Date: 25 october 2007
Venue: Art gallery of the Museum Center of Azerbaijan Republic
Sara Manafova was born in 1932. She graduated from the Azim Azimzade Art School in 1956 and then from the Tiflis Academy of Art. She took her first independent steps as an artist in 1960. Her work is in a romantic and emotional style. Her artistic demeanour, love of Eastern art and careful approach to this heritage achieved unexpected results. Her works offer up different aspects of the symbolism and wisdom of Eastern poetry and in her search for artistic direction she relied on the power and traditions of Azerbaijani painting. Sara Manafova’s works are exhibited in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Bulgaria, Italy, Norway, Finland, Japan, Turkey, Iran, Germany, Poland, France, Denmark and other countries. Solo exhibitions of her works were held in Moscow in 1987 and in Poland in 1989. She became a member of the International Association of Art, which cooperates with UNESCO, in 1993. Her paintings are in the following galleries and museums: the Museum of Oriental Art (Moscow, Russia), The Uzbekistan State Museum of Fine Art (Tashkent), The Art Gallery (Sumgayit), the Azerbaijan State Museum of Fine Art (Baku), The Art Gallery of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (Baku) and they are also in private collections around the world. This exhibition displayed around 80 works by this renowned artist. Sara Manafova always produced the unexpected and unpredictable. She was always different and her works can never be confused with those of other artists; they always have her distinct signature and originality. Irrespective of the theme and technique used, Sara Manafova’s paintings stand out for their mastery, spirit and bright, colourful vision of the world. The artist was confident in every technique of painting and graphics. Her creative style was reminiscent of that of Eastern miniatures; this was especially apparent in her cycle of works devoted to Fuzuli’s poem Seven Beauties. Portrait painting was an important aspect of her work; she also produced still lifes. Most significant in her late period was the triptych Leyli and Majnun (Love, Crucifixion, Burial). There was much discussion over her series Tattoo and Line of Life and it is impossible not to mention her delicate, lyrical canvases of boats: Sad Days. Having sailed the sea of life, the boats are anchored to the shore in total isolation and sorrow. This wonderful master of art is no longer with us today; she was a great romantic and an adult child in life and art. Confessing beauty and love as the final truths, she conveyed them to the viewer via her canvases. She could not live without painting and, from beginning to end, her life was in the service of great art. Just one month before her final illness, she began a new work; she painted as long as she could. The artist’s last canvas remained unfinished.