The Contemporary Art scene in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is an oil-rich country in the Caucasus region. It borders Iran, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia. Azerbaijan has a population of about 10 million people. The country is predominantly Muslim with a Shia minority.
The contemporary art scene in Azerbaijan has been growing since the 1990s when the country started to open more up to Western culture and ideas. There are many Azerbaijani artists that have been showing their work abroad as well as at home in Baku’s many galleries and museums.
6 Contemporary Artists in Azerbaijan Worth Knowing
Art Radar profiled six artists from Azerbaijan, examining socio-political issues in their environment. This is partially fueled by the historical and cultural heritage that permeates their work.
An artist, musician, and filmmaker, Hasanov’s work explore a variety of mediums, ranging from performance art and film to installation. His oeuvre is considered pivotal in Azerbaijan, and he is internationally recognized.
Farid Rasulov works in a wide range of media, including installation, sculpture, photography, and painting. His work critically analyzes the rapid processes of modernization happening in Azerbaijan. Halil Rasulov flat out denies that his art pieces have any symbolic meaning. However, these pieces are rich in traditional Azeri folk art and humor, which show that he may be commenting on society.
Faig Ahmed transforms the two-dimensional nature of a carpet into three-dimensional sculptural works of art. In doing so, he is able to explore the traditional craft in a way that is interestingly innovative and fun. Ahmed says that “the carpet is a symbol of the invincible tradition of the East; it’s a visualization of an undestroyable icon.”
Fakhriyya Mammadova is a designer and photographer who graduated from the Design Faculty at the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Art in 2005. She’s a professional restorer of ceramics and sculpture. Her practice also includes working with photography.
Aida Mahmudova is the founder and director of YARAT. With her vast understanding of art, she is also an ambassador for evolving the contemporary art scene in Azerbaijan. Mahmudova is a multimedia artist showing her concern with the rapid modernization of Azerbaijan since it gained independence from the USSR in 1991. Mahmudova is trying to protect the beauty of her country by drawing people’s attention to important issues.
A skilled artist with a degree in psychology, Sitara Ibrahimova- graduated from Prague’s FAMU University; she holds degrees from Baku State and Prague’s FAMU. Her work captures every day through the expressions and poses posed by an individual. The different emotions are what are revealed, and in some cases, it is just a fragment or absence.
Contemporary Art Influence in Azerbaijan
The contemporary art scene in Azerbaijan is booming. One of the reasons for this is the government’s support of the arts. In 2017, it was announced that Azerbaijani artists would be able to apply for grants from the state budget. There are a few art schools and galleries that are trying to promote contemporary art in Azerbaijan.
One of these is the Baku Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Baku MOMA has created a space where visitors can see both international and Azeri contemporary art as well as learn about new artistic trends. They also have an education program that includes workshops and lectures on modern art practices.
The other institution which supports contemporary arts is the Akhundov National Gallery of Fine Arts (ANGAFA).
The Importance and Maturation of Modern/Contemporary Arts Movement in Azerbaijan
The modern/contemporary art movement in Azerbaijan has undergone a lot of changes in the past few decades. The country has seen an increase in the number of artists, increased funding for art institutions, and more people attending art exhibitions.