To art biography of Shahnoz Abdullaeva

Issue #3 • 2228

Faces of angels and east princesses, contemplation and tranquility causing a dialogue that aspires to find embodiment not so much in thoughts but in feelings, – this is a world of pictures of Shahnoz Abdullaeva, which is getting immediate reaction of the soul of the person, not leaving him indifferent.

Abdullaeva is already famous in the republic master. Her works are distinguished with romantic fullness of characters, poetic perception of the life and emotional colour composition having absorbed the entire of heart experiences. The interest of Shahnoz to female subjects is logic and most organically corresponds to her creative searches. However, the lyrical element and riches of a colour palette are typical of many artists in the republic, but pictures of Shahnoz are recognized thanks to the special style determined by the experience in distemper. Already in the early works – “Dance” (1989), “Journey” (1989) – was revealed her particular talent of colourist. As if flown onto canvas, distemper allowed to achieve unusual effects: contrast colour combinations, at the first look, chaotic, dictate a rhythm of the composition; the subject forms are marked with expressive, laconic silhouette; in creation of a character is active a role of line and colour stain. Using for the composition two – three primary colours, Shahnoz achieves a variety of colour sounding thanks to their tonal development, creates the picture space where complex colors are repeated both in a background, and in the drawing.

Meanwhile, the decorative orientation is just an external layer in the interpretation of her works; history – that is a world, which attracts and inspires the young artist. Her heroines – the women from the past, real and invented, characters of myths and legends. Shahnoz romanticizes the history, gives author’s interpretation of the historical events, artistically and convincingly opens the life confirming aspect of world vision. She is striving to themes connected with Zoroastrianism, with deities of this ancient religion, to which she has devoted many works. How little we know about that time when the gods were young and beautiful… Shahnoz excitedly recreates this world experienced by her heart and embodied in spiritualized female characters appearing before the spectator as if through a colourful fog of centuries – “Grieving Anakhita” (1989) and “Maiden – moon” (1995). A special place in her creativity is occupied by a theme of Navruz – the ancient spring holiday, a symbol of the reviving nature, which also finds realization in the pictures devoted to women, – “Navruzoi” (1990), “Dilaram” (1990).

“The character of the woman has always excited me – goddesses, tsarinas, poetesses, heroines of myths and legends”, – says Shahnoz. Turning to the history became an important step, which has determined development of creative individuality of Sh.Abdullaeva. Significant role in this choice has played Chingiz Akhmarov, outstanding artist in painting and graphics, who on will of fortune became for her both a godfather and spiritual teacher. In 1970s he turned to experience of a medieval miniature, having put a direction in the modern fine arts of Uzbekistan. Chingiz Akhmarov has imparted to Shahnoz the love to unique masterpieces of antique and medieval art of Uzbekistan, poetry of Navoi… And if for him a source of creative inspiration was a miniature, Shahnoz made own choice – fresco, which the early medieval culture of Central Asia is so rich in.

Wall painting of Afrasiab and Varakhsha, Balalyk-tepa and Pyandjikent have been bringing up to us the surprising world, penetrated with light harmony and the entire of human being. Solemn scenes of feasts and receptions, bright, but not motley, in a course of time having obtained delicate tones, colours, the preserved fragments like precious stones flickering on a matte background of plaster, – all these elements give to frescos unbelievable charm. Ancient masters were able to achieve effective expressiveness, using a neutral local background and paying all attention to characters. Conventionality of figure and color, absence of active actions, static postures promoted creation of the atmosphere full of meditative mood. One of the first works of Shahnoz from this series became “Adjanta” (1991), devoted to the Indian Buddhist cave temples and monasteries. The originality of its composition bases on graphic reconstruction of the preserved subject fragments of frescos given on a monochrome background; Shahnoz creatively developed this method in her further works.

Fresco was the most accordant to already developed style having become as if a name card for Shahnoz’s works. Thus, she uses painting by means of a stain, with pouring over the big planes, a monochrome background, local tones, above the general background the separate details being accented are looked expressively. The artist is safely experimenting, involving methods of Buddhist iconography, fresco or book miniature, motives from applied arts of various epochs. It can be either patterns from Sogdian fabrics or Fergana carpets, or moire of abrian silks (“Sevin-Bika”, 1995). Included in a composition, they create effect of “recognition”, associate works with this or that cultural tradition. Interpretation of elements from art heritage gives up features of originality to Shahnoz’s pictures; sometimes on canvas is created the paradoxical mix, but attempts of its intellectual analysis are broken before the force of emotional sounding of the works. Among them – “Bakhram-Gur in the Purple Palace” (1994), “Bibi-Khanym in gardens of Temur” (1995) and others where can be revealed reminiscences of various epochs. However, the expressive texture, the distemper as if spreading over a canvas, the refined colour combinations – dark blue and golden-yellow or coral and emerald-green create mysterious, out-historical universe where any associations are pertinent. Such creative approach to the heritage, far from external stylization, allows seeing in her works the creative dialogue between tradition and author, in which they are equal.

In some pictures it is impossible to ignore biographical features: “Araba of Happiness ” (1995), “Bride” (1995). They are distinguished with organic unity of the character and colour development. “Araba of Happiness ” – a favourite subject in painting of Shahnoz, which obtained a nature of a capacious symbol – the mysterious in her loneliness heroine, accompanied by angels, is going towards her fate. The quite palette – green, ochre-golden tones, precious flecks of dark blue – creates a mood of fresh and pure youth. Expressive is the picture “Bride” full of quite triumph, based on a combination of turquoise and yellow tones – deep, cool shadows and bright light of a sunny day – as a tribute of love to Matisse, to his works devoted to the women of the East.

Many times, looking at the works of Shahnoz, Chingiz Akhmarov surprised: “For me is important the accuracy of a line, and in your pictures – harmony of colour”. Actually, their works have much common; they create around the aura of quietness and good, at the same time they are very different – graphic accuracy of the first is in opposition to spiritualized elements of painting space of another.

How many time he drew her – a gentle oval of the face, soft look from under eyelashes… To memory on those days Shahnoz created self-portraits, aspiring to restore suddenly interrupted the string of time. So appeared the picture “Nostalgia” (1997), where a figure of the girl – as if the illusive image has suddenly arisen from nonexistence and disappeared there again. Escaping image in turquoise-pink sea of adras, deep shadows on the face as insistent aspiration of memory to return back to the world of the lost harmony and to make memoirs true again. “The soul is thirsting for that has lost, and is flying away on wings of imagination back to the past… ” (Petronum Arbitrator, “Satyricon”).

Logically in these years, her brush reproduced angels, a host of angels as involuntary aspiration to feel presence of the godfather, his care and support. So appeared the pictures “Turquoise Angel” (1995), “Copper Angel” (1995), “Thoughtful Angel” (1997), “Pearl” (1998), “Angel and bird” (1998), where author’s style has reached the maximum expressiveness, internal intensity and dramatic sounding. These works reveal the strongest facets of painting talent of Shahnoz – deep poetry created by refinement of colour, skill to create harmony from chaos of colour spots that is revealed by the found silhouette, by a light line. Contrast or close in the sounding, precisely found combinations of tones each time create a new character, another atmosphere – either thoughtfulness and pensiveness or alarms and forefeeling of changes, detachments and mystery; force of temperament in some works combines with elegiac calmness in the other. The second half of 1990s – a difficult period in the art biography of Shahnoz. In spite of already formed author’s style, she aspired to experiments, and these efforts to break frameworks of formed methods revealed boldness of the young master, decisive creative searches and strong creative potential.

The subjects have been the same – Navruz, traditional ceremonies (“Wedding procession”, 1998), subjects from Navoi’s poems, as earlier female characters were prevailing – “Zaringiz” (1998), “Maiden – moon” (1998), “Princess of Semirechie” (1998). Compositions of pictures became more complex and richer, the element of action became more active, but the colour palette changed – appeared more dark spots, accurate drawing of background and details substituted vibrating colourful mirage (“Madonna”, 1998; “Bibi-Khanym”, 1998). At the same time, Shahnoz creates works, which have kept light and transparent colour: “Bakhram-Gur in the Saffron-yellow Palace” (1997), “Probation” (1998) where everything – from drawing and subject up to refined, in pastel tones abstract color solution – is penetrated with an atmosphere of secret revelations and forbidden luxury…

The first years of this century have been marked by further searches Shahnoz has been doing for new plastic and painting language, enriching of a genre and thematic orientation of the works, which bear the original mosaic technique turning the pictures into placer of gems. Supported by expressive plastics of subject forms it is giving a bright decorative effect. Such are pictures “Still-life with a pomegranate” (2001), “Three graces” (2002), “Gifts. Dedication to Chingiz Akhmarov” (2002). However, in spite of all transformations in style bringing either pleasure of success or sense of displeasure, how it often and normally happens during creative process, the world of her pictures is still romantic, filled up with sorcery of colour.

“I would like to create pictures which would inspire quietness and harmony in a soul of weary person”, – says Shahnoz. These words express not just creative credo of the young master, but also spiritual participation in mentality and traditions of the oriental culture, her fully realized aspiration to achieve its eternal values.

Author: Elmira Gyul

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