the Gospel-book in silver, gold, sodalite, crystal, emeralds, agates, jusper.
1995 On request of his Lordship François Garnier; Bishop of Luçon, Goudji designs and crafts the liturgical furniture as follows: altar major, bishop's cathedra, episcopal emblem, pulpit, two scats, episcopal chalice. Materials: silver, stone of Pontijou, wrought iron and semi preclous stones.
Saint-Maurice Abbey, Clervaux (grand-duché de Luxembourg)
1994 On request of the abbey community, design and craft of the cross given by themonks to the Father Priest.
Blessing of the cross on December 24th 1994 by Dom Jorrot, Father Priest of the abbey. Theme of the pelican symbolizing Christ (silver, red jasper, ock).
1993 Goudji designs and crafts on request of Mr. Michel Laclotte, Chief Director of the Louvre Museum and of the Réunion des musées nationaux (RMN) a collection of jewels GOUDJI AU LOUVRE.
ORDERS AND TROPHIES
1977 Collection of jewels for Yves Saint-Laurent. 1978 Brooch for the promotional campaign for Orlane.
1983-1993 Gifts from the President of French Republic, François Mitterrand, to other foreign Head of States.
1984 Jasmin Prize from the French bocrd of perfume.
1989-1994 Science for Art, Trophy - LVMH - Louis Vuitton - Moët Hennessy.
1993 Technological Prize Trophy, Ministry of Reseorch and Space.
1994 Design and craft of the trophy, handed by Mgr Jacques Perrier to Bruno Morin, graduate of the XlVe International Organ Competition of Chartres organized for the celebration of the eight hundred's th anniversary of the Chartres Cathedral.