Song of the Soul

Issue #2 • 1762

At the Central Exhibition Hall of the Academy of Arts was held the personal exhibition of Yanis Salpinkidi, devoted to his diamond anniversary. Now, in the period of artist’s creative maturity, it is possible to trace, how was growing intensity of his creative self – expression.

How was developing the career of Yanis Salpinkidi? Becoming of the soul can not been found in facts of the biography, we can just feel it, comparing the last pictures with the current. It fell out that those artists, which, in the 1970s, in the period of hardened socialist realism, were cultivating art freedom and internal independence, arising in the 1960s, became carriers and exponents of major tendencies, which have determined the essence of contemporary art process in Uzbekistan. Though such artists were not numerous (including Yanis Salpinkidi), the fact of their existence speaks for new tendencies in art (1).

The early works of the artist bear traces of influence of his teacher, Yusuf Elizarov. For example a cyclus of still-lives (“Still-life with a pumpkin “, 1978; “Still-life on a gold background”, 1979). At the first look, they create impression of heaviness and some darkness of color, but they already expose marks of the artist’s talent as a colorist, his intent attention to principles of decorative effect. His works had the features, characteristic for monumental pictures.

In order to understand painting of Yanis Salpinkidi better, it is necessary to pay attention to his landscapes. The artist said that plein-air work made his pictures light by tone, enriched a palette, and the landscape became a foundation of all of his art. Constant development of skill and permanent searches for philosophical essence of each work – in this way could be characterized the early landscapes of the artist (“Irises. Suburb of Bukhara”, 1974; “Sacred Bukhara”, 1976; “Seeds of life”, 1976; “Late autumn. Thistle”, 1977). He studied a nature, creating numerous etudes, aspiring to find the most characteristic compositional solution, to transmit originality of the chosen landscape, its beauty, his own emotions and feelings, caused by the nature. Adherence of the artist to the most expressive conditions of the nature is obvious: late autumn, hot summer, cold winter twilight. Extremely rich in color and tonal range moments allowed the artist to charge pictures by strong emotional impulse, which completely “removed” seeming depictive character, inevitable in landscapes, making his works not simply art equivalent of some real phenomenon, but expression of deep creative feelings.

Alongside with progress of professional skills, the tasks became more and more complicated. The expressive compositional scheme and initial color shade, “adjusting” color sounding of a picture were equally important for the artist alongside with deep considering of informative aspect of a landscape. This new side of Y. Salpinkidi’s art allows to say that the artist closely approached realization of that task, which always was basic in landscape painting – organic synthesis of realism of a plastic form and deep philosophical content of reality.

In the 1980s, pictures became bigger; details, also becoming bigger, as if stepped to a foreground, inviting a spectator to silent dialogue. The painting had become more pastel, the light on canvases obtained full power; bright decorativeness had become a distinctive feature of his art (“Iranian cemetery”, 1982; “Mountain flowers. Khumsan”, 1987; “Spring in mountains “, 1987; “Lyabi-House. Bukhara”, 1988).

In 1990s, a style of landscapes survived full transformation, searches for expressive color solutions accompanied the searches for original compositions. The cyclus of mountain landscapes was created in that period (“Ak-Tash”, 1994; “Landscape with red stones”, 1994; “Landscape with yellow stones “, 1994; “Spring and trees”, 1995). They brightly expose, how the etude is developed compositionally, becoming a picture.

The artist aspired to make a picture, which could combine finished and integral expression of figurative concept of a landscape and own decorative ideas. Initially, he composed his picture on a basis of the etude, systematizing its separate elements in integral composition, subordinating the color solution to flatness and decorativeness (“Old sweet cherry tree”, 1992; “Spring and snow”, 1990; “Night spring. Autumn”, 2000). Then, he focused attention on a line – the subjects lost clear contours. Now, they represent coiling, pulsing, growing color substrates, in which, however, we can catch some primary form. For example, “Cactuses on Lekaviton” (1994) and “Springs” (1993).

Yanis Salpinkidi visited Greece, his native land, but love for antiquity captured him much earlier, after acquaintance with Alexander Ivanov’s works. There, on the beach of the Mediterranean sea, the artist created a cyclus of landscapes: “Olive trees and stones”, 1996; “The Aegean sea”, 1997″; “Sight of Euboea”, 1997. “Olive trees and stones” is a dialogue of the artist with Van Gog. The picture breaks the borders and the soul of the artists starts her own dialogue with a spectator, which through stones, eternal olive trees, reminding human remains, says about hard destiny of the Greeks. At Y. Salpinkidi, olive trees became a symbol of the Greek people.

Gradually, the artist stood out from a pure landscape, more and more often introducing figures of naked women, interpreting them as a part of the nature. Transmitting integrity and contrast of a soft female body and a firm stone, ovality of stones and female forms, the master as if created effect of full exposure of the nature before a spectator. Sometimes, contours of female figures can be seen in a form of huge rocks (“Spring at dawn”, 1996). Such interpretation speaks about latent preparation for realization of the big multi-figured picture (“Bathers. Symphony of white stones”). Notes in the diary of the artist about this picture were done ten years ago. For that period, he had made numerous etudes, graphic sketches, and in a result – final sketch “Bathers” (1999), which became a base of his future picture. For Salpinkidi, this work forms original dialogue with Sezanne. This picture was inspired by foothills of the Ak-Tash, where the artist specially went to accumulate the material for his etudes.

He so concentrated the attention on a line, color and dynamics, that female figures became something like essences, having merged with the nature. Meanwhile, they are not lifeless dolls, deprived of some internal essence, but material creatures, coiling among stones and rocks, grown by trees dynamically stretching upward – pink, dark blue and green bodies surrounded by silvery light. The words of K. Malevich suddenly come to the mind – “painting grows by means of wood, stone, trees” (2). At the same time, this is happy, free youth and expression of carefree happiness. Picturesque lines are entwisted quite naturally. The composition is not imposed by any outer images besides the nature and organically reflects the individual world of the artist. According to art critic E. Akhmedova, in this picture, “the internal structure and composition is clearly traced; this is a new compositional scheme of a big picture “.

Aspiration to integral world of art, which differs from the world of the nature allows the artist to create works, perfect initially and at the same time, opening new sides of the art.

Author: Dilnoza Tulanova

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