MIKAYIL ABDULLAYEV, GENNADIY BRIJATYUK, AIDA MAHMUDOVA, FYODOR PAVLOV-ANDREEVICH
Gazelli Art House is delighted to present her shey qayidacaq* a highly anticipated group show featuring Central Asia’s leading contemporary and modern artists, including Mikayil Abdullayev, Gennadiy Brijatyuk, Aida Mahmudova and Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich. The first show to exhibit works from the region since the gallery’s inception in 2003, Gazelli Art House examines national identity, tradition and history through this exceptional oeuvre. Located between East and West, the works combine tradition and folklore with an array of genres and techniques, adding to a unique contemporary art discourse.
Mikayil Abdullayev, one of Central Asia’s most renowned Impressionist painters, dedicated his work to his motherland, Azerbaijan. Folk artist Abdullayev has famously described his love for his native land: “Azerbaijan, my homeland. I do not tire of singing your beauty on the canvas as your child, your lover”. The grand, monumental works draw heavily from the natural and sublime beauty of Azerbaijan’s landscapes, as depicted in Goy Gol (The Blue Lake). Abdullayev has been credited as a notable contributor to the consolidation of art and national identity in Azerbaijan during the Soviet era. His portrayals of poetic notions of folk history, rural life and eminent public figures lauded Abdullayev as one of the most prominent Azeri artists of the twentieth century.
Gennadiy Brijatyuk’s paintings, characterised by his experimentation with colour, tone, texture and style, signify a unique voice during the Soviet rule. Brijatyuk’s distinctive works offered a new trend in contemporary art in Azerbaijan in the form of dissident art. Belonging to the Absheron School, Brijatyuk, amongst other notable figures, criticised the system through their innovative and non-conformist art. Today, his works, reflecting an adoration of the natural beauty of his hometown, are generating greater recognition and a newfound acceptance within Azerbaijan, and beyond.
In conversation with the masterpieces of these classical Azerbaijani painters of the twentieth century is internationally celebrated contemporary artist, Aida Mahmudova. Drawing inspiration from the rich landscape and architectural relics of her hometown, Azerbaijan, Mahmudova works across installation, sculpture and painting to capture the essence of forgotten memories. Addressing the concept of nostalgia, Mahmudova commemorates a moment in time lost within a post-Soviet scramble for a new self-identity. Through her work, this concept of identity is continually altered and re-assessed to reflect an underlying tension experienced by a generation discovering a newfound independence. Rendering the details of her large-scale compositions with her hands, Mahmudova imbues a distinct sense of zeal into each artwork. The viewer is left with a powerful impression of a final image that amalgamates reality and fiction, the figurative with the abstract. A selection of her most recent works will be featured in the show.
Russian contemporary artist Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich creates provocative performances and site-specific installations as an alternative public space for the discussion of cultural transformations, social and global processes. Exploring the relationship between art and its audience, Pavlov-Andreevich will be conducting a live durational performance as part of the exhibition, constructed around the region’s evolution, identity and tradition. Adopting a “guerrilla” approach, his artwork has been presented worldwide under an esteemed ensemble of curators, including Hans Ulrich Obrist, RoseLee Goldberg, Klaus Biesenbach, and Marina Abramovic.
her shey qayidacaq explores the cyclical relationship between history and the present-day. It translates as what comes around, goes around from Azeri, in reference to the cyclical patterns of history and its effect on regional development and national identity. The development of national self-identity, style and cultural traditions are explored in this historic show. Raising significant questions concerning Azerbaijan and the region of Central Asia, Gazelli Art House is delighted to exhibit a stimulating and provocative array of works from a region with an increasingly visible artistic voice.
About the Artists:
- Mikayil Abdullayev (1921 – 2002, Baku, Azerbaijan), an alumnus of the Azimzadeh Azerbaijan Painting School (1939) and the Surikov Moscow State Painting Institute (1949), has exhibited extensively internationally including Paris, London, Berlin, Prague and Delhi to name a few. During his lifetime, Abdullayev has been celebrated as The People’s Artist of the USSR and Azerbaijan, the laureate of the International Jawaharlal Nehru Award, the State Award of the USSR, as well as the Lenin Award. Notable works include On the Fields of Azerbaijan (1963 – 5), On the Absheron (1964) and Khachmaz Girls (1982).
- Gennadiy Brijatyuk (1935 – 2008, Ganja, Azerbaijan) graduated from the A. Azimzade State Art College in Baku (1958). Many of Brijatyuk’s works are kept in the Azerbaijan National Art Museum; The Museum of Modern Art, Baku; Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan; The Artists Union of Russia, Moscow; The Ministry of Culture of Russia; in various galleries in Baku, France and Turkey; as well as private collections in Azerbaijan and abroad. In 1992, he was awarded with the esteemed title of the Honorary Painter of Azerbaijan.
- Aida Mahmudova (b.1982, Baku, Azerbaijan) received a B.F.A. from Central Saint Martin’s College in London (2006) and a B.A. from the American Intercontinental University (2009). In 2011, Mahmudova founded YARAT Contemporary Art Space, a non-governmental organisation promoting Azeri contemporary art both on a national and international level, supporting creativity of young people and helping to foster a cultural dialogue between Azerbaijan and other countries. She has held solo shows internationally including, amongst others, the YAY Gallery, Baku; Leila Heller Gallery, New York; Barbarian Art Gallery, Zurich. Since 2012, she is the Curatorial Director of the Baku Museum of Modern Art .
- Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich (b.1976, Moscow, Russia) is a visual artist, curator and museum director, as well as writer, theatre director, and filmmaker. Pavlov-Andreevich’s Performance Carousel, a performance installation consisting of a carousel divided into nine parts, was first shown in 2014 at Faena Arts Center in Buenos Aires, then in 2016 as opening event of Wiener Festwochen in Vienna and received Grand Prix at Kuryokhin Art Prize 2015. Pavlov-Andreevich lives and works between Moscow (where he looks after an artist-run space, Solyanka), London and São Paulo.