Azerbaijan presents two exhibitions to celebrate the voices of artists addressing social, political, and ecological questions of global relevance.
Beyond the Line
Art can speak about environmental circumstances directly or allegorically. The Azerbaijani avant-garde artists of the mid-twentieth century, working in strictly controlled conditions, often resorted to the use of allegory.
By the 1960s, artists who displayed ‘rebellious’ personal attitudes that deviated from Communist ideology were no longer arrested, executed, or banished. They were punished differently. Their works were ignored, they could not hold exhibitions, and they were not permitted to travel abroad. They were thus refused the guardianship of state structures regulating official art. Azerbaijan proudly presents their works in Beyond the Line, which showcases the Soviet period artwork of the non-conformist artists Javad Mirjavadov, Tofik Javadov, Ashraf Murad, RasimBabayev, and sculptorFazil Najafov.
The exhibition also includes the film ‘Stepping over the Horizon’ directed by Shamil Najafzada as well as an installation by Huseyn Hagverdi, whose career suffered under Soviet rule, but whose creativity nevertheless blossomed. These displays by hitherto obscure artists represents the victory of their indestructible spirit. Today, they speak about their epoch from the heart, symbolizing ‘the ecology of the human soul’.
- Tofik Javadov, Oil Workers, 1958-59