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EXHIBITION OF DASHI NAMDAKOV
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 15 November - 20 December 2004

From 15th November to 20th December 2004 the show of Dashi Namdakov, a sculptor and a graphic artist from Buryatia (Russia), is held at the Hay Hill Gallery in London.

Dashi’s artworks (b.1967) are kept at the State Hermitage, the State Museum of Oriental Art, the Russian Ethnographic Museum, the Russian Museum of Modern Art, in private collections of Russian President V. Putin, President of Tatarstan M.Shaimiev, Moscow Mayor Yu. Luzhkov, Governor of Chukotsk autonomous region R. Abramovich and other representatives of Russian political and business elite, as well as in private collections in Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, Japan, the USA, Taiwan. For example, Dashi’s works were acquired by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, country music star Willy Nelson, famous actress Uma Thurman.

Dashi’s pieces of art, that brought him huge success at his first personal exhibition, have already become a synonym for contemporary ethnic ritual sculpture. Fulfilled mostly in realistic manner, they are at the same time significantly hyperbolic. Perfect plasticity and exalted emotionality of his “warriors” and “guardians” have made their creator a classic of modern sculpture.

The variety of materials Dashi works with is impressive: bronze, silver, gold, mammoth tusk, horsehair. The works “Full Moon” and “Raven” are a genre mixture of sculpture and tapestry and have no precedent in recent art history, as the art experts say.

In Dashi’s sculpture you can find traditional images of Central Asia steppe civilization – warriors and beauties, lamas and shamans, totemic animals and mythological creatures.

Dashi has gained love and recognition of art experts and amateurs all over the world as a prominent sculptor and graphic artist.

In 2003 Dashi was awarded the Silver Medal of the Russian Academy of Arts. The exhibition held at Tibet House (New York, 2004) gained the artist a worldwide fame. Such magazines and newspapers as the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the Newsweek International issued the articles about the event.

The News Line, Tuesday November 23 2004, Number 8729, Page 9
Art
Stunning images of Mongolia
Dashi Namdakov

Russian Sculptor
Hay Hill Gallery, Hay Hill, London W1
Until 20 December
Admission free

by a guest reviewer

ONCE again Hay Hill Gallery has brought to London the delights of Russian Art with this stunning exhibition of Dashi Namdakov sculptor and alchemist.

Namdakov's lyrical and liquid figures cast in bronze and silver conjure the vast expansiveness and mystery of Russia's non-western plainsmen and indigenous people.

Dashi Namdakov, born in 1967, lives in the South Eastern part of Russian Siberia, in the Chita region, near the Russian-Chinese border in a small Buryati village near the world's cleanest and biggest fresh water container, Lake Baikal.

His father was a well-known village craftsman with versatile talents, making things by hand, furni­ture, metal handles, carpets and wood-carved sculptures.

Working

At 18 Dashi moved to Ulan-Ude, Buryati's central city, and started working with the well-known sculptor Gennady Vasilyev.

Two years later he entered the University of Fine Arts in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk City, where famous Russian artists Lev Golovnitsky, Yuri Ishkhanov, Azat Boyarlin and Eduard Paklhomov taught his academic art.

Dashi Namdakov has been nicknamed the alchemist, observing the beauty of the natural world around him and recreating it in metal.

His roots take in both the ancient traditions and the modern history of his country and culture.

You find in his sculpture a mix of traditional images of remote Mongolian steppe civilisation from Central Asia - its warriors and beauties, its shamans, totemic animals and mythological creatures. His creations delight the eye and the imagination, making us believe in the reality of story telling.

His pieces are strongly influenced by the oriental culture of the east where man and the universe are united, and where everything is an integral part of the ‘universal construction’, and yet he was influenced by Michelangelo. Breugel and Japanese art.

Namdakov himself says: 'From my village to New York, I do not have words to describe the distance.'

But his technique and craftsmanship, his knowledge of contemporary and modern art forms, testily also to the unifying process of the Soviet workers' revolution of October 1917, which liberated the peasant from ignorance and brought education, art and literature to the remote parts of the region.

A revolution which made it possible for a young 'peasant lad' from the remotest inhabited regions to develop and train in the leading Art School in Siberia and to show his art in the State Hermitage, the State Museum of Oriental Art, and the Russian Museum of Modern Art.

Dashi Namdakov transforms metal into silky creatures with a liquid and lyrical movement, imagined figures are made extremely tactile.

His creatures have a tremendous energy and a magical power to awe, but with a lightness and humour, which delights the eyes and tickles the mind.

Warriors and archers feature in Namdakov's work, broad and powerful and yet whimsical and mystified, pitted against a more powerful and mysterious natural world. For the artist, the concepts of a warrior and a sage were one.

There are many horses in Dashi's work, reflecting the life of the Mongolian herdsman.

In one Chinese legend a Stallion falls in love with his Master's daughter and was shot with an arrow for his troubles. But the Stallion’s skin wraps up the girl and carries her into the steppe where she is transformed into a a strange creature – a huge mulberry silkworm with a horse head, becoming the Goddess of silk-spinning.

There is the delightful work called, The Rich Fiancee, in which a young woman riding a stylish mule, laden with a small travel trunk, twists on the horse, looking back at a crowd perhaps as she commences her journey.

Rider

The ass she rides twists its neck 180 degrees to face the rider, but its eye looks out at the viewers, to bring them into the joke.

The Pearl depicts a young woman balanced lightly on a plinth, toes curling upward and skirt blowing round her knees, her head turned away, and in her hand a large pearl.

This was cast in three different colours of bronze, highlighting and shadowing and giving the sculpture a depth of texture.

The Steppe Nefertiti is the head of a Mongolian woman in the style of the famous Egyptian queen. She is beautiful and peaceful and calm.

Dashi prefers to work in bronze as the most visually expressive material. But he has used other materials and techniques.

Two of his pieces The Bet and Raven-bird are made of felt and horsehair. Not exhibited but seen in the catalogue.

Also featuring in this small friendly gallery hanging above his sculptures are Namdakov's giclee prints of his warriors.

This is a new printing technique developed in France where pencil drawings can be projected onto canvas.

Dashi creates his own mythology.

He re-organises anthropomorphic features and invents fantastic bodies.

She-Guardian is a sabre-toothed, winged, wonderful, mythical gargoyle-like creature with eight milk-full teats prancing on claws, staring wide-eyed and warning anyone who comes near.

Suggesting the power of nature and of human sexuality, his erotic He and She of redwood and bronze are facing each other - two statues with the heads of gazelles and human bodies, one with women's breasts and six teats, the other with a full erection.

The sculptor said: 'Each thing or idea has its own inner logic which dictates the form of expression ... by understanding and following the logic one creates a wholeness out of details.'

This is a delightful exhibition and well worth a visit to this friendly gallery.

This is London, The Weekly Magazine for International Visitors, Friday 5 November 2004, Issue 2509, Friday 19 November 2004, Issue 2511

RUSSIAN SCULPTURE AT HAY HILL GALLERY

The show of Dashi Namdakov, a sculptor and a graphic artist from Buryatia (Russia), is being held at the Hay Hill Gallery in London until 20 December.

Dashi's artworks are kept at the State Hermitage, the State Museum of Oriental Art, the Russian Ethnographic Museum, the Russian Museum of Modern Art, in private collections of Russian President V. Putin, President of Tatarstan M.Shaimiev, Moscow Mayor Yu. Luzhkov, Governor of Chukotsk autonomous region R. Abramovich and other representatives of Russian political and business elite, as well as in private collections in Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, Japan, the USA, and Taiwan. Dashi's works have been acquired by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, country music star Willie Nelson, and actress Uma Thurman.

Dashi's pieces of art have already become a synonym for contemporary ethnic ritual sculpture. Fulfilled mostly in realistic manner, they are at the same time significantly hyperbolic. Perfect plasticity and exalted emotionality of his 'warriors' and 'guardians' have made their creator a classic of modern sculpture.

The variety of materials Dashi works with is impressive: bronze, silver, gold, mammoth tusk, horsehair. The works 'Full Moon' and 'Raven' are a genre mixture of sculpture and tapestry and have no precedent in recent art history.

In Dashi's sculpture one can find traditional images of Central Asia steppe civilization - warriors and beauties, lamas and shamans, totemic animals and mythological creatures.

In 2003 Dashi was awarded the Silver Medal of the Russian Academy of Arts. The exhibition held at Tibet House in New York earlier this year gained the artist a worldwide fame.

The Hay Hill Gallery is located at 11B Hay Hill, Mayfair, W1. The exhibition is open Monday to Friday 11.00 to 18.00, and Saturday from 11.00 to 17.00.

Photo Report from the Reception of 16 November 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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