Andakulova Gallery, Dubai, the contemporary art gallery which cultivates an artistic dialogue between Central Asia and the Middle East, is proud to present the works of renowned Central Asian artists Bakhodir Jalal, Javlon Umarbekov and Andrey Yanisovich Krikis from 26th October 2020 until 31st January in its gallery spaces.

Jalal is a pioneering muralist. Hailing from Uzbekistan, he is known for the distinct style in which he creates his pieces. His monumental murals draw inspiration from disparate sources such as Renaissance art, European modern masters, Mexican muralists and frescoes of the ancient site of Afrasiab in Samarkand.

He is an abstractionist: his art takes two forms, first as ‘abstract’ art, whose starting point is a recognisable image which is progressively abstracted to a necessary minimum and the ‘concrete’ form, which stems solely from the mind of the artist or the process of creation.

Abstraction for Jalal means freedom of choice - where he can use colour and the symbolic language of lines and fluid forms to enquire into the field. The principles of Jalal’s abstraction follow 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 inspiration in a form of Oriental mysticism, some part of which casts the material world as illusory fiction.

Umarbekov is a leading light in the sphere of contemporary visual arts in Central Asia. Steeped in the rich historical and cultural traditions of Uzbekistan, his works reflect his country’s artistic heritage, finding creativity in the cultural links between East and West.

He creates paintings which are extraordinary in their plasticity and enchanting in their colours: metaphorical, carnival, ironic and grotesque. They display intimacy, a deeply humane spectrum of moods and feelings, and are characteristic of his discoveries in the dynamics of painting.

In Umarbekov’s work, we see history through the actions of its protagonists - the people who lived during the times he depicts. He shows us their destinies: his paintings are about life, the soul’s eternal existence, about joys and sorrows, hope and despair - and of course, about love. Each of his pieces is a parable conveying his deep, philosophical message.

Krikis was born on 19 September 1950, in Yaroslavl, located 250 kilometres northeast of Moscow. Since early childhood, he has lived in Uzbekistan. His father was an archaeologist by profession. He was sent from Tashkent to Samarkand to carry out scientific research connected with the archaeological study of the ancient site of Afrosiab.

Krikis stayed with his father excavating Afrosiab, while at home he examined books on ancient Samarkand and listened to father’s stories about the city. Thus the love for Samarkand grew in him.

He was particularly enchanted by the beautiful Sher-Dor madrasah, a part of the famous architectural ensemble Registan, which doubtlessly influenced the creative fantasy of his young mind. He thus spent his formative years in what probably seemed an oriental fairy-tale to him. The love for Samarkand, its historical past and modern life, is found in all his art.

As an emerging artist, he was successful in gaining admission to the Yaroslavl School of Art. There he studied contemporary currents in global art – Picasso, Salvador Dali, Miro and others – and began making his first creative discoveries, experimenting with colour and forms.

Even at that time he did not quite agree with the stiff conventionalities of academism: he wanted to break out of these limits. In college, he won the following testimonial: ‘Andrey Krikis shows promise with respect to vision of colour and skill in drawing’.

As an established artist, his original vision of colour and ability to render shades were noted by other artists. His colleagues called him ‘The King of Colour’.

In 1976, he returned to Samarkand, a city outside which he could imagine neither himself, nor his art. In his compositions, he continued to demonstrate his bright individuality and originality. His works were from time to time displayed at group and solo exhibitions in Samarkand, Tashkent and Russia, and later abroad.

He gained recognition in 1986, when his first solo exhibition of works of paintings and graphic art was held in the ‘Ilkhom’ exhibition hall in Tashkent, in his beloved Uzbekistan.

Andakulova Gallery, Dubai, adds to the cultural synergy between Central Asia and the Middle East by positioning the art of Central Asia in the heritage hubs of Dubai and the UAE, as well as by building relationships between artists, writers, art professionals and collectors of both regions.

The gallery promotes Central Asia’s visual arts by providing a platform for emerging to mid-market contemporary artists across a variety of media, with a special focus on Uzbekistan.