Round hall, Art Gallery
Organizers: The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Museum Center, the National Music Committee (NMC), Art-Gallery «Kukla»
The ‘Light of Beauty’, an annual project organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan together with the Museum Centre, the National Music Committee and the Doll Art Gallery will be hed on in the Museum Centre of Azerbaijan. This year, participating artists will come not only from Azerbaijan, but also from Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Italy, France, Germany and Argentina.
‘Light of Beauty’ is a celebration for the ladies of International Women’s Day on 8 March with a combination of the visual arts and music, a synthesis of exhibition and concert. The opening concert will begin at 18:00 on 4 March in the Museum Centre’s Round Hall. A photography exhibition will also be on display – female figures created by the young artists Orkhan Aslanov, Khadija Movsumzade, Maria Shutikova and Ruslan Mammadov. Other works in the ‘Light of Beauty-2014’ project will await visitors in the Museum Centre Gallery. The exhibition will continue until 9 March.
Guests and participants will be greeted by a concert programme at the opening; observing tradition only male musicians will perform, extending their holiday wishes to the ladies. People’s Artists Murad Adigozelzade (piano), Murad Huseynov (piano) and Samir Jafarov (vocal) will perform as part of the programme. Pianist Tofiq Shikhiyev, violinist Osman Eyyubov and vocalist Islam Qasimov will also display their musical mastery. And the Elchin Shirinov jazz trio (Elchin Shirinov – piano, Eljan Jabrayilov – bass guitar and Elvin Bashirov – percussion) will complete the programme.
The exhibition part of ‘Light of Beauty’ will offer the best works by both recognized masters, scrupulously selected by the organizers, and promising young artists.
The principle guiding the selection of artworks is quite clearly professionalism. But the positive energy in the paintings is also very important, as this project is devoted to the holiday of spring, beauty and love. Many of the works by both mature and younger professionals have been created especially for the occasion. By the way, artists from among the foreign diplomatic corps are participants this year. They are Olga Gladkova –member of the Artists’ Union of Russia and the spouse of Alexander Gladkov, Senior Counsellor at the Russian Embassy and Marta Guesada, spouse of Argentina’s Ambassador, Dante Riva.
We should particularly point out that doll masters will also be represented by their works in the ‘Light of Beauty - 2014 exhibition. Moreover, the exhibition is conceived so that the themes embodied in the doll exhibits coincide with those of the paintings, graphics, batiks, floral boards and photo-compositions. A feature of ‘Light of Beauty – 2014’, as depicted on its banner, is that of ‘connections’. This is represented by Malik Aghamalov’s triptych (in the central role is a female character named ‘Khanum’, who is flanked by still-lifes), which complements perfectly the paired works of Saint-Petersburg doll master Gulya Alekseyeva that present a young boy and girl who seem to have stepped out of an Azerbaijani miniature.
Most works in the exhibition praise female beauty. It is no surprise that there are many portraits and themed compositions including beautiful characters. There is ‘Actress’ by Sakit Mammadov, ‘Girl Reading a Book” by Miraslan Zeyn, the proud lady in Rashad Mehtiyev’s painting and the naked sleeping beauty in Vugar Muradov’s work, Nigar Babayeva’s comic ladies, Yaver Sultanov’s curvy lady bathing in ‘Turkish Bath’, the bright Argentinian ladies by Marta Guesada, the lady with a red hat by Olga Gladkova and the unknown lady in a mask by Samira Javadova… Mammad Orujov’s flirty girls, the tristesse of Rena Amrahova’s women and Siruz Mirzazade’s romantic heroines are close to real female characters, but with subtle irony. Eldar Babazade’s heroines are diverse and versatile, like life itself.
‘Light of Beauty-2014’ also presents ‘Devotion to Women’, a new series by celebrated graphic artist Arif Huseynov. Mammad Rashidov’s light metal sculptures show different sides of the female character, Mahmud Rustamov’s creations are iron-handed bronze Amazons in eastern clothing and Zakir Ahmedov has strong, but delicate beauties (narrow-waisted ‘Fitna’ carrying the ox on her shoulders is particularly notable). The girl in ‘Bright Day’ by Vugar Ali and the colourful, bright heroines from eastern fairy tales by Mehriban Efendi also belong here. And Natiq Farajullazade’s girls – here facial features are not as important for the artist as the transmission of the characters’ grace. Then there is the character of the lady in a jacuzzi in Anar Huseynzade’s canvas.
There are only female dolls in the exhibitions. The local masters Parviz Huseynov and Irina Gundorina, Farah Aliyeva, Tamilla Gurbanova, as well as foreign dollmakers tell us of the variety of female character and beauty. They can be dreamy and flirtatious beauties; delicate ladies; simple, modest girls or the inhabitants of fairytale worlds. They are so different – the careless heroine from Huseynov and Gundorina’s ‘Caramel Latte’, ‘Girl in Grey’ by the Italian author Laura Scattolini, modest girls with large eyes by the German artist Siu Ling Wang, the tragic ‘Winter Cherry’ by Galina Dmitruk (Belarus), the magnificent ‘Mask’ by Elena Mikhailova (Latvia) and many others.
Nevertheless the notion of beauty extends beyond the notion of human beauty. This is why there are so many still-lifes with flowers and other natural forms in the ‘Light of Beauty-2014’ project. These lush products of nature are traditionally compared with images of women and the artists hint at the similarity. Here we should mention the works by Tatyana Aghababayeva ‘Magnolia’ (batik) and the flowers of Agshin Kazimov and Nazim Yunusov.
The movement of soul and idea captured in bronze, on canvas or other material is expressed in works like ‘Spring’ by Beyim Hajizade, at once imparting both anxiety and optimistic expectation, or Faig Hajiyev’s sculpted composition ‘Show’, built on the significance of ladies’ shoes as symbol. Also in the canvas by Elena Haqverdiyeva, with a carnival couple hugging, and the abstracts by Gulara Mejidova and Leyla Altunay. Irina Eldarova’s canvases treat the mundane symbol of the heart in a surprisingly serious manner.
There is equally surprising variety in the photographers’ approaches to the female theme – the characters are so varied, even in works by the same artist that the viewer will be forced to think. By the way, the same can be said of the whole project, just like female beauty – a timeless and ever-changing phenomenon, but eternally attractive.