Beginning of the twentieth century was the time of the rapid development of arts new to the Turkmen culture. First of all, it refers to painting. The restrictions of Islam on portrayal of humans and animals and objects of the surrounding world became loose in the new civil society. Byashim Nurali became one of the first national masters of painting. He was later called a symbol of the cultural progress and art of the Turkmen state.
From the early childhood, Byashim loved and communicated with the nature. The dunes, deserts, mountains and all the beauty of the surrounding environment were native and familiar for the young romanticist. In order to express his feelings he wrote poems, picked out a tune and sang. The fellow villagers caught up his songs about the beauty of the native land’s nature and love. The future artist was not familiar with the art of painting yet. He didn’t realize that the natural beauty surrounding him could be perpetuated on the canvass with the help of a brush.
Only at the age of twenty he for the first time familiarized with the ABC of painting in the exemplary art school of the East. Acquaintance with the world of painters became a dazzling outbreak of enlightenment for him, and, despite the width of creative interests, Byashim Nurali decided to devote his life to painting. From the first days of studies, he was in a hurry; he wanted to express himself as quicker as possible. And as a result of his ardent urge toward self-expression he produced the first work – “Kurban Bairam” – in 1921. The artist succeeded in depicting a surprisingly poetic landscape, achieve completeness of the plot and convey a sensitive perception of the nature. By the early 1930-s Byashim Nurali gained the rich creative experience. He learned to feel keenly everything new, to see and portray it on the canvasses. The notion “the first painter” became more than a serial number; it turned to the honored title.
Byashim Nurali did a lot of teaching on drawing and painting. He devoted more than ten years to the teaching activity and nurtured the Turkmen artists well-known nowadays, thus making great contribution to the formation and development of the Turkmen visual culture. He continued his work at the easel as well. Byashim Nurali’s “Festival of Victory” should be referred to the number of his best paintings. Unique in style, ingenuous by the expression of feelings, the work is imbued with the state of peace and joy, easily perceived as spring and transparent in the coloring.
The late period of Byashim Nurali’s creative work was marked by new trends. The compositions depicted by him embodied his aspiration to do something eternal that will remain in the memory of many people. The genre painting “A folk singer among shepherds” is one of his best pictures. The painter finished it shortly before his tragic death in airplane crash in 1965. The painting is written in a burst of inspiration, a soft lyrical music is played in it. Its tune is caught up almost physically, and the painting expresses a kind humor. And it is like a song by Byashim Nurali himself, who leaves the wonderful world, in which each of us is an unknown stranger…
The fellow artists, actors, writers, composers, directors, and those who knew Byashim Nurali are convinced that his creative work has not been fully studied yet, his multiform talent has not been disclosed to full extent. As any really talented man, Byashim Nurali had a genius in many things. He was a brilliant musician, composer, musical instruments master, and a poet. He was a splendid actor and played a number of roles; and only the love and devotion to painting did not allow him to change an occupation.
Byashim Nurali’s numerous works that guests and residents of the capital can always get acquainted with occupy a deserving place in the Saparmurat Turkmenbashi Fine Arts Museum in Ashgabat.
In order to correctly comprehend the creative heritage and importance of Byashim Nurali, the first Turkmen painter, one should know that centuries-old folk traditions underlay his creative works. All his creation, where new features of the figurative structure of Byashim Nurali’s paintings can be called popular-poetic, testifies to it. It is the creative works by Byashim Nurali that facilitated the establishment of Turkmenistan’s national school, in which the integrity of world perception, spiritual unification of man with the beauty of the world is expressed.
Web Resource and art critic: Magazine Trkmenistan -Jennet KARANOVA