Grand opening: May 30, 6:30 PM
Organizers: Ministry of Culture of the Azerbaijan Republic, Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Museum Center
Exhibition open hours: 10.00–18.00
By public demand, the exhibition "Living Heritage" by the Latvian artist Dace Strausa, dedicated to the centenaries of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the Republic of Latvia, is extended until June 8, 2018.
The opening ceremony “Living Legacy” will take place on 30 May 2018, at the Art Gallery of the Museum Center. It is organised by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Embassy of Latvia in Azerbaijan and the Museum Center.
The exhibition is dedicated to the 100-year anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Latvia, which in 1918 first proclaimed their independence.
This is why it is not surprising that it was the Karabakh horses that the Latvian artist chose to place at “the centre” of the exhibition, as they are among the national symbols embodying freedom and dignity. The sophisticated beauty, power and extraordinary grace of the Karabakh horses have entranced artists, writers and poets, depicting in their works the uniqueness of this equestrian breed.
In one of the many publications about the Karabakh horses, it has been claimed that “up until the end of the 19th century, it was the beauty and pride of the Caucasus, worthy not only of the saddle of a Duke but also that of a Tsar”. In the Middle Ages, only Karabakh Khans owned horses of this breed, and it was the Khan stud where the purebreeds were bred. It is the Karabakh horses to which the traditional game chovgan is directly related — a game that in 2013 was included on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. That was an unprecedented case of when officially the role of animals in the preservation of heritage of humanity was recognised on an international level.
The Karabakhs have forever bewitched the Baltic artist whose art is a song of praise to the national beauty and pride. What is more, through her paintings, Dace Strausa seemingly returns to her original profession.
In 1981, she graduated from the Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy and obtained a degree in zootechnics. However, after some time had passed, between 1988 and 1991, she received training in fine arts at the preparatory department of the Art Academy of Latvia. In 2005, Dace embarked on photography training courses in Riga. The artist herself admits that she understood that she needed additional education to be able to handle the necessary means of expression, as she convincingly depicted the images of her beloved horses on canvas.
The great desire for personal self-development in her genre of choice — the animal genre — helped bring the name of the Latvian artist into the world. Dace Strausa gained vast popularity on home turf in Latvia, followed by Finland, where she moved due to family circumstances. Today, Dace’s artistic portfolio includes 18 solo and group exhibitions that were held in Latvia, Finland and Germany.
The appeal of the artist’s paintings is not only evident in the accurate depiction of various types and breeds of horses. The images created by her present a vast richness of sensations and emotions, which can be experienced by these powerful and incredibly beautiful animals. For the artist, each animal, each horse that she has come across is an Individual in its own right, and it is of utter importance for her that the observers see and perceive the entirety of uniqueness of character that each animal is endowed with.
For two years now, Dace Strausa has been living in Azerbaijan. Soon after her arrival, driven by the genuine interest and deep love towards horses, she established contacts with many horse-owners, paying special attention to the Karabakh horses.
The exhibition consists of 29 paintings depicting Karabakh horses, each of which strikes you with its realistic accuracy, with which the artist manages to transfer the physical qualities of the animals. Each work of art is distinguished by an unbelievable level of warmth, understanding and respect that Dace instils in her artistic narrative of these horses. Here we see the representation of a horse that the artist has taken under her wing during her stay in Baku, bearing the proud nickname Bebir. Pulsating veins, flexed muscles, hair glimmering like sateen fabric... It is no coincidence that the Karabakh horses are referred to as “sarilyar”, namely, “the golden ones”! Eyes literally “grab onto” the viewer... The detailed reproduction does not lack internal dynamic or vividness of impression.
All likenesses created and presented by the hand of the artist are driven by the passion of the heart. They are permeated with the flow of love — the love towards animals and our life, which they make truly more enjoyable.
More information is available by calling: +99412 493 58 83, +99450 273 21 80 (10.00-18.00).
Informational support: Information Agency TREND, television company LIDER TV