Eurasian Cultural Alliance Public Association
Republic of Kazakhstan, Almaty
Nurmakov str, 79

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SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 - OCTOBER 23, 2021
Group exhibition
National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan
SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 - OCTOBER 23, 2021
National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan
Curator: Ramina Dembaeva
The sun heated sands of Sahara and Kalahari, the unhurried streams of the Nile in the smooth surface of which there are reflected ancient pyramids, endless prairies and blooming oases, petroglyphic frescoes of Tassili and Transvaal, modern prosperous cities, and hardworking beautiful people – all this is composed in the term of Africa. This continent for most of us still remains as Terra Incognita, fabulous beckoning dream of a person tired of the hustle and bustle of the city. The XXth century for the African continent was watershed historical point in many respects. The former states were revived and new states were created on the debris of colonial system. The economical and political problems inherited from the past often led to violent military conflicts. But, the numerous peoples living here, like all the people of the planet, have always yearned for peace and creativeness, conservation of their ancient traditions, to renaissance of own rich cultural heritage.

It is commonly known that more than a hundred years ago Europe discovered the amazing diversity and artistic expressiveness of the traditional culture of Africa that had a significant impact on the evolution of the entire world of fine art.

The African masks first seen by Pablo Picasso at Paris exhibition in 1907 seemed to him "not just a sculpture", but genuine "magical attributes", under the influence of which there were created new trends in European art of the XXth century.

An interesting phenomenon is the contemporary art of Africa reflecting many dramatic events of the recent past, the ideals, thoughts and dreams of new generation of residents of this continent find their figurative realization. One of the most interesting and famous representatives of the current cultural process of Africa in the world is the artist from Mozambique Gonçalo Mabunda. The talented sculptor and artist in his installations that are unusual by their content and technique, tells about the history of his country through expressive metaphors and symbols, talks about the eternal confrontation between good and evil.
Gonçalo Mabunda was born on January 1, 1975 in the capital of Mozambique, Maputo. He received his initial skills of working with metal in the studio of the artist Andries Bothar. The art of Gonçalo Mabunda is deeply national by its form and humanistic by its artistic message. In the compositions created by him he preserves the key principles of the image-structure specific to traditional African art, which consist in laconism of the plastic language, the tangibility of the texture, the work saturation with sacred symbols, the maximum expressiveness of the overall sculpture silhouette extending to the grotesque. The oeuvre of Mozambican artist belongs to one of the significant trends of contemporary African art, whose representatives are Moffat Takadiwa, El Anatsui, Mauro Pinto interpreting modern socio-economic realities and political problems of the continent in their compositions.
The main reason for the amazing emotional impact of Mabunda's works is that they are the embodiment of the author's deeply personal experiences, his own life impressions, the artist's ideas on humanistic values, goals and objectives of modern art. The main material used by Mabunda is metal, or more specifically - deactivated modern weapons and their fragments - the Kalashnikov guns, fired cases, infantry mines, and other parts of military ammunition left over from the ruthless civil war that took place in his native land for 16 years. As the artist said in one interview: "The weapon fragments that I use in my installations help me tell the history of my native country." One of the incentives for the sculptor to work with this material was a project launched by the Government of Mozambique in 1997 in order to transform the trophies left after the war into peaceful tools and works of art. Thus, we can say that Gonsalo Mabunda in his works follows the biblical testament calling people to "beat swords into ploughshares", which, unfortunately, appears relevant the present day. The artist is best known for his series of so-called "thrones", on which he has been working in recent years. According to Mabunda, the installations created by him "act as attributes of power, symbols of tribes and traditional samples of African art."
The "Throne" and "Mask" presented to your attention is the representative sample of the art of Mozambican sculptor of the 2000s, in which deactivated cases, mines and jets of AK-47 assault rifle act as a "building material" for an openwork ceremonial podium on which there should majestically sit the tribal leader. Thereat, the details of which the metal structure is made give it a multi-valued and ironic subtext to a large extent, which implies the idea of what the power of some rulers is actually based on. The author wants to tell about the high price paid by the humanity for the loss of its original humanistic values by means of image-metaphor specific to Mabunda.

And despite the fact that Mabunda's work is composed of objects reminiscent of war and destruction, it could be rightfully called the "Throne of Peace" because it expresses the idea of victory of the fair creative origin in man over the darkness of evil and violence.

The influence of African art is indirectly manifested in the art of Kazakhstan artists, especially in the works of S. Aitbayev, Sh. Sariyev, K. Yessirkeyev, who in the 1960-80s consistently mastered the style of European modernism largely inspired by the works of African traditional art.

Gonçalo Mabunda was recognized as one of ten best African artists according to the magazine Blouin Modern Painters in 2019. He also became a prize-winner of the Venice Biennial All the World's Futures in 2015. The curator was a writer and art critic Okwui Enwezor. Mabunda's artworks are in the collections of Brooklyn Museum, Tiroche De Leon, Bill Clinton collection, the Vatican Museum. Gonçalo Mabunda presented his artworks at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Museum of Art in Düsseldorf, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Museum of Art and Design in New York, European Parliament. The artist created a number of installations for the Clinton Global Initiative charity organization at the request of Bill Clinton who is a big fan of Mabunda's art. Currently, Gonsalo Mabunda lives and works in Maputo (Mozambique).

Curator of exhibition Ramina Dembaeva

Academic adviser - Ph.D. A. Jadaibayev

The history of 20th century art looked like a perfect sample of linearity and centralization; in large cultural capitals of the world Paris and New York a number of closely related artists created the foundations of Modernism, and then – Postmodernism. Cubism, for instance, was born from a playful correspondence between Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque; and it irreversibly changed the attitudes to space in the art.

Changes went on in the 21st century, when the demand for decolonization and decentralization was growing in the art communities. It became clear that Modernism happened in many respects due to the visual and conceptual solutions that European artists appropriated from the African tribes. Unrepresentative emotional expression, sharp broken lines, aggressive strokes, naivety, and rhythm of the colors – all these things would have never touched the canvases of Modigliani, Matisse, Gauguin, Klee and dozens of other modernist artists, if there was no colonization of Mozambique, Côte d'Ivoir, Guinea and the African continent as a whole. Partly for this reason a great theorist of decolonial art and curator Okwui Enwezor included Gonçalo Mabunda's sculptures in the main exhibition of All The World's Futures within the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.

Today, the modern artists from diverse and emerging Africa claim that it was their legacy that gave the start to Contemporary art in the West. More and more private and public collections acquire the artworks by African artists; and museums are forced to integrate African identity into the existing chronology of their archives.

The young artist Aboudia started his career at the age of 16 as a street artist in the city of Abidjan, the capital of Côte d'Ivoire. His portraits were inspired by the forms of the Dan tribe masks; these are the embossed face features, round shapes of the lips and cheekbones, symmetrical hairstyle, indicating the status of the owner of the mask. It is important to remember that in African tradition the masks fulfilled a specific function and were used in rituals. Only after the masks were exhibited in the western institutions, the sharp boarderline appeared between the object (the one being observed) and the subject (the one who is observing).

Gonçalo Mabunda is also interested in exploring the transition of African tradition into the visual vocabulary of contemporary world. Together with UN missionaries who work on Mozambique's demilitarization program after the bloody and senseless civil war, the artist redefines the role of the tradition in the modern world. On a formal level it is all the same thrones and masks that the tribes of Tsonga, Makua, and Makonde created for hundreds of years. However, for his artworks Mabunda uses disassembled AK-47 submachine guns, bullets from Israel, U.S.-imported torpedoes, as well as other war artifacts. The things that were recently the tools of destruction and devastation now enter the dimention of art, where the same things are used for the sake of creation.
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré is an important link between the verbal traditions of Bété tribe and world's culture. The artist invented a literal alphabet of 448 characters, that helps to record the history of the tribe as it has never been written. In his artworks Bruly Bouabré reaches to the legends and myths, which he tells through a linear story on small cardboard cards that remind movie shots. Usually this is a sketch from a tribe life, like a typical day of a woman who takes a wash, cooks food, carries water and plays hide and seek with her sons. All these ordinary things are filled with the poetic spirit of the moment.

Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave is the only artist in the African section who has never been to Africa. He lives and works in the Bronx, New York, but his creative search is aimed at understanding of the history of art through the eyes of a black artist. In particular, Hargrave rewrites the famous scenes of Manet, Matisse, Warhol, as well as the posters of Chinese Cultural Revolution and Japanese engravings of the Edo epoch. Hargrave invents the eyeglass, through which the viewer can see how this or that art practice would have looked like if it had been made by an African artist. In this case, we refer to the famous series of paintings by American pop artist Andy Warhol, who wrote a portrait of Mao Zedong in the 1960s. Hargrave "puts on a scarf" on Mao's shoulders, "weaves" African braids on his hair, increases the size of his lips and represents this character through the iconography of African culture.

Curator of the African section, Vladislav Sludskiy

Jeffrey Spencer Harhrave
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré
Nagimbek Nurmukhammedov
Alexey Stepanov
Vadim Sidorkin
Amen Khaydarov
Igor Korogodin
Aisha Galimbayeva
Gulbaram Ismailova
Abdrashit Sydykhanov
Bolatbek Beysbekov
Amandos Akanaev
Shaimardan Sariev

Pablo Picasso
Kuanysh Esirkeev
Excavations by A. Ermolaeva
Askar Esenbayev
Salikhitdin Aitbaev
Shaimardan Sariev
Javlon Umarbekov
Dosbol Kasymov
Agimsaly Duzelkhanov
Salikhitdin Aitbaev
Emilia Babad
Baldano Serenzhab
Konyr Mukhamediev
Agimsaly Duzelkhanov

KONYR MUKHAMEDIEV from the series
KONYR MUKHAMEDIEV from the series
KONYR MUKHAMEDIEV from the series
KONYR MUKHAMEDIEV from the series
KONYR MUKHAMEDIEV from the series
KONYR MUKHAMEDIEV from the series
KONYR MUKHAMEDIEV from the series
KONYR MUKHAMEDIEV from the series
Vadim SIDORKIN, Nevada-Semey, 1990 oil on canvas
Nagimbek NURMUKHAMMEDOV, Hiroshima City, 1973 oil on canvas
Igor KOROGODIN Sketch for the play
Igor KOROGODIN Set design for a theatrical production based on the ballet Hiroshima of Gaziza Zhubanova, 1979 hardboard, oil, collage
Igor KOROGODIN, Set design for a theatrical Hiroshima production mixed technique on cardboard,1966
Amen HAYDAROV, Mushroom 1995 Tempera on canvas
Baldano SERENZHAB, Shaman, tree
Agimsaly DUZELKHANOV, The Golden Man, 2002 oil on canvas
Vladimir PROTSENKO Queen Tomiris 2000-2001, oil on canvas
Dosbol KASYMOV Kultegin, 2003 oil on canvas
SILVER MASK, excavations of A. Ermolaeva East Kazakhstan, IX-XI casting
Agimsaly DUZELKHANOV, Tomiris. Victory. From the series the Saks, 1985, lithography
KONYR MUKHAMEDIEV, Great Steppe, 2019 paper, ink, pen
ABUDIA, Nouchi Style, 2016 acrylic and oil chalks on canvas
Jeffrey Spencer HARGRAVE, Three Eyeballs, 2018 acrylic on canvas
Jeffrey Spencer HARGRAVE Electric Blue Mao, 2018 acrylic on canvas
Africa. UNKNOWN ARTIST, Zanzibar oil on canvas
Jeffrey Spencer HARGRAVE, Mickey Mao, 2018 paper, acrylic
Jeffrey Spencer HARGRAVE, Thin Mao, 2018 acrylic on paper
Frederic Brulet BOUBRE, Legend, 2007 cardboard, pencil
Emilia BABAD, Bird of Peace, 1961 autolithograph
Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Dance of Peace 1954, lithograph
Gonzalo Mabunda, TRON
Gonzalo Mabunda, MASK
Askar ESENBAYEV, Male head, 1994 tree, elm
Alexey STEPANOV, Peace to the world! Young family 1968 tempera on canvas
Alexey STEPANOV, Constellation Dove, 1982 tempera on canvas
Aisha GALIMBAEVA, Poems about friendship. Triptych
Abdrashit SYDYKHANOV, Portrait of the People's Artist of the Kazakh SSR N. Zhanturin, 1979 oil on canvas
Salikhitdin AITBAEV, Naked youth, 1977
Gulbaram ISMAILOVA, African masks. Still life, oil on canvas
Abdrashit SYDYKHANOV, Son of a grain grower, 1979 oil on canvas
Kuanysh ESIRKEEV, Portrait of Abai 1974 oil on canvas
Salikhitdin AITBAEV, Stallion 1980-1992 oil on canvas
Shaimardan SARIEV, Fairy tale, oil on canvas
Shaimardan SARIEV, Portrait of Chairman Dzhakupova 1978 oil on canvas
Salikhitdin AITBAEV, Yurt 1992 oil on canvas
Javlon UMARBEKOV, Still life of broken Lagans 1988 oil on canvas
1) Anti-nuclear demonstration in the village of Karaul, Semipalatinsk region 1989 photo printing, 2) The moment of speech of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev 1989,3) Public figure - Olzhas Suleimenov among the people 1989, 4) Procession of representatives of Germany in the International anti-nuclear movement. Semey 1992
Unknown artist, 19th century
Amandos AKANAEV, Portrait of the poet Olzhas Suleimenov, 1979 oil on canvas