Friday, 25 March 2011

Love and other impossible pursuits

101st reason why I love travelling is that I can watch movies without feeling guilty for the loss of time… Today it's a drama with Natalie Portman “Love and other impossible pursuits” (very suitable title for my spirits today). What else is left to do if you are stuck in the hotel, and the much needed trip to the desert of forbidden art didn’t happen?.. 
 I travelled to Tashkent as soon as I got some feedback from the Nukus Art Museum: the director of the museum Marinika Babanazarova swiftly responded to my e-mail with a warm welcoming note…but it was a little too late, all flight tickets to Nukus were sold out, I even rushed to the airport in a desperate attempt, but all was in vain. For a moment I contemplated  aircraft hijacking, but what could I threaten the pilots with, my brushes?   
Somewhere between Khojent and Tashkent...
"The desert of forbidden art" has to wait.  I forgot to mention, that it's a name of a film about the amazing story of the  Savitsky Collection, created by Amanda Pope & Tchavdar Georgiev. 
 Image from www.desertofforbiddenart.com
"The Desert of Forbidden Art is, itself, a work of art about the art world," says ABOUT.COM. Here you can find the list of next screenings

P.S. I take it back! I take all the whining back!!! Spending the whole afternoon at the State Museum  of Arts of Uzbekistan calmed my nerves…or was it a glass of highly overpriced Georgian wine?
Image from www.caravan-one.uz 
The 102nd reason why I love travelling is extravagant meals in the middle of the day (not that something stops me on a regular afternoon…). See, travelling is stressful (or so they say) and the best way to find comfort in any a strange place is drinks FOOD. Especially if it is served in the middle of an art gallery… Caravan One is an art gallery and a fine restaurant of traditional Uzbek and European cuisine - strongly recommended (check the wine prices though!).

Mural painting. Varakhsha. VIIth century.State museum of Arts, Tashkent 
So, back to the State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan…It is located in a huge marble (maybe a tad too monumental) palace. I knew exactly where I needed to go –  the Avant-garde section. Definitely is not Nukus, but I made a few discoveries indeed. Two paintings by Kandinsky hung modestly  by the window… 
Kandinsky V.V.Composition on yellow. 1920. 
Kandinsky V.V. Composition. 1920.   
But my absolute favorite was an Uzbek avant garde  artist of Russian origin Alexandr Volkov (1886 - 1957).
Volkov, Aleksandr Nikolayevich. Pomegranate colored  tea room.
1924, Oil on canvas,  105 х 116 (This Volkov's painting belongs to the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow )
There was also a nice antique shop by the museum, where I found a great book and a small graphic by a local artist.  

Agapov. Ink on Paper, 20cm x 20 cm, Ca. 1970.

So it was a good day after all. Time to pack, my plane is leaving in a few hours. See you in the West!



  1. Sorry for the disappointment but...food and wine cures most ills.

    The painting "Pomegranate colored tea room" is incredible. How is museum security? Can it be obtained, late night through a window??

    Welcome home.

  2. (Very late response)... The painting "Pomegranate colored tea room" IS incredible. But I havnt seen it in the original. It is hanging in Moscow Tretyakov Gallery, very well secured ;-). I couldnt find images of the beautiful Volkov's paintings hanging in Tashkent, so I posted this one...

    Thank you, it's good to be home.