Azerbaijani artists to display work in Dubai

Farid Rasulov Wood 1 Wood 2 Wood 3  201 (Courtesy: Farid Rasulov and Yay Gallery)
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Ever since I visited Baku earlier this year, I’ve had an invested interest in Azerbaijani art and the impact it is having across the region. I was struck, when I went to the city on the Caspian, by the fusion of the ancient and the contemporary and how the artists worked together as a community to launch their own art scene on the global stage. Yarat, the contemporary art organisation founded by artist Aida Mahmudova, had a large role to play in the success of this venture and the team at their commercial arm, Yay Gallery, work hard travelling to international art fairs and establishing the name of their artists in international arenas.

One of the most interesting partnerships of this summer is between Yay Gallery and Cuadro, one of Dubai’s strongest art spaces. In June, three of Cuadro’s artists appeared in a group show in Baku and now, the Azerbaijani artists are coming to Dubai for a show set to open on the 15th.

Mahmudova herself, who works across installation, sculpture and painting to address themes of memory and nostalgia is one of four artists bringing their art to the UAE. Her paintings are an attempt to capture and preserve fading landscapes, urban environments and architecture in Azerbaijan.

A personal favourite, Farid Rasulov who uses wood carving to revive an ancient Azerbaijani tradition but presents it in thoroughly contemporary ways, will bring two new sculptures emerging from a two-year study with traditional wood masters and combines Islamic shapes and the ancient craft of carving with the modern transformation of the common object.

Rashad Alakbarov, whose work was central to Yay Gallery’s booth at Art Dubai this year, is best known for his abstract sculptural installations made from arranged objects and fragmented materials. Placed in front of a light-source to cast shadows, the works reveal unexpected narratives. For the exhibition the artist will present three new ‘shadow works’ that refer to different parts of Middle Eastern culture and tradition, from the Kufic alphabet to traditional Islamic architectural patterns.

Finally, Orkhan Huseynov will exhibit four Plexiglas reliefs from his Yusuf series. Two of the wall-based works feature verses from Surah Yusuf, a chapter in the Quran, and the remaining, images of a modern shirt. Through the juxtaposition of religious stories and contemporary material, the artist continues to investigate regional history while referencing age-old folk traditions and objects in his conceptual practice.

* Meeting Point runs from September 15 - October 15 at Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, DIFC, Dubai. For more info visit or