Javad Mirjavadov, “an outstanding Azerbaijani artist of the 20th century”.
Last Sunday I have visited the Azerbaijan Bienal pavilion in Venice (Beyond the Line) and I had the pleasure to admire the canvas of the unfathomed genius Javad Mirjavadov, “an outstanding Azerbaijani artist of the twentieth century”.
The history of the painter`s life is as complicated and captivating as his works. Mirjavadov was born in Baku in 1923 and he was the first avant-garde artist in Azerbaijan. During Stalin`s rule he was the only Soviet artist who had been issued a permanent pass for the neo-western department of the Hermitage museum.
The key references of this artist can be summarised by shamanism, Azerbaijani medieval miniatures, neolithic cave, Rembrandt, El Greco, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Matisse, African, Oceanic, Indonesian and Middle Eastern folk art.
This all made an impact on the MirJavadov’s painting style and on his personal and artistic position as categorically opposed to Socialist Realism.
In Azerbaijan on the 1964 after an order to “dispose off this anti-Soviet nightmare”, referring to his abstract compositions drawn on large boards. Javad Mirjavadov buried his works with the idea to recover them later, but the owner planted vines all around the place and all of his works from this period were irreversibly lost.
In 1992 Javad Mirjavadov died in the Copenhagen-Moscow train.
Mirjavadov’s canvas resemble a battlefield rather than the surface of a cavans. His painting are convex, clumsy, and burning with a bright flame; they elicit fear and provoke thought, drawing the viewer into a whirlpool of a mystical images. It is typical of Javad’s colouring style – gloomy and oppressive, immersed in a world of ancient archetypes that creates a feeling of otherworldly unreality.
Tag:Azerbaijan, Biennale, Enlightenment, icons, Mirjavadov