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Yarat - oil

“Sports Art” An exhibition by Azerbaijani artists, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the National Olympic Committee

09.10.2012 - 15.10.2012

Grand opening: 9 October 2012, 6 PM
Venue: Art Gallery, Museum Centre
Organisers: Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Museum Centre

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Museum Centre are holding an exhibition, ‘Sports Art’, of works by Azerbaijani artists to coincide with the announcement of the Year of Sports in Azerbaijan and the 20th anniversary of the National Olympic Committee. The project’s concept is to present a visual synthesis of sports and art. As we know, sport is the art of physical ability and sporting competition has been depicted on frescos, ceramic and porcelain artefacts and in sculpture since ancient times. The current project aims to show the huge significance of sports to modern life. However, while it was once a principal focus of artistic creativity, sport is less often the subject of work by contemporary artists. The exhibition will illustrate the progression through generations by displaying works by masters of art and sculpture from the last century alongside those by young artists. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has kindly donated the exhibits from its Art Gallery collection. They include A. Kaziyev’s sculpture ‘Dream’ and 15 paintings by eminent artists: ‘Search’ by A. Hajiyev, ‘Girl with a Tennis Ball’ by T. Aghababayeva, ‘Colourful Sails’ and ‘Sportsmen’ by S. Mirzazadeh, ‘At the Side of the Road’ by Kh. Safarov, ‘Peak’ by A. Ibrahimov, ‘Under the Cupola’ by N. Gasimov, ‘Training’ A. Babayev, ‘Youth’ by V. Narimanbeyov, ‘Acrobats’ by F. Khalilov, ‘Olympic Volleyball Champion Inna Riskal’ by T. Taghiyev, ‘Sport’ by E. Asgarov, ‘Water Polo’ by E. Huseynov, ‘Before the Fight’ by E. Rzaguliyev and ‘Before the Start’ by A. Sadigzadeh.

However, this retrospective element is not the heart of the exhibition, as one of the main purposes is to draw the attention of the modern day artist to the theme and there are interesting pieces by contemporaries, who are already making a name for themselves both locally and abroad. For example, Niyaz Najafov’s ‘Indoor Volleyball’, ‘Gymnastics’, ‘Goalkeeper’ and other paintings exhibit a very harsh, but dynamic style. Emin Asgarov deserves special attention. His paintings ‘Entertainment’, ‘Competition’, ‘Sportsman I’, ‘Sportsman II’ and ‘Fear’ depict the world of sports as a search for the mysterious key to victory. We should also note the works by Farhad Yalguzag, who has devoted his attention to the intellectual game of billiards. This is perfectly illustrated in his ‘Game under Lamplight’, ‘The Last Red Ball’ and ‘Billiards Master’. The world of chess is the main focus of ‘Invisible Threads’ by Ilaha Zeynalova, ‘Chess’ by Fakhri Abbasov and “The World of Chess’ by Maarif Babayev.

Irina Eldarova reflects on relations between men and women through the prism of sport in her series ‘Ultimate Fighting’: ‘He Loves Me’, ‘This Place is Taken’, and ‘Bond of Friendship’. Arzu Rzayev has painted several portraits of wrestlers especially for the exhibition – ‘UFG Fighter’, ‘Unknown Ali’, ‘Judoka’. Tatiana Aghababayeva’s batik panel, ‘Triumph’ is very interesting in its conception. Kamal Veliyev has also prepared a number of interesting sculptures – ‘Archer’, ‘Peak’, ‘Billiards’, ‘Tennis’ and ‘Golf’ - which make an impression in reminding the viewer of trophy cups. Sahib Guliyev’s ‘Golden Peak’ and ‘Fight’ and Faig Hajiyev’s ‘Zeal’ and ‘On the Turn’ stand out for their abstract approach. One of the main purposes of this exhibition is to show the creative world of the artists of the past and present centuries.