The art school first in Turkmenistan was opened in Ashkhabad in September, 1920. A century has passed, but names of pioneers are not forgotten, and present students are guided by artworks of founders and first pupils of the school as well. Having gone deep into history, we have tried to find out how the art studio and who was at the beginnings of its basis was formed.
Ilya (Ruvim) Mazel, Alexander Vladychuk and Michael Libakov laid the foundation for national easel painting in Turkmenistan. At that time, artists co-operated with theatres, newspapers, created poster and book illustrations. Their hot desire to open an art school in which any interested person could study, developing the talents and abilities, began a new page in the history of Turkmen fine arts.
In 1922 the art studio was renamed into the Eastern Shock-School of Arts. The next year in Moscow the first exhibition of Ashkhabad Shock School, in the All-Russia scientific association of oriental studies took place. Having presented over 300 works of pupils and heads of the school – the exhibition caused a great interest in orientalists, historians of art and spectators.
Among pupils of the first Ashkhabad art school – Sergey Beglyarov. The beginning painter studies under the supervision of Ilya Mazel, simultaneously teaching drawing and painting to his course mates. Among pupils of the school was the son of peasant Bashim Nurali who casually discovered for himself a basis of drawing, and in the future, the national artist of Turkmenistan. In the same number – Olga Mizgireva who mastered profession of botany, but for ever remained the bright painter. Works of the first pupils of the Shock school can be met today in halls of the state museum of fine arts in Ashkhabad.
It was not easy for the first pupils, times were heavy, and there was no paper, canvas, oil paints. Sketches they did on newspapers by coal and pencils, studied work with water colour. “Handwriting” of newly appeared Turkmen artists distinctly started to be shown literally from the first exposed works.
Jacob Tugenhold, the Soviet art critic and art worker marked rich imagination, freshness of perception and east colour in works of Turkmen painters. At the moment of formation of the Turkmen school of easel painting, carrying over of traditions national carpet making, ornaments and drawings from national carpets on a canvas was inherent in artists. Indissoluble communication of arts and crafts with painting was looked through in sketches and landscapes of Turkmen nature.
Unfortunately, the Eastern Shock-School of Arts existed till 1925. But, as they say: «When one door is closed, another opens». Sergey Beglyarov, the honoured worker of arts of Turkmenistan, at the beginnings of painting development in the country, managed to continue business of teachers. Under his initiative in 1931 in the Ashkhabad music college the graphic branch which later turned into independent art school, was opened.
Breathing the second life into school of the Turkmen fine arts, young artists aspired to embody everything in the drawings, than there lived the country. They found heroes of pictures, among fishermen, daykhan, workers of oil-extracting factories. That is why so colourfully “palette” of inhabitants of Turkmenistan of that time also was picturesquely presented.
The coloristic impressions about painting of Central Asia were depicted in graphic artist and art worker Olga Yanovsky: «Turquoise and pink clothes of cotton growers lighted up as precious enamel in the general reserved silver-ashy background». Turkmen art culture, having passed through set of tests, at last, finds the path, having presented the country, the whole galaxy of talented masters and painters.
Name of Bashim Nurali, one of the first pupils of the Eastern Shock-School of Arts, the oldest children’s art school of capital of Turkmenistan today carries. It means that the history of Turkmen painting continues the annals.