Tahir Salahov’s work on glorious carpet

By: Amina Nazarli

One of the biggest carpet manufacturing factories in the world, “Azerilme” hosted the presentation ceremony of the “Red Wheel” carpet in Baku woven by enterprise’s masters based on a design by the famous Azerbaijani artist, Tahir Salahov.

The carpet is devoted to Alexander Soljenicin, a novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, as well as social and political activist.

Many influential figures, including Sevda Mammadaliyeva, the Deputy of Culture and Tourism Minister, Vidadi Muradov, the Director of “Azerilme”, Chingiz Farzaliyev, Director of the National Art Museum of Azerbaijan, Vladimir Dorokhin, Russian Ambassador to the country and others attended the ceremony.

“Carpets woven on the basis of my paintings thrill me up. They are a bright page in my creative works. Last year, my works including “Return” and “Red Wheel” were put on display in Moscow and Baku. I painted them in connection with 95th birthday anniversary of Alexander Soljenicin,” Salahov noted. “Besides his portrait I added a red hammer and a sickle and six eight-pointed stars, which are displayed in black.”

Salahov added that Soljenicin was a dissident, who for several decades actively fought against communist ideas, the political system of the USSR and the policies of the government. “The work was dedicated to the victims of repression of the Soviet era,” the outstanding artist stressed.

Work on the 2,24x 3,1 meter carpet lasted for seven months. Talented artist Aynur Asadullayev was also working on the carpet. The “Red Wheel” will also be featured in Moscow.

This is not the first work of the artist reflected on the carpets. More than 80 works of the artist have been used on the carpets.

Tahir Salahov, one of the most prominent representatives of the Azerbaijani art, is the vice-president and honorary president of the International Association of Plastic Arts of UNESCO, the vice-president of the Russian Academy of Arts, People’s Artist of the USSR, Azerbaijan and Russia, and is the winner of a number of high awards, including the State Prize of the USSR and Azerbaijan.

The artist became one of the leading representatives of the so-called “severe style”, a trend in Soviet art of the 1960s that aimed to set off a hard, publicist, and realist view against the ceremonial “polished reality” of the Joseph Stalin era.

Salahov’s early works showed the life and work of the Baku oil workers and portraits of famous composers, using contrasting red, black, light and dark-grey shades.

Later, his paintings became more peaceful and lyrically contemplative, lines became smoother and more melodious, and the palette more sophisticated.

Currently, Salahov lives in Moscow and holding classes. He also has a studio at the Moscow Art Institute.