Iskander Vahitov, Graphic Artist and Aquarellist. Rafael Taktash

Issue #3 • 1153

Sunset. Board, water-colour. 1987 Iskander Vahitov was noticed as graphic artist at the art exhibitions held in Uzbekistan in the 1970s. He is an artist faithfully in love with the nature of Uzbekistan. He senses life of Central Asian nature in its ordinary and seemingly unremarkable corners. Over the years that have passed since his graduation from the Tashkent Theatre and Art Institute, Vahitov acquired solid professional skills, enabling him, freely and easily, with great expressivity and sometimes with jeweller’s exactitude of graphic signature, to reproduce everything that delights and surprises the artist’s selective and focused eye.

In Zaamin. Board, water-colour. 1982 Ankhor. Board, water-colour. 1989 Vahitov mastered many drawing techniques, particularly pencil and auto-lithography. In landscape compositions from the “My Chilanzar” series the master demonstrates his near virtuosity in the use of lithographic pencil, and how deeply he is imbued with the secret life of nature that survives amidst rumbling motorways and high-rise residential blocks of the big city. In this series Vahitov managed to reveal the different aspects of nature with remarkable subtlety and insight. In the language of realistic art, with a keen eye looking into the secret life of trees, shrubs, birds and water, and revealing the tiniest details of the changing nature in its continuous flow of life, the artist created aesthetically powerful and truly lyrical landscape compositions with a hand of a sophisticated master (“Springtime”, “Early Spring”, “The First Snow”, “Thaw”, “The Afternoon”, “Little Shepherd-Boy”).

Evening. Auto-lithograph. 1981 For a long time Vahitov followed the academic line in understanding the structure of a drawing sheet and the means employed to achieve expressiveness of a piece and its impact on the viewer. But the second half of the 1980s becomes a turning point in his art. In his watercolour compositions, which he paints on the basis of small studies and made in advance detailed sketches, rather than from nature, Vahitov, not without the influence of such a powerful master of contemporary Uzbek graphics as Medat Kagarov, starts gravitating toward a much more liberal and improvisational structure in his watercolor compositions.

Loshkerek.  Board, oil. 1991 Vahitov sacrifices many details and genre-specific elements for the sake of making sure the landscape produces the right impact, which is to impress. This evolution and change of his graphic art enables the artist to grasp not only nature’s measured pace, but also the concealed dynamics and power of earthly and cosmic energies that fill the nature and constitute the poetry of its changes and transformations, the pulsating rhythm of its musical essence.

The mountains of Khumsan. Canvas, oil. 1988 Khiva - the old street. 1999 To date, the greatest artistic value is attributed to Vahitov’s wonderful auto-lithographs from the “My Chilanzar” series, as well as his recent watercolour landscapes, where the artist successfully overcomes the gravity force of his former quiet and established manner that was based on sound realistic study of nature, and ventures into the unknown ground of relaxed and free from literal “follow-the-nature” exploration and comprehension of nature in its metaphorical, poetic, musical and rhythmic essence.

Rafael Taktash

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