Opening Asia for Russia

27.10.2020 161 просмотров

Nurmukhammed Ataev is one of the outstanding Turkmen sculptors, the winner of many state and international competitions for the best designs of monuments on various subjects, including those of statesmen, thinkers and poets of Turkmenistan. 


The name of the master of monumental, easel and decorative sculpture Nurmukhammed Ataev is widely known not only in Turkmenistan, but also abroad. The master's works are distinguished by liveliness and precision of forms, plasticity, great attention to the smallest details, to the smallest details of the image. This applies to all genres in which the artist works. Portraits of the great Turkmen classics Makhtumkuli, Kemine, Zelili, Myatadzhi, Seyidi, as well as portraits of ordinary people, for example, Mukhamed Garagozov, repressed in the Stalin era and spent 25 years in Kalyma, refer us to a whole palette of feelings and emotions, solving not only an aesthetic problem, but also a universal one.

- Nurmukhammed, where were you born, how was your childhood? 

- I was born in 1943 in one of the Mary villages, in a peasant family. My father was a cattle breeder, often roamed the boundless Turkmen sands with his family. And only then my family settled in the new village of "Tyaze oba" in the Mary velayat (region). There were many children in our family, father and mother brought up hard work in us, boundless love for the fertile Turkmen land. My childhood passed in the difficult post-war years, when even children worked along with adults to feed themselves. In my hands one could often see a shovel, a hoe - physical labor gradually brought up in me a love not only for hard, but also painstaking work that requires great diligence and patience. 

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- How did your a creative way? 

- Childhood has passed, the time for education has come, and at the age of 14, at the insistence of my cousin, I leave for the capital - Ashgabat, to study.  Fate brought me to the Turkmen State School, where they teach drawing. Of course, my parents, especially my father, did not like my choice of profession. He wanted me to study to be a doctor or a mechanic. So, at first, the profession of an artist was alien to me. I remember how now, when the director of the art school Ashir Ataevich advised me to enter the department of sculpture, I did not like it.

At that time, I thought that modeling clay figures was not a big deal. Nevertheless, in 1957 I entered the painting department, and a month later, at the insistence of my teachers, I switched to sculpture. The first two years he studied with the teacher Chudin, and the last two years with the People's Artist of Turkmenistan Alexei Timofeevich Shchetinin. In the first years of my studies, I was almost not interested in art or plastic arts. I was very homesick for my native land, I was especially looking forward to meeting my parents, brothers and sisters, I lacked the warmth of a home. But the diligent teaching of teachers and the desire of classmates after graduating from college to continue their studies in art universities in foreign countries became the impetus for my further study. In the evenings, I began to study drawings, hone my skills in modeling.  

In 1962, after graduating from college, he served in the army for three years in the Moscow region - in Klin, Odintsovo, Naro-Fominsk, time did not stop sculpting and drawing. After the army in 1965 he decided to enter the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Leningrad. For the first two years at the academy, we, as students, worked on portraits, figures and reliefs, in the third year of study we were assigned to separate workshops of famous sculptors to study the intricacies of performing thematic works. 

It was then that I became friends with by two sculptors: Vladimir GorevandSergey Kubasov. Gorevoy and Kubasov were guys from the capital, but I was born in the very heart of the Karakums. We lived and worked in Leningrad. We were united not only by friendship. We were all students of the famous academician Mikhail Konstantinovich Anikushin and colleagues in the creative workshop. My path in art, in comparison with my comrades, was thorny and not always unambiguous, but academic success was marked by a Lenin scholarship - at that time it was a high figure in universities. 

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- Who would you call your mentor or a key figure in your artistic and creative activity? 

- At the beginning of the third year I was lucky to study with the famous sculptor Academician Mikhail Konstantinovich Anikushin >, People's Artist of the USSR, Russian sculpture, representative of the classical school. Mikhail Konstantinovich was not only a talented sculptor and a wonderful teacher, but also a kind, sympathetic person. He understood students better than anyone, promoted their interests, helped in everything. The more I learned in the workshop of Anikushin about the complexity of the work of sculpture, the clearer it became, how many difficulties stand in the way of true creativity. My academic drawings as illustrations were included in the "Academic Drawing Manual" for students. I defended my thesis "People's Uprising" with excellent marks and received a referral to graduate school. Academician Anikushin took me to his creative workshop, and for three years I studied and adopted the experience and knowledge of my teacher. I am very grateful to fate for the opportunity to study with such a famous master. Having become a freelance artist, I got my own workshop and worked day and night to gain invaluable experience in sculpture of various genres. 

- Nurmukhammed Ataevich, your first monumental work is “The Monument to the First Builders of Komsomolsk-on-Amur” , established in 1982. Could you tell us more about this work?  

- In 1981, the Central Committee of the Komsomol in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the emergence of Komsomolsk-on-Amur established a competition for the best monument to the first builders. Gorevoyand Kubasov, as the winners of the Lenin Komsomol Prize, were strongly recommended to participate in the competition, but at that time they were already venerable sculptors and believed that the monument was for Komsomolsk-on-Amur they can do it without any competition, if the Central Committee entrusts it to them. The Central Committee understood everything, but the competition was announced, it was too late to back down, and without the participation of Gorevoyand Kubasov, the competition lost its prestige, which was very impressively announced to the sculptors in the Central Committee . “There is nothing to do, you have to participate,” the friends decided. They came up with a good idea - to invite me to participate, as I just needed to gain experience. In the same year, the Komsomol Central Committee organized a trip to Komsomolsk-on-Amur. 

And now, for almost 40 years, the embankment of Komsomolsk-on-Amur has been adorned by a monument that is considered the hallmark of the city - the Monument to the First Builders. The townspeople love it - because, in their opinion, it reflects the true spirit of the city. Five figures (four male and one female), each five meters high, depict young Komsomol members who have descended from the steamer onto the still wild and unbridled shore of the Amur. Nearby are their simple belongings: a wheelbarrow with belongings, a guitar, books. There is no intricate pathos in this monument, it just captured a moment from the past: the landing of the first builders on the river bank. It seems to be an ordinary memorial to ordinary people who came from different parts of a large country for the sole purpose of raising a city in the taiga wilderness in which people will live and work, build new houses and industries, and conduct trade. The monument is a true symbol of the city: after all, the first builders were ordinary people who came to this wilderness from different parts of the Union. Some of them, having rebuilt the city, returned home, and many remained, giving rise to a new generation. So the monument is the true history of the city, because that is how it all began: in 1932, Komsomol builders landed on the steamers Komintern and Columbus on the left bank of the Amur. Young Komsomol members have come such a long way not under compulsion, not for the sake of money, but at the behest of the soul and heart burning with enthusiasm. They are embodied in bronze, but it's a pity that the history of this memorial is forgotten, few remember the names of its creators. 

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Russian Monuments on Twitter

- And at what point did you become famous? 

- When I won my first victory in the All-Union competition for the best design of the monument to the first builders of the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur in honoring the 50th anniversary of its founding. I liked the city, it looked neat, well-groomed, a bit reminiscent of Leningrad, because it was Leningrad specialists who played a big role in its construction. Seeing the wide expanses of the Amur for the first time, I involuntarily compared the deep river with the endless dunes of the desert. I felt in my heart that the monument would be right here, on the embankment, from where all the power and strength of the Far Eastern river opens up to the eye. I clearly imagined how, in the distant thirty-two, young people landed on the shore, admiringly and anxiously looking around these wild lands. A whole range of feelings on their faces: the beauty of these places captivates, fascinates, but will they be able to survive in this harsh land, not to break down? So after all, that's why they came here to win, so there is no doubt!

“No,” I reasoned to myself, “there should not be abstract constructions and promises. The construction of this city is a landmark event for the country, and history does not tolerate an abstract relationship, it loves precise details and specifics. The monument that we will create should be understandable to everyone: the artist and the production worker, the visiting guest and the local fisherman. Let everyone remember how it was, how the guys came here, many of whom are no longer alive. Let everyone remember the passengers of the "Comintern" and "Columbus" as young, full of strength and desire in years to see a flourishing city here. 

-  Have you shared your thoughts with someone like that? 

- After returning from the pier, I told my friend everything. Gorevoy liked my idea, and upon arrival in Leningrad, our group of authors set to work with a vengeance. Then Nikolai Sokolov, an architect, joined our creative workshop, who helped to make calculations in preparing the layout. And now the layout was ready and it was taken to a competitive review in Moscow. When our project won, my friends were not even surprised, because so much soul was invested in it that they did not even think that someone would not like it. We returned to Leningrad as winners, but one more trip to the Far East was necessary in order to coordinate all the details of the project on the spot. The mission to present the drawings and layouts was entrusted to architect Sokolov, who was accompanied by me. Together we arrived in Khabarovsk, where a meeting with the leadership of the region took place, and I presented all the drawings and models of the future memorial, after which they went to Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Here I presented the future monument to the first builders themselves. I was excited by this meeting, because I saw live those already middle-aged people who stood at the very beginning. Although many years had passed since then, their eyes burned with enthusiasm and pride in their city. They immediately liked the layout of the memorial. The first builders said that they were exactly like that and, of course, they were primarily interested in who exactly the five figures represent. They began to make assumptions: “This one looks like Slavka, and that one looks like Ivan. Yes, no, that third one is Vasya from Solntsevka. But I dispelled their doubts by saying that the depicted first builders are not tied to specific individuals, this is a monument to everyone. The old-timers agreed with this convincing argument, loud applause and warm words of gratitude completed this landmark meeting.

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Photo: https://ukraine.tmembassy.gov.tm/


- And you returned to Leningrad…

- Sokolov and I reunited with the rest of the project participants. There was no time to build up - given the scale of the monumental composition and the tight deadlines, the opening ceremony was scheduled for June 1982, it was necessary to urgently start work. Friends, as promised, helped me in everything - from polishing the layout to voluminous work. By the way, the Leningrad Komsomol organization played a big role in promoting the project, which provided us with comprehensive assistance, providing material, providing tickets, premises, and transport. At that time, Valentina Matvienko, who was described as an energetic, efficient specialist, only took up the post of first secretary of the Komsomol organization. And indeed, we ourselves were convinced of this, because she did everything possible so that we would not think about everyday problems, but would only be engaged in the creative process. And the process of molding the monument fell on the harsh Leningrad winter. Since it would have been impossible to work on five-meter figures in a standard workshop, in the city center the sculptors were given the premises of an inactive temple with a high vault. In the summer it was very comfortable there, but in the winter it was unbearably cold, but the molding masters came up with a way out. The site on which the work took place was covered with a transparent film, building something like a giant tent, and then another one was made over this tent - a larger one. A corridor for movement was left between the tents, and thermal radiators were installed. At the Leningrad Steel Plant, all parts of the composition were cast in bronze and the finished parts weighing about five tons were sent by plane to Komsomolsk-on-Amur. 

The opening of the composition took place on June 10, 1982. Representatives of all Soviet republics gathered: artists, artists, public and party leaders. The monument to this day lives its own life on the Amur embankment, being an object of pride and love of ordinary citizens.
In the same year, I returned to my native Ashgabat, where I continued to create…  Monument to the great composer Nury Khalmamedov, a dramatic memorial to the victims of the terrible Ashgabat earthquake of 1948; hovering Pegasuses over the complex of the National Museum, a bust-monument to Berdy Kerbabaev in Tejen; living and folk monument Seidi in the poet's homeland. 

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Photo: https://ukraine.tmembassy.gov.tm/

- ...you created a monument to Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, a plaster copy of which you presented to the Turkmen -Russian secondary school in Ashgabat, named after the great Russian poet. 

- Several years ago, employees of the Russian Embassy in Turkmenistan, representatives of the leadership of the Astrakhan region, where, as a gift from the Turkmen state, a monument to the great Turkmen poet Makhtumkuli, was erected the idea of a return gift from the Russian Federation in the form of a monument to Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin - the great poet, whose significance for Turkmen literature hard to overestimate. The sculpture was planned to be erected on the territory of the Turkmen-Russian school bearing his name in the city of Ashgabat. 
At present, I am ready to complete work on the poet's monument in bronze. I am sure that the opening of the monument to Pushkin in Ashgabat will confirm the strength of the cultural and historical ties between Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation and give them a new impetus.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the diplomats of the Russian Embassy in Turkmenistan, as well as to the artist to the figure of arts of Turkmenistan Batyr Bekmuradov for assistance in transferring the plaster figure of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin as my gift to the joint Turkmen-Russian school. The plaster monument was assembled and placed in the foyer of the school in the fall of 2019. 

The lucky ones who managed to personally visit the workshop of the famous Turkmen sculptor Nurmukhammed Ataev, admit that they experienced that exciting and joyful feeling that genuine art delivers, bright and deep, truthfully reflecting life. The master has works in front of which one wants to stand and look at them for a long time, works that captivate at first sight and evoke warm feelings. In his Ashgabat workshop, many works are reminiscent of the Leningrad period of creativity. Among them are copper plating "Portrait of a student" - a work that was acquired by the State Tretyakov Gallery. 

Part of the artist's works, "Builders", "Border Guard ”, bust portraits, a relief composition “Kemine among the people”, are in the collection of the Turkmen State Museum of Fine Arts. & nbsp; His easel works are in private collections in Russia, the USA, the United Arab Emirates, and Thailand. The handwriting of the realist sculptor is clear, full of inspiration and lyricism, because always faithful to the cause chosen sometime in his youth, the cause that became his vocation, his destiny.

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