Aida Mahmudova: PASTPRESENTFUTURE. Sapar Contemporary Incubator. On view January 14, 2021 – February 16, 202
“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World.
(New York) – Sapar Contemporary Incubator presents Aida Mahmudova: PASTPRESENTFUTURE, a new series exploring the fragmentary nature of being through distorted memories across time and landscape. As part of the gallery’s ongoing effort in supporting leading female artists working across Central Asia and Caucasus, PASTPRESENTFUTURE marks the artist’s second solo-show in the United States.
In the new body of work, the artist conflates past, present, and future to create works which exist beyond external constraints – ideological, political, or religious – to forefront a purely emotive and instinctive process of creation. The result is powerful works of unguarded conception, taking direct inspiration from the relationship between the artist and medium.
Using grass and dry plants within her impressionistic brushstrokes, works such as Roots (2020) reveal invigorating details of terrains found in the artist’s homeland of Azerbaijan. Delving into the actualities of land surfaces, Mahmudova’s process imbues these evocative natural surroundings with a sense of nostalgia. The process of building layers, or tearing them apart, and of mixing various materials including dry plants, ceramic, copper, become an exercise for material growth and emotional healing for the artist.
Living and working in Baku, Azerbaijan, Mahmudova’s works are harmonious with the physical nature of her chosen materials and her preferred earthly palette. Her deeply intuitive explorations continue to evolve across the spectrum of universal human sentiments of love, loss, memory, and desire, eschewing external constructs. In the artist’s own words, “being part of society applies certain restrictions on our understanding of the nature of being, and our interaction with others – through this, we lose channels of innate communication. Art for me has no boundaries, it is open to any communicational variations, and the artistic process is in a way an act of tearing away at our fundamental principles, which are manmade and therefore ultimately fragile.”
About the artist
Aida Mahmudova (b. 1982, Baku, Azerbaijan) lives and works in Baku. She graduated from Central Saint Martins, London with a degree in Fine Art in 2006. She has widely exhibited internationally, including group and solo exhibitions in Belgium, London, Rome, New York, Moscow and Baku. Selected solo exhibitions include: Can’t Capture The Light, Deweer Gallery, Otegem (2017); Passing By…, Leila Heller Gallery, New York (2015); and Internal Peace, Barbarian Art Gallery, Zurich (2013). Mahmudova exhibited at the 55th Venice Biennale in the group show Love Me, Love Me Not (2013) and in the 56th Venice Biennale as part of VITA VITALE curated by Artwise (2015).
About Sapar Contemporary Gallery
Sapar Contemporary Gallery + Incubator works with international artists who span three generations and five continents. They engage in global conversations and develop vocabularies that resonate as strongly in Baku, Almaty and Istanbul as they do in New York, Berlin, Baku and Mexico City. Their artistic practices vary from meditative traditional ink painting to writing programming code; what connects them are the artists’ capacity for empathy, insight, and imagination, their whimsy and generosity of spirit, as well as the rigor and depth of their studio practice. The gallery program offers a unique lens that is immediate and global, future-oriented and accessible, multi-sensory and immersive. SAPAR Contemporary also commissions works that are site-specific but infused with sensibilities, materialities and traditions of the artists’ backgrounds.
Sapar Contemporary has also launched a Neo-Nomad Incubator focused on the emerging art scene and cultural traditions of Central Asia. The Incubator program is headquartered in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The first edition of the Neo Nomad Incubator evolved around the notion of traditional and digital nomadism and aesthetics connected to nomadic experiences. The project explored the relationship between traditional nomadic cultures of Central Asia and Middle East, and realities of migration, globalization and hyper mobility. Current incubator efforts are going towards highlighting unique art scenes in Central Asia, Caucasus, South East Russia and Mongolia. Since 2020 Incubator program has been focused on female artists from this region.