Black Swirls on Blue or Green-Blue Background
Solo Exhibition of Moldakul Narymbetov’s Artworks
Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, Saint Petersburg
30 March, 2018 – 06 June, 2018
Curator: Roza Abenova
Union of ancient cultural codes and symbols of modern civilization
Works of the leader of the Kazakh art group Kyzyl Tractor
Painting, installation, sculpture, video with performances and actions
Moldakul Narymbetov (1948-2012) had played an instrumental role in the creation of contemporary art of Kazakhstan in the 1990s and 2000s.
Noted for his fervent personality and rebellious charisma, Narymbetov has become an iconic Central Asian figure and a pioneer of novel artistic forms in the post-Soviet space.
Narymbetov was the lead member of Shymkent Trans Avant-Garde, an art collective established in 1990 and subsequently renamed Kyzyl Tractor. The collective set out to adapt avant-garde techniques of Western art to traditional attitudes of Eastern culture.
A marked appeal of Kazakhstan’s pre-Islamic past lies at the core of their artistic exploration and manifests in the prevalence of references to ancient shamanistic rites and rituals. Many of Kyzyl Tractor’s works feature a central figure of a wandering dervish or shaman in pursuit of truth and harmony through meditative and healing practices.
Black Swirls on Blue or Green-Blue Background presents a curated selection of Narymbetov’s works such as paintings, sculpture, and archival videos of his performances, in connection to Kyzyl Tractor’s “myth-making” and “trans avant-garde shamanism” period.