There is a category of artists whose works are in plain view of the public, but the public do not know the names of the authors who are not striving for glory or fame. Among them is our contemporary Soliy Kadirov, graduate of the Tashkent State Pedagogical Institute named after Nizami, native to Khorezm. He is well-known in the circle of his colleagues – artists, miniature painters, sculptors, potters and metal engravers. The fact is that Soliy has long since mastered all these trades thoroughly and fundamentally. Naturally, he never aspired to the universality of the great Picasso whom he idolized, yet Kadirov’s creative interests are rather extensive.
While student, Kadirov tirelessly engaged in painting. However, attending the classes of sculptor Abdumumin Baimatov, lecturer at the Institute, the young artist developed an interest towards the secrets of sculpturing and as early as during his student years took part in a national contest for the best sculpture of Nasreddin Afandi and came out a winner.
After graduation Soliy Kadirov became enthusiastic about monumental art and took an interest in decorating various public buildings, cultural centres and the like. He dreamt of large-scale compositions that could beautify urban environment. Many of his ideas have been implemented. If you happen to visit Khorezm Region, in Urgench, Khiva, Yangiaryk and Yangibazar you are bound to see the specimens of his art such as monumental compositions “Khorezm” (ceramics), “The Great Silk Road” (ceramics), “Avaz Utar” (concrete), “The Ox” (metal, copper), and “Ajdar” (ceramics). Through these works the author tried to express the rich and unique cultural heritage of Khorezmian people. Ethnographic elements and folklore characters in his works are creatively played around and interpreted through the prism of the artist’s personal vision. The author has been able to reflect the lifestyle, spiritual world, dreams and aspirations, the sense of humour, joie de vivre and romanticism of the Khorezmians, having found convincing images and methods. At the same time, in his avant-garde works he is looking for unconventional approaches and new, interesting themes.
According to the artist, not always he explored different genres and kinds of fine and decorative/applied art at his own choice, for sometimes the choice was determined by circumstances which, however, helped the development of all aspects of his creative personality.
When creating costumes and still for the productions of the Khorezm regional puppet theatre, Kadirov remained true to the local ethnographic tradition. At the same time, he skilfully employed artistic means such as grotesque and conventionality of drawing, which show the author’s imaginativeness.
In the artist’s pottery items one can sense tradition inherent to the ceramics from Khorezm region. Prevalent greenish, blue and white colours of Khorezmian pottery have acquired a new “sound” in the items wrought by Kadirov when he selected their different hues. Harmonious combinations, one colour growing into another, and the interplay of paints give his items a distinct decorative effect. The same kind of refined work with colour can be found in Kadirov’s easel paintings. In works such as “Autumnal Khiva”, “Summery Khiva” “Blue Khiva”, and “Violet Khiva” colouristic expression dominates. Dedicating his works to the historical monuments of this ancient city, the artist’s purpose is not to present them in a naturalistic fashion, but to communicate emotional impression from their mysterious and unparalleled beauty through unrestrained colour. Reproducing in colours the charm of architectural masterpieces in different seasons, the master helps the viewer to deeply sense the magic atmosphere of the historical city.
Despite the fact that Kadirov was born and raised in the city (Urgench), he gives particular attention to rural theme. Almost primeval rural nature, its colours, people living in the province, their traditions and customs – everything is a source of inspiration for the artist. His works dedicated to the rural theme such as “To a Wedding Party”, “The Family”, and “The Land of Elms” are remarkable in terms of their streamlined composition, the absence of redundant details and accuracy of representing the nature.
Almost in his every work Kadirov wants to glorify the culture of Khorezm that is ethnographically rich and distinctive. Yet it is not only ethnographic content that saturates his works: these are rich in emotional hues as well. For instance, the painting “To a Wedding Party” is created in a romantic key and yet carries a humorous attitude. The observant artist very accurately communicates information about his characters’ personalities: an old man and an old woman, a young married peasant woman and a boy. Clever plastic solutions guarantee success of the painting. The item titled “Musicians” is also impregnated with the spirit of tradition. Compositions dedicated to traditional games give the viewer a light-hearted mood.
Soliy Kadirov has also been rather successful as a sculptor. His particular noteworthy works include “Sardor” (“The Leader”, gypsum), “En Route” (wood), and “Caterpillar” (wood, metal). Like many other Khorezmian masters, Soliy enjoys working with wood. The popularity of woodcarving has to do with the fact that Khorezm is rich in this material, and the expertise has been carried over through generations since long time in this part of the country. Kadirov instantly discerns the images hidden in the thick of the timber and, as Rodin put it, quickly cuts off the redundant matter.
When creating the portraits of his contemporaries, the artist also employs gypsum and ceramics. He tries to reflect the inner world of his models by observing their character and behaviour. Items such as “Sardor, the Team Leader”, “Vahob Fayziev”, and “The Woman” can be the examples of his success in the portrait genre. But in whatever genre the artist works, he puts all the heat of his heart and soul into every piece he creates.
Exploring the art work of Soliy Kadirov, we reconnect with traditions and characters of the original and unique culture of Khorezm presented in the diverse, in types and genres, works created by this interesting artist.