Prominent representative of the contemporary art school of Azerbaijan, People`s Artist of Azerbaijan and the USSR, Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Arts, acting member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, State Prize laureate... All these countless honorary titles and orders are fruits of his tough life, tense and long years of hard work. Thanks to these years, he is known not only in Azerbaijan, but also far beyond its borders.
Nowadays, prominent artist Tahir Salahov celebrates his 90th anniversary. He has opened a bright page in the history of Azerbaijan’s art with his works included in the gold fund of the national treasure of art. His paintings demonstrated at various exhibitions and kept in the world's renowned museums and galleries have raised the glory of Azerbaijani art with centuries-old traditions to the highest level.
President Ilham Aliyev has presented "Labor" Order 1st Class to Tahir Salahov for special services in the development of the fine arts. The head of state hailed the activity of prominent representative of the contemporary art school of Azerbaijan Tahir Salahov. President Ilham Aliyev presented " Heydar Aliyev" Order to the outstanding artist on November 27, 2008.
90 years of life
Tahir Salahov was born in Baku on November 29, 1928. After graduating the Surikov Moscow Art Institute, the artist worked as the Executive Secretary of Azerbaijan’s Union of Artists, later as a docent, professor at the Azerbaijan State Theater Institute named after M.Aliyev. He headed the Art Workshop for 20 years. The artist, who worked as a head of a Chair for Painting and Composition at the Moscow State Art Institute named after V.I.Surikov in 1980-1992, brought up many talented artists.
Salahov received countless awards. The prominent artist was awarded the highest order of the Soviet Union – the name of Hero of Socialist Labor. He was also awarded with Russian orders of second and third degrees "For services to the Motherland”, the highest order Azerbaijan – "Freedom” Order, orders of Bulgaria, Poland, Mongolia and other countries, as well as various medals and awards.
Our compatriot, along with painting academies of Russia and many CIS countries, is a correspondent member of the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid and French Academy of Fine Arts. Moreover, Tahir Salahov is one of the three members elected to the French Academy of Fine Arts from the USSR. He is also an honorary citizen of several cities and Montana State in the United States.
Salahov was elected as chairman of the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan, a member of the Supreme Council. In 1973, he was elected as the First Secretary of the Artists Union of USSR. He is a Vice President of UNESCO’s International Artists Federation and was elected as a Vice President of the Russian Academy of Arts in 1997. That is why he is mostly called as "plenipotentiary ambassador of art”.
Tahir Salahov presides over the State Commission for bachelor and master's degree at the Azerbaijan Academy of Arts. He is a member of the State Commission for the Perpetuation of the Memory of Heydar Aliyev and the Heydar Aliyev Prize Commission. He is also a member of editorial staff of the Azerbaijan Encyclopedia. Salahov is a member of the Cultural Council under the chairmanship of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation in Moscow.
Salahov’s first work was his diploma work called"The Shift is Over”. He became one of the leading representatives of the so-called "severe style". Reproductions of the artist’s works such as "Ancient Baku”, "Morning Hunting”, "Nardaran watermelons”, as well as "A Temple of Fire Worshippers” (left Part of the Triptych), "Caspian Sea Today” (Central Part of the Triptych) and "Maiden Tower” (The Right Side of the Triptych) were included in two calendars in 2008.
Great artist’s industrial landscapes such as "Morning Echelon” and "Reservoir Park”, paintings "Woman of Absheron" and "Aydan", as well as his portraits of composer Dmitriy Shostakovich, poet Rasul Rza and composer Fikret Amirov were met by both professionals and art lovers with great interest.
"Portrait of Heydar Aliyev”, "Portrait of Mstislav Rostropovich”, Triptych "The Land of Lights”, "Portrait of Writer Anar” and others can be noted as late works of the artist. The world's leading artist, Salahov, portrays a human as the highest asset of humanity.
"We look forward to your new works, Master!”
"I have celebrated my anniversary with my family and close friends. On December 4, a meeting of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Art was held. After the meeting, I organized an event for my friends and colleagues. Chairman of the Academy Zurab Tsereteli is currently abroad. We do not want to celebrate the birthday without him," said the birthday man.
However, Tsereteli sent his greetings to Salahov. "You are a prominent artist who gives rare pearls to the world and local art. Creating a human copy, you reflect more of his inner world, his outlook. The main advantage of your portraits about heroes is that you can show their characters and personalities in this way. This is the talent grace given to an artist by God.”
The academy president also emphasized that Tahir Salahov is a talented theater artist. "Theater work is distinguished with its bright image, high cultural spirit and beauty of epoch. Perhaps, the fact that you know East and West closely plays a role here. After all, Baku is located at the crossroads of European and Asian cultures, and you are grown in Azerbaijan, which is rich in unique and rich folk art,” Tseretelisaid.
Friends and colleagues especially underline Tahir Salahov's communication, wisdom, intelligence and cultural-social services. "It is a great honor for me to send my congratulations to the great master on this day. His works, such as "Silencers", "Portrait of composer Gara Garayev" deserve to be among the 20th century artistic pearls," Mikhail Gusman said. " I wish Teymurovich will further give joy to people with his art. We look forward to your new works, Master!"
National artist Fuad Salayev told that "Tahir Salahov's life and creativity consisted of his unrivaled service to his native Azerbaijan and its culture”.
"He has greatly contributed to the development of the national traditions of the Azerbaijani people and has had a positive impact on the world of painting. Every Azerbaijani is proud of him. The fact that such a master, distinguished among the world’s artists and influential figures, is a representative of our nation, is real happiness. Although he has lived in Russia for a long time, he is very attached to his homeland. Many of the works of the artist, which have a unique creative style, are about Azerbaijan. The art is all about thinking, not painting. Tahir Salahov's thoughts are his works," Salayev said.
His colleagues emphasized that Tahir Salahov has a young soul. Thanks to his spirit, the artist continues to create new works today.
Limit of the "Grandmaster" period
President Ilham Aliyev was one of the first to congratulate the artist’s anniversary. Tahir Teymurovich acknowledged the importance of this phone call to the Moscow-Baku portal.
"The president called me in the morning. He congratulated me on my birthday and on receiving "Labor" Order 1st Class. I can not express how important it is to me. I'm really impressed by this attention,” said the artist.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also congratulated Tahir Salahov. The President's congratulation was posted on the Kremlin's website.
- Tahir Teymurovich, if it is not a secret, what did President Ilham Aliyev wish you?
- The president wished me the best of health and joy. I think this is the most valuable and important for me. If you want to live and be loved, you have to feel extremely good. What else do you need?
- 90 years is a special date. Many would like to have come to this limit of the "Grandmaster" period in their lives. How do you personally perceive this date?
- Perhaps, as one of the famous singers say – "My years are my wealth" One will not say more accurately...