January 14 — February 16, 2021
SAPAR Contemporary Gallery + Incubator
New York, USA
About the project
“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.
Sapar Contemporary Incubator (New York) 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.”