Comprehensive overview of Arif Aziz’s art shown in Berlin

Press Release: On 24 April 2015, the Berlin-based Gallery Schulz hosted the private view of the Dance of Spirit exhibition, comprising works by the renowned Azerbaijani artist Professor Arif Aziz, who presented his own work. More than 100 VIP guests attended the view, including representatives from politics and culture, art aficionados and those specialising in the South Caucasus.

Michael Schultz, Owner, Gallery Schultz, commented: “Foreign cultures that were previously unknown to me have always exercised a special fascination. During my trip to Azerbaijan, a country of which I knew little, I was impressed by the genuine diversity of history and contemporary art.”

Born in Baku in 1943, artist Arif Aziz is one of the most important Azerbaijani painters ofhis generation. The artistic richness and diversity of his work has impacted the development of post-war Azerbaijani art. By hosting this major exhibition, the Gallery Schulz has encapsulated his multi-faceted oeuvre, which combines the artistic heritage of the Islamic pictorial tradition with elements of western contemporary art.

During the outset of his career, Mr Aziz conformed to the concepts of approved Soviet-era socialist realism. However, he soon began to incorporate his own elements, and his work began to develop its own language, achieving a great deal of repect in Azerbaijani artistic circles. From early on, Mr Aziz merged the human image with the ornamentation found in the varied architectural styles of Azerbaijan. This synthesis resulted in a new abstraction that influenced many young artists in his homeland.

Mr Schultz regards Mr Aziz as a primary link between Azerbaijani art of the Soviet period and the present. He commented: “Even in Soviet times, his art was based on on reduction and abstraction. This exhibition provides a closer view, and indicates the cohesive development of his artistic work and his thinking.”