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Farkhad Khalilov


Published on the occasion of the exhibition: Farkhad Khalilov at the Saatchi Gallery London, 11 March – 23 March, 2015. Sponsored by and Farkhad Akhmedov

FARKHAD KHALILOV


Published on the occasion of the exhibition: Farkhad Khalilov at the Saatchi Gallery London, 11 March – 23 March, 2015. Sponsored by and Farkhad Akhmedov

FARKHAD KHALILOV


Contents

6 -9 Paintings are handmade, a living sign of a human gesture by Paolo Colombo 12 -33 Paintings 1961–1997 34- 41 A Mythology reflects its Region by Roger Cook 44- 91 Paintings 2000 - 2015 92-93 Artist’s Biography 95 Acknowledgements


Contents

6 -9 Paintings are handmade, a living sign of a human gesture by Paolo Colombo 12 -33 Paintings 1961–1997 34- 41 A Mythology reflects its Region by Roger Cook 44- 91 Paintings 2000 - 2015 92-93 Artist’s Biography 95 Acknowledgements


Paintings are handmade, a living sign of a human gesture by Paolo Colombo

I became acquainted with Farkhad Khalilov’s work in 2014, when I had the privilege of visiting the artist’s studio in Baku several times, during which he introduced me to his forty years of painting. Of all the phases evidenced by Khalilov’s paintings over the years, the current period is extraordinary for its expression of a newly found freedom that infuses his work with a striking force and sensitivity. The artist’s work is unique within its milieu, the Caucasus region. It is honed in endless hours of studio work; the palette is often bleak and severe, yet the rich textures and delicate compositions convey a luminous and forceful beauty. Indeed Khalilov’s work conjures up a strong sense of place—there are echoes of the browns of the soil and the reds of pomegranates and persimmons hanging from the trees planted in the countryside around Baku—while at the same time it transcends the particular. For years Khalilov employed wide canvases to evoke the expansive horizons of seascapes and other Azerbaijani landscapes in abstract compositions comprising simple shapes and strong fields of colour. The views that have informed his work more recently, however, have been neither the Caspian Sea nor the countryside wedged between his atelier and its shore. Leaving behind the flat surfaces of the 1990s, Khalilov has, in recent years, turned toward creating jagged, nervous strokes of colour through rhythmic medium-size brushstrokes. Whereas his earlier seascapes could be described as contemplative and even vaguely representational, Khalilov’s newer paintings are freely improvised expressions of abstract emotion and feelings—reflections of an expansive inner life and a free-flowing thought process. In other words, he has switched his focus from the physical to the spiritual world, something that is also conveyed through the architectural structure of his canvases. This exhibition of Khalilov’s recent work makes reference to his past achievements, revealing his position vis-à-vis the official art of the Soviet Union. Born in 1946, he was trained at the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts, in Baku. An early oil-on-Masonite portrait in the exhibition, Portrait of an Old Man,1 1961, got him only an average mark, the

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Paintings are handmade, a living sign of a human gesture by Paolo Colombo

I became acquainted with Farkhad Khalilov’s work in 2014, when I had the privilege of visiting the artist’s studio in Baku several times, during which he introduced me to his forty years of painting. Of all the phases evidenced by Khalilov’s paintings over the years, the current period is extraordinary for its expression of a newly found freedom that infuses his work with a striking force and sensitivity. The artist’s work is unique within its milieu, the Caucasus region. It is honed in endless hours of studio work; the palette is often bleak and severe, yet the rich textures and delicate compositions convey a luminous and forceful beauty. Indeed Khalilov’s work conjures up a strong sense of place—there are echoes of the browns of the soil and the reds of pomegranates and persimmons hanging from the trees planted in the countryside around Baku—while at the same time it transcends the particular. For years Khalilov employed wide canvases to evoke the expansive horizons of seascapes and other Azerbaijani landscapes in abstract compositions comprising simple shapes and strong fields of colour. The views that have informed his work more recently, however, have been neither the Caspian Sea nor the countryside wedged between his atelier and its shore. Leaving behind the flat surfaces of the 1990s, Khalilov has, in recent years, turned toward creating jagged, nervous strokes of colour through rhythmic medium-size brushstrokes. Whereas his earlier seascapes could be described as contemplative and even vaguely representational, Khalilov’s newer paintings are freely improvised expressions of abstract emotion and feelings—reflections of an expansive inner life and a free-flowing thought process. In other words, he has switched his focus from the physical to the spiritual world, something that is also conveyed through the architectural structure of his canvases. This exhibition of Khalilov’s recent work makes reference to his past achievements, revealing his position vis-à-vis the official art of the Soviet Union. Born in 1946, he was trained at the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts, in Baku. An early oil-on-Masonite portrait in the exhibition, Portrait of an Old Man,1 1961, got him only an average mark, the

1.

6

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equivalent of a grade C. From the beginning, Khalilov positioned himself as an anti-academic painter, and you could say that this stance is an integral part of his DNA. His early works often represented trees, resembling those depicted by Piet Mondrian, as in Evening; Red Tree (Avond; De rode boom), 2 of 1908-10. Khalilov’s early painting, Snow on the Beach,3 1982, which he refers to as a self-portrait, is a work of Symbolist sensitivity in line with the trees painted by the Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler, Lilac Tree, (Fliederbäumchen),4 1892.

Many of Khalilov’s recent compositions can be compared to the structure of jazz, a testimony to his creative independence. His sophisticated sense of texture also echoes that of music, in the way he combines melodic and rhythmic forms with harmonic materials to form a picture. Finally, the notion of tempo is rooted in his works, for example, the brushstrokes of From the Cycle “Meeting”,8 2014-15, evoke a steady pulse that resounds with the excitement of the urban context, echoing the shapes of contemporary architecture in Baku.

It took Khalilov some time to find his most confident voice, as is often the case with artists who work both within and against centuries-long traditions. Flashes of brilliance lit a solid practice, indicating a radical approach to picture making that often anticipated the freedom and depth of his recent work, such as, From the Cycle “Meeting”,5 1983. Indeed a visit to his studio is full of surprises and hidden treasures. A true “artist’s artist”, Khalilov secrets his work away from outside viewers, doling out paintings one by one and often hiding his most beloved creations.

Khalilov’s generous personality corresponds to that of his work—never constrained and always open to conveying the most subtle and complex emotions. I thank the artist for our long and enlightening conversations in Baku. I would also like to thank Farkhad Akhmedov, Tatyana Akhmedova and Temur and Edgar Akhmedov for their invaluable support of the artist’s work and my curatorial endeavours. It was both a privilege and pleasure to spend time with Farkhad Akhmedov and to browse his important collection of international masters, which includes the largest collection of works by Ivan Aivazovsky and Azeri artists, in private hands; as well as major works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Yves Klein, Tom Wesselmann, Peter Doig and Andreas Gursky. His 26 year commitment and support of Khalilov’s work—which has also been extended to many other Azeri artists,—has, in my opinion, led to one of the finest and most dynamic collections I have visited.

What resonates most strongly within the emotional articulations of his paintings is the music—mostly jazz—that he listens to with an expert ear. (Khalilov plays the piano, and there are two upright pianos in his studio). The eccentric pacing and syncopated rhythms of jazz have been constant presences in his work since 2011: one can easily visualize the dissonances and melodic twists of Thelonious Monk’s music in his bold brushstrokes. As in Monk’s music, there is no reticence in Khalilov’s approach to painting. His method is also improvisational and often abrupt, “Autumn View”,6 2014-15, with a visual harmony constructed upon the many variations of paintbrush traces.

Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to Roger Cook for his most thoughtful and insightful essay.

A fountain of red can be deciphered in, From the Cycle, “Earth Patterns”,7 2014-15, a flowing retinue of marks that separate in the middle of the canvas to expose a dark brown background. This technique could be a visual reflection of John Coltrane’s “sheets of sound”, as described by critic Ira Gitler. The dense, improvisational patterned lines liquidize and loosen the strict structure of geometry, evoking the musician’s “multinote hailstorms of dense textures that sound like a simultaneous series of waterfalls”—as described on the liner notes for “Giant Steps”.

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2.

4.

7.

3. 6.

8

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equivalent of a grade C. From the beginning, Khalilov positioned himself as an anti-academic painter, and you could say that this stance is an integral part of his DNA. His early works often represented trees, resembling those depicted by Piet Mondrian, as in Evening; Red Tree (Avond; De rode boom), 2 of 1908-10. Khalilov’s early painting, Snow on the Beach,3 1982, which he refers to as a self-portrait, is a work of Symbolist sensitivity in line with the trees painted by the Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler, Lilac Tree, (Fliederbäumchen),4 1892.

Many of Khalilov’s recent compositions can be compared to the structure of jazz, a testimony to his creative independence. His sophisticated sense of texture also echoes that of music, in the way he combines melodic and rhythmic forms with harmonic materials to form a picture. Finally, the notion of tempo is rooted in his works, for example, the brushstrokes of From the Cycle “Meeting”,8 2014-15, evoke a steady pulse that resounds with the excitement of the urban context, echoing the shapes of contemporary architecture in Baku.

It took Khalilov some time to find his most confident voice, as is often the case with artists who work both within and against centuries-long traditions. Flashes of brilliance lit a solid practice, indicating a radical approach to picture making that often anticipated the freedom and depth of his recent work, such as, From the Cycle “Meeting”,5 1983. Indeed a visit to his studio is full of surprises and hidden treasures. A true “artist’s artist”, Khalilov secrets his work away from outside viewers, doling out paintings one by one and often hiding his most beloved creations.

Khalilov’s generous personality corresponds to that of his work—never constrained and always open to conveying the most subtle and complex emotions. I thank the artist for our long and enlightening conversations in Baku. I would also like to thank Farkhad Akhmedov, Tatyana Akhmedova and Temur and Edgar Akhmedov for their invaluable support of the artist’s work and my curatorial endeavours. It was both a privilege and pleasure to spend time with Farkhad Akhmedov and to browse his important collection of international masters, which includes the largest collection of works by Ivan Aivazovsky and Azeri artists, in private hands; as well as major works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Yves Klein, Tom Wesselmann, Peter Doig and Andreas Gursky. His 26 year commitment and support of Khalilov’s work—which has also been extended to many other Azeri artists,—has, in my opinion, led to one of the finest and most dynamic collections I have visited.

What resonates most strongly within the emotional articulations of his paintings is the music—mostly jazz—that he listens to with an expert ear. (Khalilov plays the piano, and there are two upright pianos in his studio). The eccentric pacing and syncopated rhythms of jazz have been constant presences in his work since 2011: one can easily visualize the dissonances and melodic twists of Thelonious Monk’s music in his bold brushstrokes. As in Monk’s music, there is no reticence in Khalilov’s approach to painting. His method is also improvisational and often abrupt, “Autumn View”,6 2014-15, with a visual harmony constructed upon the many variations of paintbrush traces.

Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to Roger Cook for his most thoughtful and insightful essay.

A fountain of red can be deciphered in, From the Cycle, “Earth Patterns”,7 2014-15, a flowing retinue of marks that separate in the middle of the canvas to expose a dark brown background. This technique could be a visual reflection of John Coltrane’s “sheets of sound”, as described by critic Ira Gitler. The dense, improvisational patterned lines liquidize and loosen the strict structure of geometry, evoking the musician’s “multinote hailstorms of dense textures that sound like a simultaneous series of waterfalls”—as described on the liner notes for “Giant Steps”.

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Paintings 1961–1997


Paintings 1961–1997


Portrait of an Old Man, 1961 Oil on cardboard, 52 x 34 cm

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Portrait of an Old Man, 1961 Oil on cardboard, 52 x 34 cm

12


In Goradil, 1965 Oil on canvas, 60 x 70 cm

14


In Goradil, 1965 Oil on canvas, 60 x 70 cm

14


Rain in Mardakyans, 1967 Oil on canvas, 88 x 104 cm

16


Rain in Mardakyans, 1967 Oil on canvas, 88 x 104 cm

16


Pomegranates, 1969 Oil on canvas, 47 x 63 cm

18


Pomegranates, 1969 Oil on canvas, 47 x 63 cm

18


From the Cycle “Night is Falling”, 1981 Acrylic on cardboard, 40 x 50 cm

20


From the Cycle “Night is Falling”, 1981 Acrylic on cardboard, 40 x 50 cm

20


Snow on the Beach, 1982 Oil on fibreboard, 80 x 60 cm

22


Snow on the Beach, 1982 Oil on fibreboard, 80 x 60 cm

22


Green Hill, 1982 Oil on canvas, 100 x 120 cm

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Green Hill, 1982 Oil on canvas, 100 x 120 cm

24


From the Cycle “Night is Falling”, 1982 Acrylic on cardboard, 35 x 50 cm

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From the Cycle “Night is Falling”, 1982 Acrylic on cardboard, 35 x 50 cm

26


From the Cycle “Meeting”, 1983 Oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm

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From the Cycle “Meeting”, 1983 Oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm

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Mountain, 1983 Oil on canvas, 70 x 90 cm

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Mountain, 1983 Oil on canvas, 70 x 90 cm

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Spring, 1997 Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 220 cm

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Spring, 1997 Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 220 cm

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A Mythology Reflects its Region

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by Roger Cook

For the modernist poet Wallace Stevens, from whom I take my title, a mythology was a ‘supreme fiction’ which keeps us buoyant in belief; belief necessary to maintain a meaningful life. In a world after the ‘death of god’, the arts provide that buoyancy. Art must both reflect its region and in so doing, universalize it: reflecting the enigmatic relation of time-liness to time-less-ness: history to myth, reality to imagination. To endure, art, though threaded through the specificity of historical time and place, must embody timeless qualities. In spite of the fact that art’s artifacts are subject to the actions of time, this transcendent ambition has been the aim of abstract art. It may seem obvious, but it is continually worth restating that the lived experience of art always transcends anything written about it. The arts (architecture, sculpture, music, poetry and painting in particular) are non-discursive; they come across through sense in form or figure: ‘feeling and form’.2 In the words of philosopher Suzanne Langer: Visual forms—lines, colors, proportions, etc.—are just as capable of articulation, i.e., of complex combination, as words. But the laws that govern that sort of articulation are altogether different from the laws of syntax that govern language [...] visual forms are not discursive.3 As Jean-François Lyotard said, paintings are not to be ‘read’ as contemporary semiologists would have it, but rather, as Klee understood, they are to be ‘grazed’, and in making themselves visible they make visible the ‘dance’ of vision and the visible itself.4 One does not read or understand a picture. Sitting at the table one identifies and recognizes linguistic units; standing in representation one seeks out plastic events. Libidinal events.5 To look at a painting is to draw paths across it, or at least collaboratively draw paths, since in executing it the painter laid down, imperiously (albeit tangentially), paths to follow, and his or her work is this trembling, trapped within four wooden slats, that an eye will remobilize, bring back to life.6

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A Mythology Reflects its Region

1

by Roger Cook

For the modernist poet Wallace Stevens, from whom I take my title, a mythology was a ‘supreme fiction’ which keeps us buoyant in belief; belief necessary to maintain a meaningful life. In a world after the ‘death of god’, the arts provide that buoyancy. Art must both reflect its region and in so doing, universalize it: reflecting the enigmatic relation of time-liness to time-less-ness: history to myth, reality to imagination. To endure, art, though threaded through the specificity of historical time and place, must embody timeless qualities. In spite of the fact that art’s artifacts are subject to the actions of time, this transcendent ambition has been the aim of abstract art. It may seem obvious, but it is continually worth restating that the lived experience of art always transcends anything written about it. The arts (architecture, sculpture, music, poetry and painting in particular) are non-discursive; they come across through sense in form or figure: ‘feeling and form’.2 In the words of philosopher Suzanne Langer: Visual forms—lines, colors, proportions, etc.—are just as capable of articulation, i.e., of complex combination, as words. But the laws that govern that sort of articulation are altogether different from the laws of syntax that govern language [...] visual forms are not discursive.3 As Jean-François Lyotard said, paintings are not to be ‘read’ as contemporary semiologists would have it, but rather, as Klee understood, they are to be ‘grazed’, and in making themselves visible they make visible the ‘dance’ of vision and the visible itself.4 One does not read or understand a picture. Sitting at the table one identifies and recognizes linguistic units; standing in representation one seeks out plastic events. Libidinal events.5 To look at a painting is to draw paths across it, or at least collaboratively draw paths, since in executing it the painter laid down, imperiously (albeit tangentially), paths to follow, and his or her work is this trembling, trapped within four wooden slats, that an eye will remobilize, bring back to life.6

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Commentary is, of course, a rather different matter: seeking to convey something of the experience of the form of the figural* and its contexts through discourse. However, Lyotard rightly reminds us that discourse too can open: itself up to grazing, and not only to understanding. It too appeals to the eye; it too is energetic. Let us trace the eye’s paths in the field of language, capture the fixed-trembled, espouse the hillocks of the metaphor, which is the fulfillment of desire [...].7 This would be the kind of libidinally invested discursive writing, particularly associated with the French post-structuralism of Bataille, Lacan, Barthes and Derrida.8 It is a more contextual approach that I shall be taking here; for I write, having seen Farkhad Khalilov’s paintings only in reproduction; experiencing them in reality would ignite a more libidinally driven poetic and experimental approach. Khalilov is an Azerbaijani artist, trained in the 1960s in the Soviet Union (Azerbaijan and Moscow); where, before the Stalinist/Soviet era, ‘abstraction’ had both an illustrious utopian originating history with Malevich, Suprematism and Kandinsky, then, subsequently, a troubled one, because of its embargo, after the Stalinist imposition of Soviet realism. Now, we live in a ‘post-modern’ climate, but our critical/historical reception of abstract art coming from the former Soviet bloc, is inevitably poised—doubly freighted one might say—between that Soviet history, and its meanings in relation to debates during the Cold War, when the US government presented modernist abstraction as evidential propaganda for capitalism.9 For the artists on both sides of the Iron Curtain, abstraction represented utopian belief in aesthetic freedom liberated from political representation. One is reminded of Ad Reinhardt’s brilliant 1940s satirical cartoon in which a philistine art viewer gesticulates to an abstract painting, proclaiming “Ha, Ha, what does this represent?” only to be knocked off his feet by the painting’s pointed retort: “What do you represent?” Reinhardt adds the following beneath the cartoon: “An abstract painting will react to you if you react to it. You get from it what you bring to it. It will meet you halfway but no further. It is alive if you are. It represents something and so do you. YOU SIR ARE A SPACE TOO.”10 One is also reminded of Reinhardt’s rival, Barnett Newman’s astonishingly radical assertion, that if read properly, his abstract painting: ”would mean the end of all state capitalism and totalitarianism.”11

‘Communism’; ‘Capitalism’; ‘Totalitarianism’; ‘Modernism’; ‘Abstraction’: highly charged and contentious categories: constraining katègorein from which in embodied practice artists free themselves, depend so very much on context. ‘Farkhad Khalilov is an Azerbaijani abstract artist’. Yes, but Khalilov is also simply and honestly an artist: a cultural producer, and cultural producers don’t make works inhibited consciously by categorizations; they make works which seek spontaneously to make ‘sense’ of their context in order to stimulate and give pleasure. Pleasure: one of Wallace Stevens conditions with regard to his idea of the ‘supreme fiction’ of aesthetic endeavor, which can provide the sustenance once provided by mythology and religion.12 Pleasure is perhaps a timeless category; however another of Stevens’s conditions for the ‘supreme fiction’ was that ‘It Must Change’: be subject to time. The first of Stevens conditions for the Supreme Fiction was that ‘It Must be Abstract’ meaning in literary critic Helen Vendler’s succinct formula: “art must be a symbolic representation, not a mimetic one”.13 Katègorein, however, are inevitably operative in critical reception, and may well be unconsciously operative in its production: Khalilov’s work is caught in the net of such categories. Interestingly enough, according to the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu the Greek etymology of katègorein has its origin in public insult.14 For mimeticists like the Soviet realists, the very notion of abstract art had been, and no doubt for some still is, an insult to the very idea of art.15 Likewise for those espousing the significance of ‘symbolic form’ mimetic realism is an insult to mankind’s creative capacity for symbolization.16 According to Jacques Rancière’s most recent reading of modernity, Farkhad Khalilov’s paintings would embody modernity’s poetics: a poetics” expressed, conceptually and plastically, in abstract art, from Kandinsky” to Abstract Expressionism, and dealing with “the collapse of the representational world” whilst settling “on [...] the historic task of replacing that world with an equivalent order [...] to the old order of mimesis”; identifying “the power of the work of art and of history as a bringing to light the capacity for form and idea immanent in all matter” and the “metamorphoses through which [...] matter and form, change places and exchange their powers.” Thus putting “the building of relationships in the place of the reproduction of things” using [...] the equality of all represented” and “the capacity of all matter to become form and subject” (my emphases).17

* Not to be confused with the figurative, which is “a particular instance” of the figural: As for the space of figure, “figural” qualifies it better than “figurative.” Indeed the last term, in the vocabulary of painting and contemporary criticism, opposes the space of the figure to “non-figurative” or “abstract.” The relevant feature of this opposition resides in the analogy of the representative and the represented, and in the spectator’s ability to recognize the latter in the former.[...] The figurative is merely a particular instance of the figural, as we saw in the window that Renaissance painting opened for us. The term “figurative” implies the possibility of deriving the pictorial object from its “real” model through an uninterrupted translative process. [...] Figurativity is thus a property that applies to the plastic object’s relation to what it represents; it becomes irrelevant if the picture no longer fulfills a representational function, i.e., if it is the object itself. Jean-François Lyotard, Discourse, Figure, Minneapolis, London 2011, p.205.

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Commentary is, of course, a rather different matter: seeking to convey something of the experience of the form of the figural* and its contexts through discourse. However, Lyotard rightly reminds us that discourse too can open: itself up to grazing, and not only to understanding. It too appeals to the eye; it too is energetic. Let us trace the eye’s paths in the field of language, capture the fixed-trembled, espouse the hillocks of the metaphor, which is the fulfillment of desire [...].7 This would be the kind of libidinally invested discursive writing, particularly associated with the French post-structuralism of Bataille, Lacan, Barthes and Derrida.8 It is a more contextual approach that I shall be taking here; for I write, having seen Farkhad Khalilov’s paintings only in reproduction; experiencing them in reality would ignite a more libidinally driven poetic and experimental approach. Khalilov is an Azerbaijani artist, trained in the 1960s in the Soviet Union (Azerbaijan and Moscow); where, before the Stalinist/Soviet era, ‘abstraction’ had both an illustrious utopian originating history with Malevich, Suprematism and Kandinsky, then, subsequently, a troubled one, because of its embargo, after the Stalinist imposition of Soviet realism. Now, we live in a ‘post-modern’ climate, but our critical/historical reception of abstract art coming from the former Soviet bloc, is inevitably poised—doubly freighted one might say—between that Soviet history, and its meanings in relation to debates during the Cold War, when the US government presented modernist abstraction as evidential propaganda for capitalism.9 For the artists on both sides of the Iron Curtain, abstraction represented utopian belief in aesthetic freedom liberated from political representation. One is reminded of Ad Reinhardt’s brilliant 1940s satirical cartoon in which a philistine art viewer gesticulates to an abstract painting, proclaiming “Ha, Ha, what does this represent?” only to be knocked off his feet by the painting’s pointed retort: “What do you represent?” Reinhardt adds the following beneath the cartoon: “An abstract painting will react to you if you react to it. You get from it what you bring to it. It will meet you halfway but no further. It is alive if you are. It represents something and so do you. YOU SIR ARE A SPACE TOO.”10 One is also reminded of Reinhardt’s rival, Barnett Newman’s astonishingly radical assertion, that if read properly, his abstract painting: ”would mean the end of all state capitalism and totalitarianism.”11

‘Communism’; ‘Capitalism’; ‘Totalitarianism’; ‘Modernism’; ‘Abstraction’: highly charged and contentious categories: constraining katègorein from which in embodied practice artists free themselves, depend so very much on context. ‘Farkhad Khalilov is an Azerbaijani abstract artist’. Yes, but Khalilov is also simply and honestly an artist: a cultural producer, and cultural producers don’t make works inhibited consciously by categorizations; they make works which seek spontaneously to make ‘sense’ of their context in order to stimulate and give pleasure. Pleasure: one of Wallace Stevens conditions with regard to his idea of the ‘supreme fiction’ of aesthetic endeavor, which can provide the sustenance once provided by mythology and religion.12 Pleasure is perhaps a timeless category; however another of Stevens’s conditions for the ‘supreme fiction’ was that ‘It Must Change’: be subject to time. The first of Stevens conditions for the Supreme Fiction was that ‘It Must be Abstract’ meaning in literary critic Helen Vendler’s succinct formula: “art must be a symbolic representation, not a mimetic one”.13 Katègorein, however, are inevitably operative in critical reception, and may well be unconsciously operative in its production: Khalilov’s work is caught in the net of such categories. Interestingly enough, according to the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu the Greek etymology of katègorein has its origin in public insult.14 For mimeticists like the Soviet realists, the very notion of abstract art had been, and no doubt for some still is, an insult to the very idea of art.15 Likewise for those espousing the significance of ‘symbolic form’ mimetic realism is an insult to mankind’s creative capacity for symbolization.16 According to Jacques Rancière’s most recent reading of modernity, Farkhad Khalilov’s paintings would embody modernity’s poetics: a poetics” expressed, conceptually and plastically, in abstract art, from Kandinsky” to Abstract Expressionism, and dealing with “the collapse of the representational world” whilst settling “on [...] the historic task of replacing that world with an equivalent order [...] to the old order of mimesis”; identifying “the power of the work of art and of history as a bringing to light the capacity for form and idea immanent in all matter” and the “metamorphoses through which [...] matter and form, change places and exchange their powers.” Thus putting “the building of relationships in the place of the reproduction of things” using [...] the equality of all represented” and “the capacity of all matter to become form and subject” (my emphases).17

* Not to be confused with the figurative, which is “a particular instance” of the figural: As for the space of figure, “figural” qualifies it better than “figurative.” Indeed the last term, in the vocabulary of painting and contemporary criticism, opposes the space of the figure to “non-figurative” or “abstract.” The relevant feature of this opposition resides in the analogy of the representative and the represented, and in the spectator’s ability to recognize the latter in the former.[...] The figurative is merely a particular instance of the figural, as we saw in the window that Renaissance painting opened for us. The term “figurative” implies the possibility of deriving the pictorial object from its “real” model through an uninterrupted translative process. [...] Figurativity is thus a property that applies to the plastic object’s relation to what it represents; it becomes irrelevant if the picture no longer fulfills a representational function, i.e., if it is the object itself. Jean-François Lyotard, Discourse, Figure, Minneapolis, London 2011, p.205.

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In 1987, Khalilov was elected head of Azerbaijan’s Artists’ Union, the first time that a local position was filled by democratic procedure. The members of the Artists’ Union debated his appointment for two days. Before that time, Communist officials would have chosen someone in advance; the Union’s approval being nothing more than a rubber stamped formality. Even more amazing is the fact that Khalilov was not a Communist. More than ten years later, he was still surprised by the decision. I never would have thought that someday I would be named President of the Artists’ Union in Azerbaijan. I was never an official artist and I didn’t support the Soviet government. Today, I still wouldn’t consider myself an official artist, despite the fact that I’ve led the Artists’ Union for more than ten years. Perhaps I was chosen because the times were changing. I was elected President at a two-day conference of the Artists’ Union held in Baku in late 1987. Other artists wanted to elect me because I had worked very hard with Baku’s Mayor’s office to get more than 40 apartments allocated for artists. [...] Basically, I was doing my best to help artists. There was a long debate about me, since I was known as a “ formalist”; some thought that I would oppress the “realists”. But I had no desire to do that. Those were the last days of the Soviet empire. Kamran Bagirov was the head of Azerbaijan. Gorbachev was in power, and he was telling the world that there was freedom of speech and freedom in artistic expression in the USSR. It’s true, we did experience more freedom–we could exhibit all kinds of works, not just the ones that aligned with the government’s ideology. For example, no one else dictated my decisions as President and I never felt that I was opposed or pressured.18 This moving statement demonstrates Farkhad’s advocacy of the central principle of artistic freedom so obviously essential to any aesthetic endeavour. One of the meanings of ‘to abstract’ might be thought to be ‘to rise above’. Abstraction rises above problems of representation; another meaning can be its opposite: to penetrate deep beneath, to fundamental formations: the seething heat of magma that crystallizes into rock; the tense potential of seed and bulb that will burst into life. I sense the energetic potentiality of such transformations in Khalilov’s work.

38

It is surely understandable that artists seeking freedom should be drawn to abstraction, especially those suffering under oppressive regimes where there is pressure to ‘represent’ or be representative, politically. To jaundiced, over-fed contemporary art fair consumers, Khalilov’s trajectory from representation to abstraction might seem retrospectively over familiar, passé even; but for him it has been vital, reflected in the roughness and toughness of paintings which are made with a freshness that arises passionately out of a concrete and specific cultural situation. The British ‘object relations’ analyst Christopher Bollas takes up the notion of ‘idiom’ to describe the way in self-formation we humans use objects that are available to us from our environment.19 This is evidenced in the slowly evolving style of artists. If there is something singular and haunting about Khalilov’s paintings—and I believe there is—it is because of the long and complex history that is folded into them: the ‘object relations’ gestating from his distinctive Azerbaijani environment—landscape, fruit and flower—that have been assimilated aesthetically over long periods of time, giving his abstract paintings their distinct flavor. This is what makes them what Bollas calls, ‘evocative objects’: To build the evocative on whatever scale is to open the psyche-soma [...] expanding the mind and the body in one singular act of reception which links the new object to the pleasantly surprised subject.20 In a 1987 essay called “The Spirit of the Object as the Hand of Fate”, Bollas sensitively explores the mechanisms of subjective experience in engagements with works of art.21 His consideration of how aesthetic experience participates in a legacy of psychoanalytic concerns with the aesthetic, grows out of the writing of the founder of the British object relations school of psychoanalysis and pediatrics, Donald Winnicott (1896-1971) with his notion of the ‘transitional object’.22 These ideas concerning ‘transitional’, ‘transformational’ and what Bollas calls ‘aleatory’ objects (objects which we come across purposelessly, by chance), are helpful for thinking about the deeper aspects of aesthetic experience. They suggest ways to understand the recurrence of aesthetic motifs: the semi-conscious arising of obscure, psycho-somatic, and “wordless” mnemic images out of the subconscious; the way art works can embody uncanny déja vu feelings of

39


In 1987, Khalilov was elected head of Azerbaijan’s Artists’ Union, the first time that a local position was filled by democratic procedure. The members of the Artists’ Union debated his appointment for two days. Before that time, Communist officials would have chosen someone in advance; the Union’s approval being nothing more than a rubber stamped formality. Even more amazing is the fact that Khalilov was not a Communist. More than ten years later, he was still surprised by the decision. I never would have thought that someday I would be named President of the Artists’ Union in Azerbaijan. I was never an official artist and I didn’t support the Soviet government. Today, I still wouldn’t consider myself an official artist, despite the fact that I’ve led the Artists’ Union for more than ten years. Perhaps I was chosen because the times were changing. I was elected President at a two-day conference of the Artists’ Union held in Baku in late 1987. Other artists wanted to elect me because I had worked very hard with Baku’s Mayor’s office to get more than 40 apartments allocated for artists. [...] Basically, I was doing my best to help artists. There was a long debate about me, since I was known as a “ formalist”; some thought that I would oppress the “realists”. But I had no desire to do that. Those were the last days of the Soviet empire. Kamran Bagirov was the head of Azerbaijan. Gorbachev was in power, and he was telling the world that there was freedom of speech and freedom in artistic expression in the USSR. It’s true, we did experience more freedom–we could exhibit all kinds of works, not just the ones that aligned with the government’s ideology. For example, no one else dictated my decisions as President and I never felt that I was opposed or pressured.18 This moving statement demonstrates Farkhad’s advocacy of the central principle of artistic freedom so obviously essential to any aesthetic endeavour. One of the meanings of ‘to abstract’ might be thought to be ‘to rise above’. Abstraction rises above problems of representation; another meaning can be its opposite: to penetrate deep beneath, to fundamental formations: the seething heat of magma that crystallizes into rock; the tense potential of seed and bulb that will burst into life. I sense the energetic potentiality of such transformations in Khalilov’s work.

38

It is surely understandable that artists seeking freedom should be drawn to abstraction, especially those suffering under oppressive regimes where there is pressure to ‘represent’ or be representative, politically. To jaundiced, over-fed contemporary art fair consumers, Khalilov’s trajectory from representation to abstraction might seem retrospectively over familiar, passé even; but for him it has been vital, reflected in the roughness and toughness of paintings which are made with a freshness that arises passionately out of a concrete and specific cultural situation. The British ‘object relations’ analyst Christopher Bollas takes up the notion of ‘idiom’ to describe the way in self-formation we humans use objects that are available to us from our environment.19 This is evidenced in the slowly evolving style of artists. If there is something singular and haunting about Khalilov’s paintings—and I believe there is—it is because of the long and complex history that is folded into them: the ‘object relations’ gestating from his distinctive Azerbaijani environment—landscape, fruit and flower—that have been assimilated aesthetically over long periods of time, giving his abstract paintings their distinct flavor. This is what makes them what Bollas calls, ‘evocative objects’: To build the evocative on whatever scale is to open the psyche-soma [...] expanding the mind and the body in one singular act of reception which links the new object to the pleasantly surprised subject.20 In a 1987 essay called “The Spirit of the Object as the Hand of Fate”, Bollas sensitively explores the mechanisms of subjective experience in engagements with works of art.21 His consideration of how aesthetic experience participates in a legacy of psychoanalytic concerns with the aesthetic, grows out of the writing of the founder of the British object relations school of psychoanalysis and pediatrics, Donald Winnicott (1896-1971) with his notion of the ‘transitional object’.22 These ideas concerning ‘transitional’, ‘transformational’ and what Bollas calls ‘aleatory’ objects (objects which we come across purposelessly, by chance), are helpful for thinking about the deeper aspects of aesthetic experience. They suggest ways to understand the recurrence of aesthetic motifs: the semi-conscious arising of obscure, psycho-somatic, and “wordless” mnemic images out of the subconscious; the way art works can embody uncanny déja vu feelings of

39


recognition; of being held and nurtured: the way they can reflect a timeless sense of renewal that have their origins in the maternal relations of early childhood. Much of this, might I think be thoughtfully applied when following the particular ‘idiom’ formation of Farkhad Khalilov’s paintings. A mythology reflects its region. Here In Connecticut, we never lived in a time When mythology was possible—But if we had— That raises the question of the image’s truth. The image must be of the nature of its creator. It is the nature of its creator increased, Heightened. It is he, anew, in a freshened youth And it is he in the substance of his region, Wood of his forest and stone out of his fields Or from under his mountain.

notes

My title is the title of the poem by Wallace Stevens to be found at the end of this essay.

For a very interesting discussion of this kind of writing in relation to conventional art historical writing, see: Gavin Parkinson, “(Blind Summit) Art Writing, Narrative, Middle Voice” Art History, 34:2, April 2011.

1

8

Suzanne Langer, Feeling and Form, New York 1953; Jean Francois Lyotard, Discours, Figure (1971), translated by Antony Hudek and Mary Lydon as Discourse, Figure, Minneapolis, London 2011.

9

2

Suzanne Langer: They do not present their constituents successively, but simultaneously, so the relations determining a visual structure are grasped in one act of vision. Their complexity, consequently, is not limited, as the complexity of discourse is limited, by what the mind can retain from the beginning of an apperceptive act to the end of it [...] An idea that contains too many minute yet closely related parts, too many relations with relations, cannot be ‘projected’ into discursive forms; it is too subtle for speech [...]. But the symbolization furnished by our purely sensory appreciation of forms is a non-discursive symbolism, peculiarly well suited to the expression of ideas that defy linguistic ‘projection.’ Langer, 1953, p. 93.

3

Lyotard, Discours, Figure, p.9. In a footnote Lyotard recalls George Muche’s account of Klee being driven to dance whilst painting. As Paolo Colombo tells us in his introduction, rhythm and music are vital to Farkhad Khalilov’s world.

Serge Guilbaut. How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom, and the Cold War. Trans. Arthur Goldhammer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983; Francis Stoner Saunders, “Modern Art was a CIA weapon” Independent, 22 November 1995: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/ modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html Images of this cartoon can be found online: http://rebloggy.com/post/ art-cartoon-comic-abstract-art-modern-art-adreinhardt/44870344712

10

11 Barnett Newman: Selected Writings and Interviews, p.251.

Wallace Stevens, ‘Notes toward a Supreme Fiction’: It Must Be Abstract: It Must Change: It Must Give Pleasure

16 Susanne Langer: The power of understanding symbols, i.e. of regarding everything about a sense-datum as irrelevant except a certain form that it embodies, is the most characteristic mental trait of mankind. It issues in an unconscious, spontaneous process of abstraction, which goes on all the time in the human mind: a process of recognizing the concept in any configuration given to experience, and forming a conception accordingly. That is the real sense of Aristotle’s definition of Man as “the rational animal. Langer, Philosophy in a New Key, Harvard, 1941, p. 58.

Jacques Rancière, Figures d’Histoire (2012) translated by Julie Rose as Figures of History, Cambridge 2014, pp.75-81.

17

http://www.azgallery.org/artgallery/ artists/khalilov.farhad-53/article_khalilov/ 72-khalilov.html

18

Christopher Bollas, Forces of Destiny: Psychoanalysis and human idiom, London, 1989. 19

12

20 Christopher Bollas, The Evocative Object World, London and New York, 2009, p.44.

4

40

5

Lyotard, 2011, p.4.

6

Ibid. p.9.

7

Ibid. p.9.

13 http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115628 helen-vendler-wallace-stevens

Pierre Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power, p.121; as sexual category: Masculine Domination, p.120-121; The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field, p.297.

Christopher Bollas, The Shadow of the Object: Psychoanalysis of the unthought known, London 1987.

21

14

15 Eric Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, Princeton, 1953, 2003. For a fascinating review see: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n20/terry-eagleton/ pork-chops-and-pineapples

22 Donald W. Winnicott, “Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena. A Study of the First Not-Me Possession”, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 34 (1953): 89-97.

41


recognition; of being held and nurtured: the way they can reflect a timeless sense of renewal that have their origins in the maternal relations of early childhood. Much of this, might I think be thoughtfully applied when following the particular ‘idiom’ formation of Farkhad Khalilov’s paintings. A mythology reflects its region. Here In Connecticut, we never lived in a time When mythology was possible—But if we had— That raises the question of the image’s truth. The image must be of the nature of its creator. It is the nature of its creator increased, Heightened. It is he, anew, in a freshened youth And it is he in the substance of his region, Wood of his forest and stone out of his fields Or from under his mountain.

notes

My title is the title of the poem by Wallace Stevens to be found at the end of this essay.

For a very interesting discussion of this kind of writing in relation to conventional art historical writing, see: Gavin Parkinson, “(Blind Summit) Art Writing, Narrative, Middle Voice” Art History, 34:2, April 2011.

1

8

Suzanne Langer, Feeling and Form, New York 1953; Jean Francois Lyotard, Discours, Figure (1971), translated by Antony Hudek and Mary Lydon as Discourse, Figure, Minneapolis, London 2011.

9

2

Suzanne Langer: They do not present their constituents successively, but simultaneously, so the relations determining a visual structure are grasped in one act of vision. Their complexity, consequently, is not limited, as the complexity of discourse is limited, by what the mind can retain from the beginning of an apperceptive act to the end of it [...] An idea that contains too many minute yet closely related parts, too many relations with relations, cannot be ‘projected’ into discursive forms; it is too subtle for speech [...]. But the symbolization furnished by our purely sensory appreciation of forms is a non-discursive symbolism, peculiarly well suited to the expression of ideas that defy linguistic ‘projection.’ Langer, 1953, p. 93.

3

Lyotard, Discours, Figure, p.9. In a footnote Lyotard recalls George Muche’s account of Klee being driven to dance whilst painting. As Paolo Colombo tells us in his introduction, rhythm and music are vital to Farkhad Khalilov’s world.

Serge Guilbaut. How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom, and the Cold War. Trans. Arthur Goldhammer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983; Francis Stoner Saunders, “Modern Art was a CIA weapon” Independent, 22 November 1995: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/ modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html Images of this cartoon can be found online: http://rebloggy.com/post/ art-cartoon-comic-abstract-art-modern-art-adreinhardt/44870344712

10

11 Barnett Newman: Selected Writings and Interviews, p.251.

Wallace Stevens, ‘Notes toward a Supreme Fiction’: It Must Be Abstract: It Must Change: It Must Give Pleasure

16 Susanne Langer: The power of understanding symbols, i.e. of regarding everything about a sense-datum as irrelevant except a certain form that it embodies, is the most characteristic mental trait of mankind. It issues in an unconscious, spontaneous process of abstraction, which goes on all the time in the human mind: a process of recognizing the concept in any configuration given to experience, and forming a conception accordingly. That is the real sense of Aristotle’s definition of Man as “the rational animal. Langer, Philosophy in a New Key, Harvard, 1941, p. 58.

Jacques Rancière, Figures d’Histoire (2012) translated by Julie Rose as Figures of History, Cambridge 2014, pp.75-81.

17

http://www.azgallery.org/artgallery/ artists/khalilov.farhad-53/article_khalilov/ 72-khalilov.html

18

Christopher Bollas, Forces of Destiny: Psychoanalysis and human idiom, London, 1989. 19

12

20 Christopher Bollas, The Evocative Object World, London and New York, 2009, p.44.

4

40

5

Lyotard, 2011, p.4.

6

Ibid. p.9.

7

Ibid. p.9.

13 http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115628 helen-vendler-wallace-stevens

Pierre Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power, p.121; as sexual category: Masculine Domination, p.120-121; The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field, p.297.

Christopher Bollas, The Shadow of the Object: Psychoanalysis of the unthought known, London 1987.

21

14

15 Eric Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, Princeton, 1953, 2003. For a fascinating review see: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n20/terry-eagleton/ pork-chops-and-pineapples

22 Donald W. Winnicott, “Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena. A Study of the First Not-Me Possession”, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 34 (1953): 89-97.

41


Paintings 2000–2015


Paintings 2000–2015


From the Cycle “Earth Patterns”, 2000 Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 270 cm

44


From the Cycle “Earth Patterns”, 2000 Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 270 cm

44


From the Cycle “Unexpected View”, 2003 Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

46


From the Cycle “Unexpected View”, 2003 Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

46


From the Cycle “Recollection”, 2005 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

48


From the Cycle “Recollection”, 2005 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

48


From the Album, 2005 Acrylic on paper, 35 x 54 cm

50

From the Album, 2005 Acrylic on paper, 35 x 54 cm


From the Album, 2005 Acrylic on paper, 35 x 54 cm

50

From the Album, 2005 Acrylic on paper, 35 x 54 cm


From the Cycle “Recollection”, 2006 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

52


From the Cycle “Recollection”, 2006 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

52


From the Cycle “Unexpected View”, 2009 Acrylic on paper, 16.5 x 40 cm

54


From the Cycle “Unexpected View”, 2009 Acrylic on paper, 16.5 x 40 cm

54


From the Cycle “Meeting”, 2009-11 Oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

56


From the Cycle “Meeting”, 2009-11 Oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

56


From the Cycle “Recollection” (sketch), 2011 Acrylic on paper, 30 x 40 cm

58


From the Cycle “Recollection” (sketch), 2011 Acrylic on paper, 30 x 40 cm

58


From the Cycle “Recollection”, 2011 Acrylic on cardboard, 35 x 25 cm

60


From the Cycle “Recollection”, 2011 Acrylic on cardboard, 35 x 25 cm

60


From the Cycle “Recollection” (sketch), 2012 Acrylic on paper, 30 x 40 cm

62


From the Cycle “Recollection” (sketch), 2012 Acrylic on paper, 30 x 40 cm

62


From the Cycle “Unexpected View”, 2012 Acrylic on cardboard, 16 x 23.5 cm

64


From the Cycle “Unexpected View”, 2012 Acrylic on cardboard, 16 x 23.5 cm

64


From the Cycle “Recollection” (sketch), 2012 Acrylic on cardboard, 50 x 35 cm

66


From the Cycle “Recollection” (sketch), 2012 Acrylic on cardboard, 50 x 35 cm

66


From the Cycle “Recollection”, 2013-14 Acrylic on canvas, 240 x 150 cm

68


From the Cycle “Recollection”, 2013-14 Acrylic on canvas, 240 x 150 cm

68


Portrait of Know-It-All (Vseznajka), 2013-14 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 300 cm

70


Portrait of Know-It-All (Vseznajka), 2013-14 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 300 cm

70


From the Cycle “Meeting” (sketch), 2014 Acrylic on cardboard, 33 x 26.5 cm

72


From the Cycle “Meeting” (sketch), 2014 Acrylic on cardboard, 33 x 26.5 cm

72


From the Cycle “Meeting”, 2014 Acrylic on cardboard, 42 x 63 cm

74


From the Cycle “Meeting”, 2014 Acrylic on cardboard, 42 x 63 cm

74


From the Cycle “The Fruit”, 2014 Acrylic on cardboard, 41 x 42.5 cm

76


From the Cycle “The Fruit”, 2014 Acrylic on cardboard, 41 x 42.5 cm

76


From the Cycle “Unexpected View”, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 300 cm

78


From the Cycle “Unexpected View”, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 300 cm

78


Portrait in an interior, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 300 x 150 cm

80


Portrait in an interior, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 300 x 150 cm

80


From the Cycle “Meeting”, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

82


From the Cycle “Meeting”, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

82


From the Cycle “The Fruit”, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 198 cm

84


From the Cycle “The Fruit”, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 198 cm

84


From the Cycle “Meeting”, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

86


From the Cycle “Meeting”, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

86


Autumn View, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 300 cm

88


Autumn View, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 300 cm

88


From the Cycle “Earth Patterns”, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 150 x 300 cm

90


From the Cycle “Earth Patterns”, 2014-15 Acrylic on canvas, 150 x 300 cm

90


Biography

Farkhad Khalilov

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Born in 1946 Lives and works in Baku, Azerbaijan

2015

London, The Saatchi Gallery

2014

Berlin, Gallery of Berlin City Administration

2012

Moscow, Central House of the Artists

2011

London, The Great Room 1508, London

2008

Moscow, The State Tretyakov Gallery Moscow

2007

Baku, The State Museum Center of the Republic of Azerbaijan

2004

Berlin, Gallery of Berlin City Administration

2000

Paris, La Cité Internationale des Arts

1966

Graduated from Public Art School, Baku

1966 – 68

Studied at Moscow Industrial Art College, (the Stroganoff College), Moscow

1969

Member of the Artists’ Union of the USSR

1975

Graduated from Moscow Polygraphic Institute

1987 to date. Chairperson of the Artists’ Union of Azerbaijan. Elected Deputy of Azerbaijan Parliament of XI and XII convocations

Awards and Honours 2012

Awarded the Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of Arts

2008

Honourable Member of the Russian Academy of Arts

2006

Awarded the Grand Prix prize at the Teheran Biennale

2002

Awarded the title, Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan

2000

Awarded the Chevalier Award in Literature and Art

2000

Awarded the Gold Medal by the Artists’ Union of Russia, in honour of the bicentenary anniversary of A. Pushkin

1987

Awarded the Silver Medal of the USSR Academy of Arts

Khalilov has exhibit in over 40 group exhibitions worldwide, including the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Poland, Italy and Spain. His work is held in public collections in the State Museums of Russia, Azerbaijan, the Ukraine, Lithuania, Germany, China, and in the reserves of the International Confederation of Artists’ Union, Azerbaijan. It is included in private collections in Azerbaijan, the USA, Mexico, and in European collections, in Germany, Poland and France.


Biography

Farkhad Khalilov

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Born in 1946 Lives and works in Baku, Azerbaijan

2015

London, The Saatchi Gallery

2014

Berlin, Gallery of Berlin City Administration

2012

Moscow, Central House of the Artists

2011

London, The Great Room 1508, London

2008

Moscow, The State Tretyakov Gallery Moscow

2007

Baku, The State Museum Center of the Republic of Azerbaijan

2004

Berlin, Gallery of Berlin City Administration

2000

Paris, La Cité Internationale des Arts

1966

Graduated from Public Art School, Baku

1966 – 68

Studied at Moscow Industrial Art College, (the Stroganoff College), Moscow

1969

Member of the Artists’ Union of the USSR

1975

Graduated from Moscow Polygraphic Institute

1987 to date. Chairperson of the Artists’ Union of Azerbaijan. Elected Deputy of Azerbaijan Parliament of XI and XII convocations

Awards and Honours 2012

Awarded the Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of Arts

2008

Honourable Member of the Russian Academy of Arts

2006

Awarded the Grand Prix prize at the Teheran Biennale

2002

Awarded the title, Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan

2000

Awarded the Chevalier Award in Literature and Art

2000

Awarded the Gold Medal by the Artists’ Union of Russia, in honour of the bicentenary anniversary of A. Pushkin

1987

Awarded the Silver Medal of the USSR Academy of Arts

Khalilov has exhibit in over 40 group exhibitions worldwide, including the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Poland, Italy and Spain. His work is held in public collections in the State Museums of Russia, Azerbaijan, the Ukraine, Lithuania, Germany, China, and in the reserves of the International Confederation of Artists’ Union, Azerbaijan. It is included in private collections in Azerbaijan, the USA, Mexico, and in European collections, in Germany, Poland and France.


With grateful thanks to: Timur Amirkhan Cathryn Drake Isabella Dwyer Bianca Gidwani Bahram Khalilov Isabelle Paagman Anna Pryer


With grateful thanks to: Timur Amirkhan Cathryn Drake Isabella Dwyer Bianca Gidwani Bahram Khalilov Isabelle Paagman Anna Pryer


Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) Avond (Evening): Red Tree, 1908 –1910 Oil on canvas, 70 x 99 cm Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands/Bridgeman Images Ferdinand Hodler (1853 –1918) Lilac Tree (Fliederbäumchen), 1982 Oil on canvas, 54 x 37 cm All other images © Farkhad Khalilov Essays © 2015, Paolo Colombo, Paintings are Handmade, a living sign of Human gesture. Paolo Colombo has been an Art Advisor to the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art since 2008. © 2015, Roger Cook, Farkhad Khalilov: A Mythology Reflects its Region. Published by the Akhmedov Foundation © 2015 Akhmedov Foundation Design Fernando Gutiérrez, RDI Design Assistant Álvaro López at Studio Fernando Gutiérrez Printing Cassochrome

Sponsored by

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording in any information or retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher and copyright holders. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that there are no errors, inaccuracies or omissions in this publication the Publisher accepts no liability for any that may have inadvertently occurred.


Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) Avond (Evening): Red Tree, 1908 –1910 Oil on canvas, 70 x 99 cm Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands/Bridgeman Images Ferdinand Hodler (1853 –1918) Lilac Tree (Fliederbäumchen), 1982 Oil on canvas, 54 x 37 cm All other images © Farkhad Khalilov Essays © 2015, Paolo Colombo, Paintings are Handmade, a living sign of Human gesture. Paolo Colombo has been an Art Advisor to the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art since 2008. © 2015, Roger Cook, Farkhad Khalilov: A Mythology Reflects its Region. Published by the Akhmedov Foundation © 2015 Akhmedov Foundation Design Fernando Gutiérrez, RDI Design Assistant Álvaro López at Studio Fernando Gutiérrez Printing Cassochrome

Sponsored by

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording in any information or retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher and copyright holders. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that there are no errors, inaccuracies or omissions in this publication the Publisher accepts no liability for any that may have inadvertently occurred.

Farkhad Khalilov at the Saatchi Gallery  

Published on the occasion of the exhibition: Farkhad Khalilov at the Saatchi Gallery London, 11 March– 23 March, 2015.

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