Solo Exhibition of Moldakul Narymbetov’s Artworks
National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Astana
27 October, 2017 – 25 January, 2018
Curators: Vladislav Sludskiy, Roza Abenova, art collective Kyzyl Tractor
Aruaqtyn Tüsi, organized and presented jointly by the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Eurasian Cultural Alliance, is a solo exhibition of the late artist Moldakul Narymbetov. Created as part of a museum initiative entitled "History of Contemporary Art of Kazakhstan in Personalities”, the exhibition features Narymbetov’s most vivid and significant artworks, including paintings, installations, video performances with the artist's participation, as well as a documentary film about his work.
Moldakul Narymbetov (1946-2012) was the lead member of the art group Kyzyl Tractor, which made a great contribution to the development and popularization of contemporary art in Kazakhstan and in the Central Asian region. Moldakul Narymbetov was noted for his bright individuality, rebellious charisma, which enabled him to boldly master creative artistic forms. His shamanistic myth-making is archaic in form and modern in content; it presently allows us to speak of him as an original artist who successfully discovered and clearly expressed his identity.
Narymbetov’s sculptures made of old rubber auto-tires, iconic works of his artistic career, are known far beyond Kazakhstan. A mixed-media sculpture The Scarab is a figure of a beetle rolling a huge ball of dirt backwards. The work guides viewers to an ancient myth about a scarab beetle, which symbolizes the Sun and personifies the idea of eternal return, labor, and creativity. For Narymbetov, it embodies modern civilization that continues to create new symbols in addition to recycling centuries-long cultural values. Among other meanings hidden in this project, the artist acutely reflects on present-day environmental problems.
The art collective Kyzyl Tractor, which comprises artists Smail Bayaliyev, Said Atabekov, Vitaliy Simakov, and Arystanbek Shalbayev, continues to successfully develop its characteristic line of research on the mutual influence of traditional cultural and civilizational values. The group's practices are characterized as distinctive, original, authentic, and, most importantly, influential in the local context as well as in a wider global art historical process in the modern society.