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The Almaty Harold

The Almaty Harold, January 14, 1998


Records of Unusual Talks

During one of my regular visits to the Tengry Umai Gallery I incidentally ran into well- known artist Nick Gazeev. The gallery at that time was hosting his personal exhibition exhibiting his two albums: "The Road to Paris. Glimpses of St. Petersburg" (1993) and "The Short Travel to Snow-covered Peaks." (1997). As far as I knew artists rarely joined their works in albums. That is why I was very much interested why Nick Gazeev chose this form.

The following is a short note I read before I entered the showroom.

Why Albums?

Why albums? What for is such a shy and verbatim drawing of houses near a river, running road? Could it be interesting, could it have any influence on the onlooker?

Album is a form of conversation, it is also an opportunity to talk the reality, surrounding us. Fortunately, conversations as well as the themes are very varied.

Album is the most verbatim record of these conversations. It is difficult to state the reason why an artists picks up this or that theme for his paintings. The only thing we can do is we can concentrate our attention on reading by what an artist is interested.

As soon as I entered I started my observation of the exhibition from the paintings, joined in album "The Short Travel To Snow- Covered Peaks".

I found neither dignified mountings, nor sharp peaks, nor mounds portrayed in violet and blue tones, nor white snow. Gazeev's paintings pictured summery colors. They seemed to not to be laid down by the artist's brush, but more resembled vivid outbursts on the surface of the paintings.

Gazeev's paintings expose impressions, which we do not notice in our everyday routine life. The artist devoted many of his works to St. Petersburg, but each of these works portrayed its own city, a different "St. Ptersburg". There are "Palace's Bridge", "Kolomna", "Peter's and St. Paul's Cathedral" and many others. The artist also created "Morning", "Cloud", "Forest Brook", "Before Rain" and "The Rain". All these works depicted different colors of one month - May.

As I was wondering round the showroom, a man came up to me and introduced himself. To my great surprise, the man turned to be the author of the works exhibited. Artist Nick Gazeev appeared a very sociable person.

In 1970 Nick Gazeev graduated from the Almaty College of Fine Arts and in 1978 from the Repin Institute of the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, where he lived for quite a long period. Over the last two years the artist also created paintings portraying the beauty of Almaty mountains.

"The one special sensation has always been particularly attractive to me. I am sure everyone knows it. It is finding yourself alone in a dead silence. This sensation waiting for us on the streets, in our homes, boulevards and everywhere else. At the moments you have such a feeling, everything ordinary seems to us to be something unbelievable and unattainable. The feeling stays with us forever then, disclosing itself in the shade of trees branch and in the river banks.

Album "The Road To Paris" and the album "The Short Travel To Snow-covered Picks" seemed to be about this sensation. It is very difficult to find features, that often fall out of sight in the objective reality. And when I succeed to capture them, I see a small hole, from which I can pass from my own painting to the sphere of spiritual and psychological painting, in which I am interested more and more."

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