After over thirty years of work the name of Saint-Petersburg artist Rashid Gilazov is well known in our country and abroad. Being a prolific artist he has created over three thousand pieces of art, and each of these is full of sincere individuality. The artist has created his own style of painting. His works are easily recognizable whether they are in the museums of Russia or in private collections here and abroad.
In 2000 R.Gilazov received the title of the Honoured Artist of Tatarstan.
The world of images created by R. Gilazov in his portraits, still lifes, landscapes, interiors and murals is full of light, life and high spirituality. This world leaves unforgettable and brilliant impressions. And since the delight in life and the joy of life can never be grey, it is impossible to convey the beauty of life without a bright and vibrant palette. A single motive of joy unites artist’s canvases, some of which are romantic with intense colour, others are soft with gentle modulation of colour. R. Gilazov is charged with creative energy, which finds its expression in the resonant colour scheme, in the emotional content of his works, in the very movement of his brush. «The brush stroke reflects the movement of the spirit», wrote Professor Yev. Moiseyenko, head of the studio in which R. Gilazov went through training. According to this renowned master, the virtuosity of Velasquez, Rembrandt and El Greco we admire so much, is still an enigma, the same is true of the world of images created by them.
Acute sensation of the glory of life permeates any painting by R. Gilazov whether it is just a sketch or a landscape, still life or a portrait. Everything painted and sketched by him in the city on the Neva, in Tatarstan and during his trips is transformed by his clear and sincere emotion. As a man and an artist he is a person of integrity. Integrity is the gift he was born with, and it is sustained in him by nature and by the environment he grew up in.
Yev. Moiseyenko used to say: «An artist is a person who retains the roots that are feeding him. Everything he has to say to the world about people, the feelings he renders, the intonation he reaches the soul of his viewers with is of importance».
In 1983 R.Gilazov stayed and worked at the «Goryachy Klyuch» Painters’ Country Club. This stay turned into a crucial moment in the creative life of the artist. Perhaps it was then when the artist worked en plein air, painted portraits and created interiors that he found his individual style. It was then that Rashid Gilazov made his final choice of genres and freed himself of everything that pulled him back and restrained him in painting.
The artist’s manner of painting we can see in his earlier pictures, in the set of northern landscapes and in the works done in Pushkinskiye Gory and in Painters’ Country Clubs reminds us of the school he went through earlier. But he already found his unique style, and beginning with the second half of the 1980-ies it has been impossible to take his works for anything done by any other artist. The experience and tradition of the world painting as well as his knowledge of it are reflected and transformed in Rashid Gilazov’s art.
Rashid Gilazov inherited from his great teacher Yevsey Moiseyenko qualities that are most important for an artist: courage — so much needed for artistic search and experiments and a wish to move forward and to strive for continuous improvement. The artist’s colour scheme gradually becomes lighter, his colour — more intense and expressive, his vision — more generalised.
He painted landscapes, portraits and still lifes in Leningrad and Tatarstan, and along with that executed paintings, interior decorations, stained glasses and mosaics in Naberezhnye Chelny, Zainsk, Mamadysh, Bavly, Urussu.
At that period of time Rashid Gilazov worked a lot at the Painters’ Country Clubs «Akademicheskaya Dacha», «Palanga», «Gurzuff», «Goryachy Klyuch» creating landscapes of Central Russia and Baltic Sea coast. Whatever the artist works at we can see the result of his search while the pain of it is left behind the scene. On Rashid Gilazov’s canvases we can see the outcome, the inspired and lofty story of the world. It is the strength of emotion, the boldness of his technique, the power of his brush and colour that attract the audience and admirers of his talent.
1990-ies was the time when Rashid Gilazov continued his creative work, arranged exhibitions and travelled in Europe and in his native Tatarstan.
Whole sets of new pieces were shown by Rashid Gilazov at different exhibitions in Russia and abroad. But what is more important – his works have acquired their own unique style, artistic intonation, mastery and colouristic finesse. Canvases that are different in colour and composition and are aimed at different artistic goals are stylistically united no matter whether they are full of lyricism or of passionate romantic emotion. In the 1990-ies he gives back to the world the accumulated wealth of impressions and his understanding of the fragility of life’s beauty.
In this, Rashid is in tune with the outstanding artist and teacher Yevsey Moiseyenko who suggested the following definition of the artistic creative process: «What is a painting? A painting is the artist’s vision of the world, his assessment and understanding of an event and, finally, his understanding of art. Art always needs something authentic and great to rely upon, because not everything new is fashionable now and not everything fashionable is authentic».
Art always develops within the framework of eternal themes. So it is important to see in the work of any artist how he relates the world of absolute values to that of the life around him, what feeling he associates with his paintings and in what form his concept is expressed.
Success of Rashid Gilazov’s exhibitions clearly indicates that the painter has reached his creative maturity.
Gilazov’s first personal exhibition was held in 1983. In five years he became a member of the Leningrad Branch of the USSR Union of Artists. Since then he has been even more active in his creative life and has taken part in different exhibitions. Just within the past five to seven years he displayed over five hundred new pieces at the Saint-Petersburg Union of Artists, at the exhibitions in France, Germany and Spain, at the State Fine Arts museum of Tatarstan, in picture galleries of Naberezhnye Chelny and Almetyevsk, in the «Otchiy Dom» Painters’ club (Bavly).
He worked on his landscapes and portraits in France (Paris, Aix, Marseille, Cassis, Onfleur, Pradeille) and in other European countries, in Saint- Petersburg and its famous suburbs, in Central Russia, in the Crimea, Volga and Kama river regions, Naberezhnye Chelny, Kazan and other cities of Tatarstan.
R. Gilazov’s works are versatile, but each of them has its own meaning, its own spirit and reflects a certain stage of life. The audience is attracted to his works by the understandable fe eling, imaginative artistic language and humanism felt in his works.
The painter always works relying on new impressions. In his pictures one can feel an impulse, a wish to describe the specific. Even the inconspicuous and trivial leaves him surprised. Look at the clear and simple «Red Table» (1988). «The Terrace» (1989) is full of light and air, while «The Evening Bells» have intense colour scheme and solid brushwork.
R. Gilazov created Saint-Petersburg of his own: canals, squares, St.Nicholas Cathedral, the Neva, Gulf of Finland. The dialogue between the city and the sky makes these landscapes so unexpectedly brilliant. As a true romantic in art Rashid Gilazov likes to paint sunset, roofs, sailing boats, seacoast.
Village huts seem to be snuggling to each other under the cold winter sun, and «Mardzhany» mosque melts in the bright sunshine. People portrayed by the artist are serious and full of thought: «Portrait of Mother» (1970), «Portrait of Nuriman Ganiyev» (1986), «Portrait of Nurikhan Fattakh» (1999), «Portrait of Amirkhan Yeniki» (1999), «Fanis Yarullin» (2001).
People in his canvases are all different: some are serious and deep in thought, some are full of the joy of life, others are in grief. But all the portraits done by the artist give profound characteristics of the models. One can see a paradox in the artist’s works: in the landscapes of the Northern Capital, France and Baltic states his vision clearly displays Oriental tradition, while the images of Tatarstan are coloured with nostalgic memories and his colour scheme is more restrained.
With time he is turning into a deeply thinking artist, he intentionally draws his themes and images from the environment. Here is a small river almost lost between the banks, clouds in the sky and the red sun in the «Sunset. Landscape». Here is the blossoming apple orchard in «The Old Apple Tree».
When we look at R. Gilazov’s paintings done in France, we do not associate them with the artistic manner of any other masters so typical they are of R. Gilazov’s style.
His artistic method allows him to convey bright impressions and this brings to mind impressionism and postimpressionism. At the same time his images are full of deep emotion which makes them live in time. His connection with the realistic tradition is quite strong: the draftsmanship is exact, composition is well balanced, the concept is related to the pictorial method.
That is why retaining a single style and perception of the world the artist imbues his paintings with different colouristic and conceptual tonality.
The artist’s manner of painting changes: it becomes more decorative and laconic in his portraits, interiors and sill lifes. The works of different genres are engaged in a creative dialogue and complement each other. Many of the canvases of the turn of the century present a wider range of techniques and a more restrained approach.
Rashid Gilazov continues presenting his unique images to the world. Now, when the artist has achieved his creative maturity, he can also share with us his rich experience in life, The artist has so much ahead of him. That is why R.Gilazov is so optimistic in his perception of life. He is unwilling to miss a single day of his creative life. And this active approach to life and art fills his paintings with very special power and magnetism.