Lot 2
  • 2

Bakhtiyar Tabiev

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  • Bakhtiyar Tabiev
  • Village by the Caspian
  • signed, titled and dated 1985 on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 56 by 72.5cm.; 22 by 28 1/2 in.


Estate of the Artist
Art Gallery Rysbek Akhmetov, Almaty

Catalogue Note

This is one of the few works in which the artist depicted a space of water. On the very edge of the sea is a small village consisting of low, clay huts. Captured in the early morning, the sun casts long shadows on the houses as it rises on the left. Still deserted, at first glance only a woman with a camel is visible, while at some distance two cows are gently strolling from behind the houses. The peace and quiet of morning spills out from the whole canvas. A horizontal line heads out at the top, leaving a narrow strip for the sky, creating an impression of infinite space that appears to continue beyond the edges of the canvas.

Bakhtiyar Tabiev’s oeuvre developed steadily, harmoniously and consistently. The artist always adhered to a single theme, the local way of life. The basis of his creative ideology lay in his desire to seek spiritual values in the local inhabitants’ lives and to bring out profound and lasting connections between people and nature.

From the very first works, Uigur Courtyard, Midday, and Morning in Kegen, the artist was identified as a "delicate lyricist". In the majority of his works he depicts yurts against a background of mountains or on the steppe, horsemen, children and women busy with day-to-day activities. Traditional behaviour is recognisably recorded in these. He always worked from nature, aspiring to assert his personal vision and feelings about the world. It is hard to submit Tabiev’s paintings to a narrative. The effect of his work comes from subtle harmonies of sombre colour; in this work the palette is laden with dark blue, even though its describes a sunny day. The period towards the end of the eighties, when Mangyshlak Pass, Meeting, and the Aral series were executed, is characterised by a more complicated colour palette, its intensity, contrasts between light and dark and harder brushstrokes intended to create a sense of  tension, covert anxiety and apprehension. 

The artist himself wrote in the journal The Young Artist (no. 10; 1987): "...the only important thing is not to get caught in pursuit of external individuality, trying to be different from others at all costs. One must grow from the foundations up; it is roots and traditions that provide creativity with its life force".

Catalogue note written by Kulzhazira Mukazhanova.