Unification and accord

Sayora Nazarova,
art critic

Maxim Vardanyan and Daima Rakhmanbekova is a couple of the artists who created an amazing tandem based on complete mutual understanding and comprehensive harmony. Their family is an interweaving of sincere and spiritual life, common moods, needs and thoughts. The unity and interrelationship condition is not an abstract philosophical category for them, but the strong, amazing, interesting world, in which the Art is a unifying and all-consuming beginning.
The first exhibition of the artist Maxim Vardanyan took place in the 1980-ies. Expressional, full of dramatic nature images of the first works of M. Vardanyan excited, aroused a lot of emotions, forcing to think and reflect. Absolutely different feelings left M. Vardanyan’s paintings, after his returning from Paris, where he had lived and worked for many years. At the exhibition in Ilkhom in 2009 M. Vardanyan showed to the Tashkent viewers absolutely deferent World, his painting became high-class! It gained power and at the same time tenderness, delicacy and strength, freedom and confidence, it has ceased to excite and began to worry! His still life paintings are mainly flowers, born in the depth of the heart and moved on the canvas by the artist’s inspiration. He did not lose the expression in his paintings; he simply moved to another condition, when the canvas reflects the artist’s internal burning.
His working period in Tashkent was designated by just stunning formats. The art critic Kamola Akilova said about the exhibition of still life paintings held in the Fine Arts Gallery of Uzbekistan in the framework of the Tashkent International Biennale 2013: “Among Maxim’s paintings you feel as a tiny fairy in a fantastic flower garden”. The splendor bordering on luxury and pastosity bordering on generosity is peculiar to M. Vardanyan’s colorful and textured paintings. The color palette of his works is an element of the esthetic embodiment of his own reality. His coloring is intensive and very energetic, and the range is diverse each time.
M. Vardanyan is from those artists, who are always in search. He changes, but at the same time, always remains true to himself. The exhibition “Space of Color” held in the Fine Arts Gallery of Uzbekistan in April, 2016 is an eloquent confirmation of this. Works that he presented at this exhibition reflect two independent aspects of his creativity. In one he continues the theme of flower still life. Another is a new round for him, which is directed towards ornamental painting. M. Vardanyan’s paintings are still rich on color and structure. Each dab, each contact of the brush are full of the authentic understanding and comprehension of his ideas, he with amazingly exact confidence knows how to reach the desired effect.
In the series of huge still life paintings of the artist the subject line is not so brightly expressed, gradually moving away to the background. The main thing for him is painting itself; it is a love, source, means and form. The center of the composition as a certain system of coordinates represents a vase, which is gradually, as if acquiring the flesh, made of flowers. In this series the vase – the center increasingly becomes like a throne, evoking certain thoughts. The throne in the East, since long time, was considered as a symbol and attribute of absolute and divine power, at the same time in Asian symbolism it is a mystical Center of the world between heaven and earth; certain synthesis of all great and real, reliability and balance, relationship between Art and person. The vase-center as a certain center of gravity, which probably contains the artist’s aspiration to involve the audience in his world, is his attempt to unite the souls of the artist and the viewer.
M. Vardanyan’s love to art, his life observations and knowledge, led the artist to some convention, leaving from plausibility in favor of expressiveness, where art truthfulness gives way to more figurativeness, haziness, reconsideration, which gives a true revelation and special atmosphere to his works. He possesses an amazing capability to create mood of the paintings, which adjusts the viewer on a certain harmony. The manner, with which M. Vardanyan applies paints on the canvas, is still pastose, traces of the brush, palette knife, and sometimes – even his fingers are clearly noticeable. The multi-layer texture of paintings reflects the flow of the turbulent emotions and experiences overflowing the artist at the time of creativity.
Ornamental compositions are completely different form, where the East and West surprisingly harmoniously merged. The East was always shown in M. Vardanyan’s works, now it gained full strength. Passion and love to the Oriental ornamentation, as well as to the complicated, multi-layer texture give to the composition another rhythm. His ornamental compositions are somewhat similar to the traditional Uzbek fabrics abounding with fanciful patterns. But it is not blind imitation, but a certain message to the oriental ornamentation, the aspiration to show to the whole world his own interpretation of the East, his love and understanding. Narrow and long paintings of this series, reminding cloths of fabrics, differ with the wonderful trepidation and liveliness, where flexible stems tending upwards with large buds and flowers are full of amazing internal force, they as if move and pulse in front of us. Dynamism of his brush, expressiveness and texture of the dab, plastic solution of the composition, organization of rhythms, plastic volumes and color patches, intensity of the color sounding is indisputably and amazingly precisely convey the artist’s ideas.
However, to speak only about presence of the East at these paintings is not absolutely right, they contain also the trait of the West. M. Vardanyan created paintings on almost intangible verge of the East and West, which reflects his love to customs and traditions of the East, and culture and art of the West. The authentic success of bewitching of M. Vardanyan’s paintings is in the genuine sincerity of the artist, his openness and generosity, which have a direct relevance to the essence of his soul. Perhaps, this very essence once attracted Daima Rakhmanbekova, and they created a wonderful union. These two artists are very different; each sees and feels in the own way and creates in the own world, but there is something imperceptible that unites them. Perhaps, it is the supreme power of unity, love and harmony directly relevant to their own macro – and microcosm.
D. Rakhmanbekova is an artist, who continues and originally develops in the creativity the line begun by Usto Mumin, synthesizing traditions of oriental miniature and Italian Renaissance. Plots and heroes of D. Rakhmanbekova’s paintings are characterized by masterful ability to embody the principles of classical art and feature of national perception of the world in a single plan, filling canvases with subtle lyricism, amazing bliss and surprising harmony in color and in special static character of plastic lines and forms. Her palette consisting of warm ochre, saturated red, olive, turquoise and chocolate brown, reminds the Italian frescos. It seems that in the paintings D. Rakhmanbekova intentionally refuses unnecessary details, focusing the viewer’s attention on faces and hands. Picturesque beginning prevails in her paintings; the conscious rejection of drawing is compensated by an original manner of her hand and emotional coloring, which she achieves by means of color. D. Rakhmanbekova’s images fascinate with the spirituality, amazing sounding and elegance.
The works of D. Rakhmanbekova were designated by new plastic searches. She managed to find another for herself system of decorative, color, plastic and volumetric solutions. The exhibition “Sacrament of Dance” opened on the eve of the spring holiday Navruz in 2016 was held in the Fine Arts Gallery of Uzbekistan. Now the old interests and passions were realized in a new and holistic concept. The means of her creativity has become a collage, which essence is not confined by decision of only composite tasks – it is different constructive method, at the base of which, volumetric components of the work confute usual flatness of the canvas. The images created by D. Rakhmanbekova are something between painting and sculpture. The author follows the paramount principle of this direction, which is to release the creative and intuitive beginning from under wardship of logic and reason. Here the plot isn’t so important. The artist is more carried away by the creative process itself. The creation in this case is in the center. And, judging by the composite formation, the creation is deeply intelligent and philosophical notion.
D. Rakhmanbekova, using various elements, puts a certain allegoric sense in the images, trying to show a source of her inspiration, the one whom she puts above many others – Usto Mumin. D. Rakhmanbekova in all her creativity aims to show that purity and beauty, which in due time inspired Usto Mumin, – the creator endowed with absolutely special world order, worldview and boundless tolerance. Unexpected and, at the same time, elementary means are applied here by D. Rakhmanbekova to transfer the viewer to another level of perception, to immerse on a different environment. In the project D. Rakhmanbekova, undoubtedly, aims at specific result – to get the viewer’s esthetic empathy, but nevertheless the main goal is “aftertaste”, which remains in the people’s heart for a long time, when the artist as a tuning fork, adjusts the viewer on a spiritual and lyrical state.
The combination of heterogeneous materials allowed to achieve the effect of surprise and emotional saturation, where various elements of the composition merged into a single artistic ensemble, which keynote is traditional Uzbek dance. For disclosure of all depth of the creative idea, D. Rakhmanbekov used dance as one of art means and possibility to convey of her own intimate feelings and passions. National dance is an embodiment of national emotions, both soul and cordial. As in classical Uzbek dance, an artistic image is created by rhythmically harmonious, expressive movements of a body, where smoothness and “melodiousness” of movement do not allow acceleration. And in the same way, the world created by D. Rakhmanbekova immerses the viewer into a meditative state, in a special atmosphere of sacrament, delight and beauty. This was the main idea of the exhibition “Sacrament of Dance” – figures as if soared in the hall space, sliding along the trajectory, which was specified by the room format.
Characters of the artist’s works are distinguished by the special modesty and shyness both in their dress, and eyes, when dancers, as it is typical for the Uzbek classical dance, don’t dare to look strait into the viewer’s eyes, but on the contrary, slightly lowering the look or shading the eyes with the hand, aim to fascinate the viewer by graceful movements and to tell their story with the help of plasticity language, involving the guests in the dance circle, which is not quite real, but soulful and captivating. The collage technology, which is based on inherent interaction with various materials and textures allowed D. Rakhmanbekova to get the opportunity to get the combination of various elements of the composition and combine them into an integral artistic image, where faces and hands became an accent, which let the artist refuse the collage and depict them in her own picturesque manner.
In the course of finding the artistic solution D. Rakhmanbekova very subtly approached also the ratio of color balance, showing excellent knowledge of the Central Asian costume, literature and art. Avoiding unnecessary details, D. Rakhmanbekova “creates” the Uzbek traditional dressing gowns, realizing refined and bright coloring of the East, aiming to create support of especially picturesque part of the images. In this case decorative effect plays a subordinate role and acts in organic unity with artistic content and figurative order, which was conceived and realized by the artist.
Images of angelical young men, their purity and shyness, grace and elegance of movements, modesty of their attires and the environment, in which the author immerses the audience, bewitch and captivate in a special meditative condition. In fact, a dance is truly real only during its performance. So the world created by D. Rakhmanbekova is remembered as bright and extraordinary tremendous vision, and presumably, will keep a deep marc in the emotional memory of the viewer for a long time.

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