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The World of Full Beauty and
Harmony. Azat Galimov's Art


Ruslan Bakhtiarov

Art critic, researcher at the State Russian Museum,
a member of the Association of Art Critics (AIS)

In the multifaced and varied world of modern art with its permanent search for the new and the unexplored, we feel even more critical need for works that preserve high artistic culture and are marked with fine and heartfelt evocation of the beauty of both the world of man and the world of nature. Works of modern St-Petersburg artist Azat Galimov serve as solid evidence that traditions of realistic art subduing the embodiment of beautiful in all the variety of its visible manifestations are still vital.

Let us outline briefly the main facts from the painter's biography, those milestones of talent's development and refinement which every artist should have. Azat Galimov recalls with gratitude the art school in the city of Inta and his first art teacher who noticed the talent of the future painter and advised him to continue with his studies. Then came the years of studying in the Art and Restoration College in the city of Volzhsk, military service and finally moving to Leningrad and entrance to the Leningradsky Art and Industrial College (now St. Petersburg State Academy of Art and Industry of A.L. Stieglitz), which he graduated from in 1986. Six years later he joins St-Petersburg Union of Artists and becomes a constant member of its spring and autumn exhibitions. His gained professional skills allowed him to meet masterfully all the artistic challenges that he issues in each of his works.

In his early city landscapes and still lives Azat Galimov is aiming for the austere, distinct drawing that carefully re-creates concrete urban or rustic motif. Each detail, each element of composition is important to the author as together they all smoothly form the organic picturesque whole. As a result there appears an authentic, almost documentarily precise image of St-Petersburg embankment, architectural or cultural monument, city park or public garden. The artist though felt that something was still lacking in his interpretation of the city. Not for nothing he turned towards Impressionist art with its keen interest for conveying light-and-airy environment in specific time of year. Lengthy working hours en plein air played an important role there, as the artist is grasping the character of lighting that saturate the city atmosphere with countless almost imperceptible flavors, tincturing it with reverence and fluidity. But unlike the classics of foreign and national Impressionism, Azat Galimov does not dissolve the contours of buildings or passer-by figures in flexible picturesque midst, creating in his landscapes an organized, steady image of city view or nature motif. This is how he manages to get over to the spectator poetics of the Lion's Bridge, the Summer Garden , Fontanka River 's embankment near Panteleimonovsky Bridge . The works devoted to the Summer Garden and its sculptures that enrich its alleys for more than a couple of centuries, the titles themselves are poetic: Late Autumn. The Summer Garden , The Summer Garden . Aurora and Night.

Rustic landscapes by Azat Galimov, intimate in character, are marked with heartfelt, lyrical tone which is achieved by the most expressive means of painting finely developed tinges of color, harmonious choices of tone, texture of paint layer (Nemyatovo. Warm Evening). Galimov's works made in other countries Italy, Turkey, Croatia, Bulgaria, China attract with their capacity to perceive in a single concrete urban or landscape motif the most specific and typical features of the country in whole, with their ability to feel the certain rhythm of life, as if the very movements of the artist's brush are mastered by it. This rhythm is evident in the contours of the ancient buildings enriching the Piazza San Marco and leading the spectator masterfully in the perspective of famous Venetian channels (A Side Street in Venice, A Summer Day in Venice), and in the exotic layouts of Chinese pagodas against the piercing blue skies (Spring in Pingyao), as well as in the ado of Istanbul streets contrasting with the stately solemnity of Turkish mosques with their high minarets ("Sultan Ahmet. Old street in the heart of Istanbul", Istanbul in Winter). Among the works painted in Turkey there are some expressive portrait images, included seamlessly in the landscape space (Cafe in Istanbul at Princes Islands ).

Nature, being so often in tune with the human mood, also gets the picturesque colouring of its own, that unique atmosphere of uncreated landscape. Colorful still lives with flowers are marked with special spirituality of painterly solutions; unlike traditional samples of bouquet genre, these flowers are not taken out their natural environment, but are shown as a part of the spanless and beautiful world of nature (At the Garden Fence, Symphony in Pink, Peony Shrubs). As a rule, the artist seldom includes the image of the sky in his still lives. It's the painted petals and leaves of garden flowers, washed by the warm rain or lightened with the bright sunlight that reveal the state of nature at the moment when the artist created his work.

The works of Azat Galimov gained well-deserved reputation and acceptance among the connoisseurs of realistic art. His name was included in the catalogue Best Artists of Russia in 2007. His solo exhibitions were held both in St.-Petersburg (Blue Drawing Room Gallery of St.-Petersburg Union of Artists) and abroad ( Art Gallery of the city of Raahe , Finland , and Art Gallery of Istanbul). The artist never ceases to perfect his skills. He works considerably and productively in any season, uncovering the new verges of beauty and harmony in well-known images and motifs.


November 8, 2010


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