Ayrin Allaberghenova, Art Critic
The canvases of Batyr Allaberghenov are an example of a full infiltration of personal creativity into the modern art, a continuation of the high development level in the contemporary painting. The master used to live with a constant feeling of something new in life, responding to it by expressing his attitude towards the life. The paintings of B. Allaberghenov open a new plane in the fine arts, as a special kind of powerful pictorial plastic. Creative synthesis of the rich cultural and artistic traditions of the Central Asian peoples is seamlessly combined in the artist’s works, who has a great knowledge of the masterpieces of world painting. The artist had studied the art in the global context, the paintings of the old European masters; he loved the art of P. Cezanne, P. Filonov, A. Volkov, M. Kurzin, V. Ufimtsev. It is understandable since at the beginning of the XX century. diverse and contradictory phenomena of the Western and the Russian culture (Symbolism, Miriskusnichestvo, Cubism, Constructivism, Rayonism, Suprematism, Futurism, Cubic Futurism and others) had an impact on the artistic life of the Central Asian republics, including Uzbekistan. The painting art of B. Allaberghenov is a vivid example of the synthesis of the Eastern and Western art systems, and their eternal ideological and artistic dispute that makes the art of this master so diverse and interesting. Unusually thoughtful attitude to the best traditions of the art of previous generations and their skillful development had enabled the artist to create such pictures that fascinate with their wisdom, magical simplicity of humor and good-hearted irony, while the methods of artistic implementation of reality are always associated with the image of mother Earth and the concept of Space, Nature and History. Deeply symbolic philosophical style of this master of painting is natural to the different trends of art: folk and grotesque, cubism and avant-garde and so on, Thus, in his painting “Dream”, where the color scheme is represented by red and green colors, the natural forms are being dissected on clear prismatic planes, forming a moving crystal structure, where one can notice the tendency of analytical cubism. In his painting “Tango” belonging to the so-called “synthetic” phase of cubism, the artist depicts a graphical characters (numbers, notes, labels), objects, characters, segregated into a color and a picture. The texture of the painting exfoliates from the visual form; the visual characters of different planes are regrouping themselves and forming a complex game of plastic correlations. In such post-cubism paintings as “Music” and “Angel” the coloration is based on the clear shades of blue, yellow, and ultramarine colors and their shades. The items separated by contours are parallel to the brought closely together planes.
The development of creative research of B. Allaberghenov occurs in the 70s – 80s of the last century, when, along with realistic setting and its antipode, the artists came across a “third way” – the perspective of the art that is declaring its independence from other spheres of the social life. In the 80s increases the multifunctional character of the art, its perception as a value, which, certainly, was reflected in the creative works of Batyr Allaberghenov – “Olympics-80”, “The Cotton Pickers” and others. The paintings of the artist of this period are distinguished by the poetic expression of painting, creating a picture of the world, where a simple reality exists as a symbol of higher ideals. So, his painting “Olympics-80” depicts a Tajik teen with a string bag filled with soccer balls. The joy of the boy from involvement in such a large and important event in the world of sports can be seen in his eyes and his smile. The master tends to represent the image of a teenager in the new light – from a child to the beginning athlete, who already has a goal in life. The attention of the viewer concentrates on the boy’s face, his glowing eyes. The composition of the picture is diagonal; in the background is a group of sportsmen during their training that somehow is balancing the entire painting canvas. Thanks to the color option this picture seems festive, while the bold use of bright decorative colors, clear post-cubism brushwork give a sense of elation over the seemingly ordinary actions in the lives of athletes.
Harmonious in composition and color is the painting “The Cotton Pickers” that belongs to the same period of the artist’s creative life. It portrays a group of girls picking cotton. The composition of the painting is a well-defined circuit. For many artists it is difficult to create a circular composition, however in “The cotton Pickers”, because of the specifics and peculiarities of the painting style of the artist, it is visually “whirling”. In the faces of young women picking cotton, in the curves of their hands, the beauty of their head shawls, creating the flowing draperies, the artist was able to express the vivid characters, the beauty and dignity of women. This picture evokes in a viewer a desire to enjoy watching these women. In terms of color palette this picture is done somewhat graphically, so as not to distract a viewer from its plot, from the beauty and spirituality of working people.
The desire to depict what was happening in real life, its hidden nature, the deep connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm, the reflection of the inner world and the outer one on the picture had contributed to the creation of the paintings by the artist communicating a high level of symbolism, expressing a semantic space through artistic figures charged with information. Such are his paintings – “The Stork”, “Sunset”, “Noon”. “The Stork” is a portrait of a young man, depicted side-face, on whose head the stork has made its nest. Composition of this picture is vertical, there is a certain dominant or even an exclamation point, which is sort of drawing attention to the environmental problems and the estrangement of a human being from the nature. Clear attitude of the artist to his subject speaks about love and commitment of the artist to the Earth, nature and its inhabitants. The color contrasts in this painting – blue mountains, blue sky and a clear red-orange circle of the Sun in the upper right corner of the painting, where all composition lines run to, create a single conceptual and creative message.
The artist’s urge to depict the life, its concealed essence, reflect the deep connection between microcosm and macrocosm, the internal and external aspects of the world are characteristic of his painting, “Noon”, as well. On this painting the conditional symbols contain a multi-level meaning. This painting depicts either a camel, or a man in the turban, or a multitude of camels contained in one. It is evident that this picture charges the viewer with vivacity and energy through the warm rich hues. The artist admires the curves and shapes, the animal’s figure, presenting to the viewer the different perspectives and aspects, praising the beauty of the desert and its inhabitants. According to Isaac Levitan, it is not enough to paint the earth, the sky, the tree, the painting must transfuse the feeling, which will unite and bind them into a coherent whole. It seems like the artist had achieved it. The concept of dialectics and balancing at the level of summative relations of all his characters allow the formulation of his artistic ideas as myths. An allegory, a picturesque metaphor of the infinity of the world’s substance, reminds of the words of the great philosopher, A. F. Losev, that “a symbol is a sign with an infinite number of meanings.” For B. Allaberghenov is typical the use of images and symbols incarnating the “eternal” ideas, and if we follow his creative art throughout his life, we will see the infinite canvas, where there is another reality, a kind of the picture of the world, where all the characters are interconnected. His characters are people, birds, animals, nature, sky, clouds that always on the verge of the real world and fable reflecting the inner world of the artist. His characters are multi-faceted and comprehensive. Each work of the artist has the aesthetic artistic value, where everything happens according to its own laws. Allaberghenov’s art shows several trends – realistic, romantic, cubist, poetic, by means of which the artist expresses his “inherent” memory of the culture, heart and soul…
The color scheme in the works of B. Allaberghenov changes in certain periods of his creative activity. The early paintings demonstrate the quite limited set of colors and a huge number of their combinations, which was due to his educational background in graphics, the influence of his beloved Spanish mysticism trend (El Greco), and a search for his own individual symbolic system. Over time, the artist’s palette becomes more varied and bright, because the color is always associated with accomplishment of the figurative-symbolic and stylistic objectives.
Specifics of the composition of the paintings of the artist should be also noted. He paid great attention to compositional structure, as he believed this was the principal and the foremost mean of expressing his creative vision. The system of plastic composition of the painting in the artist’s works is multifaceted; it can be studied at different levels. Philosophical and romantic saturation of his symbolic images is extremely expressive owing to the verified organization of space, harmony, and rhythm of composition of the paintings, where the content is expressed through the symbolism of color and structure, through the music of color patches, rhythmic and graphical accomplishment.
The art of B. Allaberghenov is a powerful spiritual energy, a complex tuning fork of semantic temporal layers, despite of its apparent simplicity. “The power of art,” wrote N. Roerich, “is in its non-accountability, its spontaneity, its good intuition. Only in such aspirations lies the victory of art – its mysterious credibility and contagion. Intuition reveals the true joy of the spirit.” Creativeness of B. Allaberghenov is an occasion for joy and peace, for contemplation and reflection. His art can be called Bohemian or elitist, because his work expresses a serious spiritual position of a human being, it is a monumental, rarely seen today, style of painting, a rare gift to see, to observe, to depict and to transfer the infinite love…