More than fourty years ago, the fortune brought together two remarkable artists, Galina Grigorievna and Alexander Vladimirovich Lee. Being students of the art school, they married and since then have never separated, going on the lifeway arm-in-arm. Quite natural, that the talented parents were given the talented daughters – Tatiana and Maria, whose fortune, as they say, have been predetermined “from above”: both of them became artists. It is remarkable, that the spouse of the elder daughter, Tanya, Alexander Doncherovich Lee is a professional graphic artist. Today five artists live and work in the hospitable house. All of them are members of the Association of Artists at the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan and actively participate in the art and cultural life of the republic. This is a rare family with amazing history, whose activity and ethic principles are in conformity with love for the native land, children, friends, for home, for each other and, certainly, – for art! It is a true “oasis” where spirituality and high culture of human relations are reigning. The head of the family, Alexander Vladimirovich Lee, comes from Marghilan. He grew at children’s home. He can not remember himself when he did not draw. His sense of purpose and strong desire to comprehend basic principles of the composition and color brought the young fellow to the art school by P. Benkov where his teachers were A. Goldrey, A. Gan, N. Shin, D. Kim and N. Limakov. After the school he continued his education at the Institute of Theatre and Art of A. Ostrovsky where his teachers were I. Yurovsky and N. Park. Having received fundamental education, A. Lee started to work independently. Alongside with publishing and pedagogical activity he created pictures, which have been often exposed since 1964. The most significant from them are such, as diptych “1961″, “The Aral”, “Yin-Yang”, “Birthday”, “Pegas”, “Evening”, “Buddha”, ” Ghilan’s yard “, “Mirage”, “Dream”, “Baby”, “Silence”, “The defeated”, a graphic cycle of autobiographical lithographs and others.
A. Lee is a multifarious artist. With really oriental wisdom he is contemplating the essence of life, good and evil, love and hate, harmony and chaos in the world. Being a talented drawer and perfect colorist, he as if soaring in the space created by himself, aspiring to catch a thin border “between a black and white square of the life”. The works of Alexander Lee are exhibited at the museums of Tashkent, Samarkand and Shahrisabz. His works are in private collections of Russia, Korea, America, Germany, Italy, France and Holland. The artist says that he is a happy man: “I have got beloved and wise wife, Galina, two talented daughters – Tanechka and Mashenka; son-in-law Sasha, really becoming my own son, and two grandsons – Gosha and Soga. Probably, they will follow my art way”. Galina Grigorievna Lee forms a center of this big and united family of artists. For 30 years she has trained students at the National institute of arts and design by K. Bihzad. Currently, G. Lee is a well- known illustrator of 50 publications. These are national fairy tales and art classics, school textbooks and encyclopedias. She is a bright representative and carrier of the best traditions of children’s book illustration art. She considers E. Charushin, V. Pakhomov and V. Konashevich as her spiritual teachers.
“Children always inspired me. They can teach in many things. They are open and pure, as spring water. We should do all our best for children as they are our future ” – Galina Grigorievna says. Working at the illustrations, she does not search for types somewhere afar. Prototypes and heroes of fairy tales are her children, grandsons and nephews, children of her neighbours and friends. All her works demonstrate the highest professionalism and wide ethnographic diapason of artist’s thinking. All illustrations bear bright national color, they are expressive, original and colourful. If to list all books, which were illustrated by Galina Grigorievna Lee, it will take much time. We can mention just some of them: “Golden key”, “Kalevala”, H. C. Andersen’s fairy tales, fairy tales of brothers the Grimm, ” Dove and Fox”, “Legends of Kazakhstan “, “Pinocchio”, “How the geese rescued Rome”, “Oriental fairy tales” and many others. Under her magic brush each fairy tale is touchingly animated, causing the whole scale of feelings in children’s hearts. This is a true magic and skill of the artist’s transformation loving children from the bottom of the heart.
Lee Tatiana represents the second generation of this dynasty. As a painter, she made herself known at the beginning of the 1990s, still being a student. Her first works are caused by various literary plots; the early images are marked by some constraint and artificiality of color solutions. Since 2000, Tatiana has achieved a charm of plein-air in all its beauty. In the same period, with a group of artists she moved from the city to a mountain village nearby Charvak. Having loved the local landscape and pure air, the rivers and trees, field flowers and a rural life, narrow streets and bridges, sunrises and sunsets, she filled up her works with a life and direct impression of a nature. Plein-air has opened a new color perception. Enjoying the nature of Charvak, she draws strength in from the environment which becomes a source of true inspiration. The subjects is easily guessed in names of the pictures: “The way to home”, “In the street of Nikitin “, “Season of rains “, “Rebellious February”, “Winter garden “, “Sound of heat “, “Sunflowers”, “Poppies “, “Cherry”, “Summer”, “Pomegranates”. Her current works essentially differ in rich imagination and eccentric abstraction, integrity and freshness of perception. Tatiana works quickly and impulsively, as if hurries up to fix not only what she saw, but what deeply experienced.
A revel of colors and its force, easiness in painting and confidence of wide brush touch are balanced by quivering subjects. And, on the contrary, a deep sense of the picture is discharged and balanced by gentle and transparent semitones. To catch, find and create all this – extremely difficult problem. Having overcome a lot of difficulties and having shown a strong will, Tatiana found this harmony through trials and errors and formed as self-sufficient and gifted artist.
Another representative of the young generation of the art dynasty – Maria Lee-Safi. Her creative leanings incline to combination of the reality and fantasy. Creating the fantastic environment, she organically brings a spectator into fantastic world, where are flying Pegases, where the queen of Bactra is listening to romantic music, where are running magic transformations and quaint dreams are becoming true. Looking at such works as “Reflection”, “Tree”, “Her Majesty “, “My son”, “Girl and bird “, “Centaur”, “Semurg”, “Mermaids”, ” Bactrian princess”, “Transaction”, “Eastern suite “, we as if get into the world of the artist, which embodies a dream on a canvas.
Metamorphoses in her art, – either in the graphics or painting, are caused by her extreme diligence. The dramaturgy of her pictures is always expressive and recognizable. The manner of painting is scrupulous and delicate. She gravitates to decorative ornaments and patterns. Carefulness and diligence demonstrated by her works cause some reminiscences with laborious work of lacemakers and embroiderers. Having inherited from the parent a patience and capacity for work, Maria with full responsibility and devotion is occupied both in art and pedagogical activity. She can see “Divine spark” in children and can help to light it.
Actively participating in exhibitions, M. Lee is full of projects and new ideas. Despite her youth, her works can be seen in the State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan, and this is an indicator of good potential of the artist.
The fifth member of the family – Alexander Doncherovich Lee, is, perhaps, the most mysterious and unpredictable. Being a brilliant graphic artist, the master of etching and a teacher, it is involved in ceramics and mini sculpture. In creative process as essentially important he considers discovery of new properties and qualities of known art materials and their practical application. Overcoming some difficulties in work and permanently experimenting, he aspires to creative researches in the field of new technologies.
He is a kind and sympathetic person, reliable and considerate. By his world perception and world vision he is a philosopher. Illustrative for his art are such etchings, as “Lakes of childhood “, “Imeretti”, “Flowering”, “City of childhood”, “Simply”, “Snail”, “Three variations”. Alexander Doncherovich gives a lot of time to his students. Leaning on experience of his creative and pedagogical activity, he hopes to issue a methodical book on teaching in etching.
Summing up all said above, it should be emphasized that this phenomenal family of artists is a true “gold” fund of our republic. All its five members are talented and at the same time very individual. Sincere devotion to the art where is running creative magic and “sacrament of divine beginnings” tightly unites them.
Author: Gulshan Ismailova