COLOR and ART GALLERY
Critics of the 90th named this time as a decade of crisis, confusion, decline in the art of Azerbaijani artists born in the period of the post-war hopes and grandiose plans, who had to live through Karabah events, disintegration of the power, change of modes, humiliation, unemployment and unclaimed ness, cheerless years of economics slump and the world did not seem cloudless.
Most people were in confusion caused by the changes in society: ones went away from art to commerce, trade, alcohol and drug addicts, others left the country. But those, who remained, began to line up a quite different territory of existence. Strangely enough, energy of crisis compelled to revise the positions, and find new possibilities of self-realization, use a chance to appease informative hunger for the vanguard art of pop-art, which had been tabooed by the soviet censorship. So that is how it is possible to explain the appearance in Baku of exhibition centers of modern art, that’s for acquaintance of public with the artists of conceptual avant-garde.
One of them is an ART GALLERY created in 2000 in Museum Center of Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It is located on the 4th floor of Museum Center which is situated in a prestige Boulevard “Neftyanikov”, yielding today a little bit to a Moscow’s Tverskaya, Roman Via del' Korso or famous Neapolitan Embankment. The Gallery consists of five spacious halls with the general area of 440 sq. м. and exposition area of 700 apt. м. and is laded in a formula of «restrained minimalism» as a contrast, raging with all colors and highlights of Caspian Embankment.
The key figure of the gallery is a Director of Museum Center, Liana Vezirova, who has spent quite a lot of time and efforts to do it a part of Baku’s cultural life. She wanted to destroy the ideological stereotypes of the Leninism and Komsomol museums to which this pompous building belonged in pasts, and to do it so, that the gallery became the exhibition of a new actual interactive art.
Activity of the gallery was set by one of the first expositions «Time of a bell», devoted to Azerbaijani trance advance-guard. The next one was project «Baku photo-festival «Ayna», where works of the Azerbaijani and foreign photographers were demonstrated. At first time, gallery was given for exhibitions, which were conducted by different unions of studios, associations of embassies and business companies. There has been twice conducted international festival of contemporary art «Aluminum. Arts + new technologies», and also an exhibition called «Man and woman», organized by association «Wings of time». Art Gallery carried out the row of projects in collaboration with Embassy of France in Azerbaijan. The center of the Modern culture of «ARTS etc» realized project «Khaly». 1st International festival of kids’ paintings «I am an artist» organized by Ministry of Youth and Sport was a great success. These displays have risen up the Gallery on a higher stage. And organizers of the Art Gallery took up the following step: to create an own continual exhibition which never ends. And they succeeded. Since 2006, when a start was successfully taken by a cycle of exhibitions «SEASONS», the Art Gallery conducts an own regular exposition. They started demonstrating a new breath in a modern art: local and foreign artists have mixed up a great number of styles of the past and modern subcultures and styles refined, including video, art, picture, installations, and performance.
Such global variety was not known by the Baku exhibitions before. Such sensational events as «Colors of Autumn», «Five plus», «Diamond type» by one of the titled European photographer Claus Vicrath, a personal exhibitions of the known Azerbaijani artists such as Farkhad Khalilov, Nazim Beykishiev, Naira Rustamova, Said Ashraf, and others, in total, more than 30 different expositions, entered the gallery’s history. Just for example, the exhibition «Spring. Woman and Love» gathered in around 110 authors, 300 works of art and more than 2 000 people of audience under the roof.
Liana Vezirova did not miss paying attention to the eccentric avant-gardism that, no doubt, (in spite of the limited volume), is presented in Azerbaijani painting. «Carnival series» by Margarita Kerimova-Sokolova, or “shocking masterpieces” of Sara Manafova, shown to public in summer and autumn displays of the year were very eccentric. First one was a splendid atmosphere of a holiday, and the second one was an erotic world of fantastic dreams of a woman.
The main peculiarity of exhibitions held in the gallery is their universality. Neither in the regulations nor on participation, there are any limitations.
All the artists independently on their titles, age, kinds and genres in which they work, place of residence, are invited to participate on equal. No distinctions are done between the known and beginnings creators. It enabled to extend the geography of participants in various exhibitions. Besides the works by Azerbaijani artists, the representatives of Russia, Czech, Germany, Georgia, Iran, and New Zeeland have already shown their art in displays. For a very short period time, the gallery has conquered the image of an experimental laboratory, a place, where the dreams of talents and admirers become together.
«LOVE RAINBOW » is the last and final project of this year. There is something common between love and art. Both of them may be a compass in time. Their main value is ability to reflect past and presence and, in someway, to predict future. Painting poems, graphic essays and sculptural compositions, can say about mentality of a nation much brighter than thousands of verbal certificates.
The exhibition «Rainbow of love» is dedicated, as it is declared in the topic, to love. «There is not greater power in the Universe, than Love, - Liana Vezirova is explaining the concept of the exhibition, - we came into this world to love and be loved. All around us consists of love, and we consist of love. This is where the energy is hidden. A new era is a time of love and the world scales are inclining toward the higher vibrations. Energy of love will heave up humanity on its new stage. It is a call of civilization of XXI century, and it is a criteria, on which we, organizers, were selecting the works. And what has taken place is an original encyclopedia of love».
Indeed, the exposition is impressive. 44 modern Azerbaijani artists present about 130 works (painting, sculpture, graphic arts, batik, and photo). Each work has got its own Love story and its light, sorrow, joy, charm and secret. Thus, not only about a classic love of a man and a woman, but also about love in general: to people, children, nature, and all existence on the earth.
Perhaps, one of the most original projects, is a graphic series by Teymur Rustamov, which is named so «Seven colours of a rainbow» - seven portraits in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, dark blue and violet tones are the artist’s declaration of love to a Woman in general, and concretely – to his wife Ayten.
In «Dreams» by Namik Ismailzade there also appears a whole colour spectrum. A young artist gives us a sign - throw away all boring images of simplicity and functional paintings, let’s bless the holiday of iridescent dreams and exotic thing!
The colours composition is not a simple science, but the Azerbaijani artists know the sense in it and are ready for brave experiments. Everything in this exhibition makes a one happy –the exhibits, stenography, and the aura of love which soars in an atmosphere. Every hall, like Love itself, has got its own colour.
The first hall is red, reflecting the colour preferences of participants of exhibition.
RED COLOUR on the palette of the Azerbaijani painting has always sounded proudly, since the canvases of Mikail Abdullaev, Tair Salakhov, and Mir-Javad Javadov. Colour of passion and power, blood and ripe pomegranates, wine and communism poems. As Togrul Narimanbekov thinks, Red in art is uneasy, it is an enemy of indifference and a friend of passion. And this exposition is too loyal to the traditions. Crimson, scarlet, purple, ruby, dark red are so picturesque in the fantasies of many artists, as in the loved pomegranates («Red») by Sabina Shikhlinskaya. An ancient fruit, an ancient soul in Azeri interior. As for pomegranates in Emin Askerov’s «Harvest», it is an idea of involuntarily suggestion that this fruit is a part of DNK of Azerbaijani artists.
In «Breath of perception» by People’s artist Mir Nadir Zeynalov, red colour burns an experimenter fire. It is hardly possible to take your eye away of «Other side of imagination» by Elshan Sarkhanogli. In frame of the last year exhibition “Five plus”, Niyaz Nadjafov’s works in red colour showed their exceptional nature («People», «Nard players», “still life in red tones»). His red colour behaves the same way in today’s works («Red table», «Blue table with pomegranates», «Roses in a white vase with pomegranates»). Beauty of spirit, beauty of love is reflected by red in paintings by, perhaps, the most ambitious artist of the exhibition, Rashid Is mail. In all painting world, high density energetic power environment is so charming, especially in RED-ORANGE variations («Red table», «Caravan», «Remembering Mooching», «Girl in paradise», «Woman with an emerald» and other).
It is impossible to pass away a red-orange «Madonna with a child» by young artist Adyta Akhundzade. Her works become an honored decoration of any exhibition, and her name becomes a brand of the Azerbaijani paintings.
Eldar Babazade shows a woman’s appearances of sultry Apsheron peninsula with the shades of a color of tender corals, gold sand and blooming pomegranates. The artist puts his beauties («A girl with hat», «Absheron melodies»,«Players») in the context of the last epochs, underlining the eternal beauty of an eastern woman.
YELLOW – the first one among the bright ones, as Gete said in his “Colors studies”. Don’t miss the oppressive melody of «Nostalgia» by Ismail Mamedov and eastern interpretation of the eternal knight «Don Quixote » by Nazim Rakhmanov in the yellow hall of the exposition.Yellow, ochre and blue are colors of Apsheron peninsula. Powerful natural palette. These brightly shining «Sunflowers» by Farkhad Yalguzag and in the BLUE, «Spring day in Buzovna» by Mir-nadir Zeynalov create a thoughtful atmosphere as well as the linens in blue by Farid Mirzoev («Reflection», «Woman with a veil», «Expectation»).
GREEN COLOR in eastern traditions, as well as in a landscape of an acknowledged master of domestic art Raphael Abbasov, has got its magic. If to look for a time at his «Lake» or «Ismailli», it is possible to disperse melancholy, cheer up and raise one’s spirit up. Wonderful works by Vugar Muradov appear in green tones («Green planet», «Green shade»). Although it is difficult to define the color preference of the young artist, so deeply he feels the harmony of paints. Vugar Muradov, a forty-year-old artist has got a reputation of a first-class colorist, meaning his «Bare flowers» and «blue still life». Works of art by Siruz Mirza-zadeh (“Dreaming girl”, “Seduce”, “On a balcony”) are in light green mysterious shades of green color.
Whatever fruit to mention, they do exists in the exposition: «The sunflowers», «Persimmon on the snow», «Lemons», «Apples». Botanist painters presented something between a floral plantation and a vegetable row. The brightest adherent of this direction is the “Amazon of Azerbaijani advance-guard” Naira Rustamova. It seems she set up a question: is it true, that the world of artists can be inspired with the world of plants. And she gave out the series of answers in the format of the luxurious paintings which are placed almost in all halls of the display: VIOLET, RED, ORANGE, and GREEN. Its heroes are berries, fruit and vegetables – not so much kindling the one’s appetite, but burning a hot sensuality. «Egg-plant Madonna», «Pepper boy and tomato girl», «Cucumber love» etc. Irony, grace, charm and her main conclusion is that a new Art Nouveau comes from a living nature.
Makhmud Rustamov’s works «Kseniya», «Looking through the time», «Portrait of a butterfly»are so interesting with a unique psychological saturation, which can show one especially unusual, having regard to their small sizes and very laconic plastic form. In the elegant bronze figures by Khikmet Ismaylov («Love», «Rainbow of love») the state of characters is incarnated in a figure, in every it’s motion, gesture, quivering lines of the silhouette. Art of strong senses and harmonic proportions are reflected in modest works by Zakir Ahmadov («First date», «Sittings lovers»). Show includes a few graphic compositions as well, executed in batik style (by Tatiana Agababaeva, Ina Kostina, Nickolay Zaytsev and Alexey Zaytsev).
In conclusion, remembering the language of colors and translating appearances into the words, the bouquet of senses and emotions turns into a magnificent beauty and eternity, passion and secret, gladness and sorrow, nostalgia and merriment, self-esteem and devotion, harmony and provocation. In general, all what real painting is. And life is a great deal too. It is desired, that the audience remember the bright works of «Love Rainbow». But if someone doesn’t manage to see it, let’s keep this catalogue by all means! Fall in love with works of art by Azerbaijani artists, as the organizers of this exhibition have already done so….Good luck to everyone!