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. 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.
Notes to Editors:
- her shey qayidacaq translates to what comes around, goes around in Azeri, in reference to the cyclical patterns of history and its effect on regional development and national identity.