BAKHODIR JALAL

1948 – born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Education

1968 – Republican Art College named after P.P. Benkov

1968 – 1974 – St. Petersburg Repin’s Institute of Painting Selected Exhibitions

1975 – Ilkhom Theatre, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

1985 – Russian Cultural Centre, Accra, Ghana

1990 – Kortrijk, Belgium

1991 – Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia

1992 – Roularta Media Group, Brussels, Belgium

1997 – Sackville Gallery, London, UK

1999 – 3rd Triennale International Exhibition, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, India

2000 – Group show, Deutsche Welle, Germany

2001 – The Path to the Light, Ilkhom Theatre, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

2007 – Plus and Minus, Ilkhom Theatre, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

2008 – Delight of Silent Witness, Jubilee exhibition, Central Exhibition Hall of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

2008 – Mukhtar Ashrafi Museum, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

2008 – Tamara Khanum Museum, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

2009 – 3rd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia

2013 – 7th Tashkent International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Uzbekistan

2016 – Zoetic, Andakulova Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2016 – World Art Dubai Art Fair, Andakulova Gallery, Dubai, UAE

Bakhodir Jalal graduated in 1974 with Honors from the Department of Monumental and Decorative Painting. Over a period of time, he became the most renowned muralist in his native Uzbekistan for the distinct style in which he created his pieces.

He received the highest awards for reinvigoration the mural genre, winning the USSR State Prize in 1984 and the Uzbekistan State Prize in 1991. In terms of style, his monumental murals draw from disparate sources such as Renaissance art, European modern masters, Mexican muralists and frescoes of the ancient site of Afrasiab in Samarkand.

He has handled the themes of “Harvest”, “Genesis of Dance” and “Chronicles of Uzbek national theatre” appropriate to the characteristics and scale of his art form. Those murals were a government-funded form of public art – specifically, large scale wall paintings in civic buildings that stand in sharp contrast to personal pieces and paintings he creates in other outlets of his creativity.

The works presented at the “Zoetic” exhibition are driven by the desire of the artist to experiment, play, break boundaries and to move away from having to paint something that is real or representative.

Abstraction for Jalal means freedom of choice - where he can use color and the symbolic language of lines and fluid forms to enquire into abstract art. The principles of Jalal’s abstraction follow in the path of the Malevitchian pursuit of a ‘non-objective’ painting.

On another hand, his visual language is rooted locally within Central Asia and gets its inspiration in a form of Oriental mysticism which cast the material world as an illusory fiction.

Jalal’s art in this field takes two forms – first as ‘abstract’ art, whose starting point is a recognizable image which is progressively abstracted to a necessary minimum and ‘concrete’ form, which stems solely from the mind of the artist or the process of creation.

Paintings like “A dialogue”, “Minaret of Timur” and “Khiva” are on the cusp between abstraction and the semi-figurative. The relativity of abstractness is very prominent in the rich and sumptuous work “Poet and his Muse”, where the imagery is drawn from the artist’s personal symbolic lexicon and is masterfully combined with traditional symbols and styles of miniature iconography.

At the centre of this composition are two figures: a nude muse and a reclining poet who gazes away and up to the skies where he searches for divine inspiration. “Poet and his Muse” carries within its fluid forms and sumptuous coloring a feeling of fusion: of different traditions and beliefs, of different themes and different places.

In his ‘concrete’ phase of pure abstraction, the artist builds the structures of visual metaphors needed to communicate all the complexity of the lived experience. He removes anything that might distract the viewer from focusing on the eternal now of the present.

“The Radiant”, “Phoenix”, “Life Cycle” are based around the perception of the diversity of shape, color and tone which inhabit these sophisticated works.

Jalal’s abstracts are vibrant surges of energy and expressionistic – almost astrological figurations, evoking a sense of freedom, eroticism and mystery.

There is a mystery about these paintings that ought to remind us they are messengers from elsewhere. The viewer can’t stop imagining contexts, motifs and can’t help but look for clues as to how they are configured.

Abstract works by Jalal allowed him boldly express himself through this medium and his paintings are all connected by an underlying thread of reflection of his multiple philosophical searches.

This exhibition shows us how natural abstract art is, how it confirms our experience of the world and how simple it is to grasp when one’s eyes are open. “Nothing can be more abstract, more unreal, than what we actually see… Matter exists, of course, but has no intrinsic meaning of its own, such as meanings that we attach to it.” (Giorgio Morandi, Italian painter and printmaker)

Jalal is collected by renowned international institutions, including the British Museum, Modern Art Museum, Moscow, State Tretyakov Gallery, Russian Federation, Union of Artists, Moscow, National Gallery of Uzbekistan, Art collections of Buckingham Palace and many private collections.

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