Music for the Eyes

Issue #3 • 1523

Monumental artist, a member of the Artists Union of Uzbekistan, and the author of subject and ornamental mosaics, sgraffito, paintings and murals, Hamidullo Yuldashev was born on the 20th of April 1948 in Sarai village of Turakurgan District of Namangan Province, in the farmer’s family. The blue sky of his native land, pure emerald green of the fields around his house, rows of tall poplar trees, vines with golden and purple bunches of grape, and yellow quince fruit – from his childhood age all these things were giving vivid impressions to the artist. Hamidullo-aka remembers that he wanted to paint everything that surrounded him. After secondary school, this desire brought him to the RepublicanArtSchool named after Ben’kov (presently the National College of Art under the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan).

At the end of the first college year Hamidullo was called up for military service. In the free time hours he engaged in what he liked the most – drew the portraits of his fellow servicemen; he also worked as designer at headquarters. Having completed military service, he continued his studies at the art school and qualified as a painter and teacher.

All his subsequent professional engagement was related to visual arts. Early in his career he taught basics of painting at the Turakurgan District secondary school, then worked as designer at the Namangan City Sports-and-Technology Centre (STC), and the Namangan Province Art Workshops that later employed him as a muralist.

In 1980, Yuldashev ornamented sports compound in Gurumsarai village of the Pap District with “Sports” mosaic panel, using small size smalto mosaic technique. In 1981-1982 he decorated the AgroProm building (now the PakhtaBank) with “Gifts of Nature” mosaic panel; the building of collective farms council received his mosaic titled “ExploringNewLand”.

In 1983, in Davlatabad District of Namangan city the artist decorated the wall of a sporting goods store with a mosaic panel called “Sports”. His poetic rendition of the horse race atmosphere exposes him as capable animal artist. Rushing cyclists in the other section of the panel fill the mosaic with dynamism and intensity. Explaining his gravitation to the sports theme, Hamidullo-aka cites the Russian artist Alexander Deineka: “I love sports… Sports ennoble the man, like everything beautiful.”

In the same year, in the Namangan city Festival Hall the artist decorated the wall with his painting called “Music”; he also worked on the ornamentation of the Pahtalikkul recreation facility in Namangan. His mosaic “Medicine” adorning the architectural object has also become a signature symbol of the health centre.

In 1984, the artist created a “Happy Childhood” mosaic panel for a kindergarten in Chartak town. Yuldashev also decorated a textile college, administration buildings in Chartak district centre, a sports stadium in Uychi district centre, as well as interiors and exteriors of other commercial and public buildings.

Hamidullo-aka says, “In our country monumental art has acquired special significance and has a good opportunity to further evolve, as urban development assigns an important role to the synthesis of representational art and architecture. We construct numerous public and commercial buildings – subway stations, stadiums, culture centres and parks, cinema halls and children’s recreation facilities. In these projects, monumental artist works arm in arm with the architect, engineer and builder. The specificity of monumental painting, which is my primary pursuit, involves laconic composition, generalized image, and well-considered aspects and perspectives, taking into account that the piece is to be views from a distance and from different angles. This requires sound professional knowledge and skill. An artist may devote his whole life to learning the secrets and subtleties of his trade, but the most important thing that defines his art is the philosophical insight into reality and spiritual pursuits and aspirations of the people for whom the artist works.”

As an artist, Yuldashev works not only in monumental genre, but is also a prolific easel painter. Pictorial system of his canvases is very modern. It eloquently exposes painter’s personality and his perception of the world. His themes include contemplating the eternity of being, the transience and frailty of life, the people and its history, and nature.

Yuldashev’s paintings create a sense of integrity, as if they were a song where lyrics and music sound in unison. As a schoolboy, Hamidullo was shown to have an ear for music, and he engaged in playing dutar. His musical talent manifested itself later in his paintings, which can be compared to music for the eyes.

Describing the artist’s painting style, we recall a proposition of the French writer Emile Zola from his Theory of Screens, written in 1864: “The world portrayed in a work of art is perceived by us through a human being, through his temperament, his personality.”

Yuldashev’s painting “Guzal” (“Beauty”, 2003) is rather symbolic. The oval of the girl’s face in the centre is surrounded by semicircles and half-ovals. The “circular” theme continues in the pink and white beads in the girl’s necklace. The viewer’s gaze starts moving in circles, which makes the composition very dynamic.

In his “Boshkotirma” (“Crosswords”) still-life painted in 2007, the artist emphasizes the identification of the tangibility and plasticity of objects. Centrally positioned orange spot appears to represent the gleam of a bright sunny day, while the knife pointing towards the centre of the picture helps resolve the problem of space; thus, the picture embodies the confined world of a crossword puzzle, the world of mysteries.

In the painting “Autumn” the artist presents a symphony of colours, picturing the gifts of generous nature swirling in a whirlwind of the warm autumnal breeze.

Of his philosophical and symbolic canvas “Eternity” (2007) Yuldashev says: “With this piece, as with almost all of my paintings, I would like to make all the art-fanciers think philosophically and look at the world thoughtfully, aspiring to see beauty in it…”

The artist continues to pursue his occupation enthusiastically. His easel paintings are displayed at the national, regional and city-level exhibitions. Canvases wrought by the artist are kept in the collection of the Regional Museum of Local Lore in Namangan city and in other collections.

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