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Astana, Kazakhstan • 29 January 2024

Foreign Artists Donate 18 Works to the National Museum

The anniversary exhibition of the Kazakh Artists’ Union showcased over 270 works from thirteen countries

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Alina Maulenova for QazMonitor
Alina Maulenova for QazMonitor

On January 29, the National Museum received a donation of eighteen works from foreign artists featured in the "1933-2023: The Union on Artists of Kazakhstan Turn 90!" international exhibition.

Alina Maulenova for QazMonitor
Alina Maulenova for QazMonitor

The international exhibition, commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Union of Artists of Kazakhstan, brought together 226 artists from diverse backgrounds, with participants from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Buryatia, and Canada. Featuring over 270 works, the exhibition vividly portrayed life in vibrant colors and manifestations.

Batesh Akpasova, Head Keeper of the National Museum, provided QazMonitor with insights into the exhibition, including attendance figures, common traits among the presented works, and the overall theme of the exhibition.

Batesh Akpasova (credit: Alina Maulenova for QazMonitor)
Batesh Akpasova (credit: Alina Maulenova for QazMonitor)

Could you tell us a bit about the exhibition?

This exhibition is dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Union of Artists of Kazakhstan. Over the years, a unified collection has formed, spanning various works, from Kasteev’s to those of contemporary artists. All representatives involved in creating this Union are displayed in our museum: some in permanent exhibits, some in temporary displays, and some in the museum's funds.

Since 2014, the National Museum has been collaborating with the Union of Artists, resulting in this unique exhibition with over two hundred works. The Union has made a generous gift [to the museum] — eighteen pieces by artists from Central Asian countries, including Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and others.

Nearly 28,000 visitors attended the exhibition and the reviews were highly positive. The theme of the exhibition is diverse but, overall, it reflects eternal values such as family, nature, and spirituality.

Alina Maulenova for QazMonitor
Alina Maulenova for QazMonitor

Which works stand out among these eighteen pieces gifted to the Museum?

You know, having worked at the museum for so many years, I find it hard to say. Some were created long ago and had time to mature, while others are more recent. Each work has its soul and meaning. Our selection process involved a council review, ensuring each piece presented its unique idea and concept, contributing to the overall exhibition theme.

I believe all these works are excellent and distinct. This exhibition — it was previously held in Almaty in a different format — turned into a full-scale showcase in Astana, incorporating various visual art forms. Notably, small sculptural forms have been significant [to the exhibition]. In essence, we have a representation of everything. Overall, this exhibition features exceptionally talented artists, and all the works are truly beautiful.

Are there specific characteristics or common traits that pieces from any particular country have?

While it is subtly reflected in this exhibition, I think there is a prevailing common idea, a shared spirit. Looking at these works, the artist's name might be the only hint of their origin. Otherwise, they seem united by a common spirit woven into the overall concept. Each work presents its unique standpoint.

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