The birth of the Kazakhstan professional art school in many respects was promoted by the events and evolutionary processes in our common with Russia history of the 19th century, famous for its enlightening ideas, geographical discoveries and revolutionary moods of the progressive layers of society. Central Asia has become in that period the focus of Russian strategists’ special attention. A а number of scientific and military expeditions, directed by the Russian government to study natural and geographical characteristics, history and culture of the region, was working in Kazakhstan, which was considered to be a little researched part of the Russian empire. Under special regulations these expeditions were accompanied by the artists, who were obliged to create visual chronicles of travels with the commitment to publish or exhibit collected materials. As a rule, these were the highly professional people and well-known artists who have achieved fame in artistic medium. (1) One of the first who visited the Kazakh steppe in the structure of the first Khiva campaign was Vasili Ivanovich Shternberg (1801 - 1845). A pupil of Karl Brullov and an adherent to the Russian academic school about whom Stasov wrote in 1887 as “an art celebrity of the early 19th century”, V.Shternberg stayed for а while with the Sultan Bal-Mugashet. Steppe nature, which he saw for the first time, remarkable richness of ornamentation of the yurta and national cloths admired the artist who left his impressions in the expedition’s reports. (2)
The pupil of Karl Brullov was also A.Goronovich, who awarded the title of academician of the Imperior Academy of Arts for his 1853 canvas Barter Yard in Orenburg.
In 1803-1804 the area of Bukhtarma, the Ridder mine and some other regions, including Ust-Kamenogorsk, was visited by the academician V.P.Petrov (1770-1810), the artist of the Imperior Hermitage, the pupil of the well-known landscape painter Silvestr Shedrin. He left a number of drawings, а kind of historical illustrations of places he saw in Kazakhstan.
For the famous traveler P.P.Semenov-Tianshansky, а honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts and collector, the creative activity was an indispensable part of all his numerous expeditions. He drew а lot from nature, worked in watercolor and tried himself in oil. There is known his work Fortification Verny, reproduced in “The History of the Kazakh SSR”, the edition of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, 1957. (3)
The works by these and many other authors, whose names cause admiration by the persistence and diligence with which they devoted themselves to studying the theme new to them, are unfortunately unknown to Kazakhstan viewers. They are more familiar with those, who by virtue of different reasons, lived and worked in Kazakhstan for а long period of time.
Taras Shevchenko (1814 - 1861), а well-known Ukrainian poet, the graduate of the Academy of Arts, was in exile in Kazakhstan within а period of 10 years. Despite the prohibition of writing and drawing, he created a significant number of works devoted to the life and every day activities of the Kazakhs of the Mangyshlak region. (4) The Polish artist Bronislav Zalessky, exiled to Mangyshlak for his revolutionary activity, was very close to T.Shevchenko and at the end of the 19th century issued in Paris the album of engravings “The Life of the Kazakh Steppe”, showing nature and scenes of everyday life. These engravings were of much success with many of them adapted from the works by Taras Shevchenko. (5)
In 1885 the self-taught artist Pavel Lobanovsky, a member of the Rostov organization “Narodnaya Volya”, moved on a free settlement to Semipalatinsk from Ust-Kamenogorsk. (6) Together with his friend, lawyer Leontiev, he did a lot for founding the public library and opening the museum of the regional ethnography in Semipalatinsk. Lobanovsky produced а first and the only life portrait of Abai Kunanbayev, who frequently attended the library and was friend with the exiled artist. The portrait, the closest to the original from a great amount of works devoted to the great Kazakh philosopher, attracts interest by its human intonations revealing the internal tragedy of а strong personality, alone in his thoughts and feelings.
The artwork of Chokan Valikhanov deserves special attention. (7) A brilliant officer of the Tzar army, scientist and a young man who had lived several human lives for his short fate, he possessed a subtle artistic gift. His drawings, executed by an easy, sketchy hand are unusually impressive in rendering the time and peculiar features of certain human images. Chokan’s younger brother Makhmud had also a gift for art. He was a first Kazakh who studied at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg; however, he failed to complete it because of the state of his health. On return home, Makhmud was engaged into folk traditional handicrafts, achieving high professional skill in various of its types. (8)
At the end of the 19th- beginning the 20th century Kazakhstan was visited by such famous Russian artists as V.Vereshagin, P.Kuznetsov, (9) N. Rerikh (10) and V.Rozhdestvensky. (11) Not bound to governmental orders (12) as it was with the artists “of the first wave”, they, guided by their own creative predilections and the thirst for discovery, created remarkable canvases on the Kazakhstan subjects, which are entered now the treasury of the Eurasian monuments of art culture. At the Door of а Mosque (1873, State Russian Museum) by V.Vereshagin, reproducing the doors painted from the Turkestan mausoleum Khodja Akhmet Yassevi, Mirage in Steppe by P.Kuznetsov, Altai canvases by N. Rerikh, the works by V.Rozhdestvensky, the pupil of К. Коrovin and V. Serov, made in Aylie – Аta (nowadays Taraz), were executed not in a discharged academic manner, that was peculiar to the artists of the first half of the 19th century, but in their own very personal artistic style, based on pictorial and plastic gains of the art school at the turn of the century, and enriched with creative and life experience obtained in the Kazakh steppe.
The importance of artistic creativity of these and other artists, not included in the present list, for the development of the Kazakh visual arts cannot be overestimated. Owing to them the Kazakhstan theme was introduced into scientific and culturological turn-over. The plastic and technological methods of visual arts became a creative instrument which was used by them to embody the images of steppe culture. (13) Kazakh art is directly connected with their names and with the Russian realistic school in general. It was realism, with its visual persuasiveness and clarity, orientation to nature and elaborated genre structures, that helped Kazart art at the early stage of its formation to enter and adapt quickly to the European art system.
A peculiar link connecting the 19th and the 20th centuries was the artistic endeavor of Nikolai Gavrilovitch Khludov (1850-1935), the artist who devoted Kazakhstan 62 years of his life and creative activities. (14) Khludov graduated from the Odessa Drawing School and continued training in St.Petersburg at the studio of Gogolinsky. (15) Adopting the tradition of the 19th century, he in 1986-1987 participated in some expeditions: geological in Karatel, and Semirechensky which studied earthquakes. On the results of the geological mission he issued an album of water-colors devoted to nature and life of Kazakhstan and was awarded a silver medal of the Council of the Russian Geographical Society for participation in two expeditions. (16) Strong impressions of travels became, apparently, the reason for his settling in Kazakhstan. He became the founder of the Semirechiye Department of the Russian Geographical Society and the member of the Turkestan circle of archeology lovers. (17) Since 1900 Khludov worked hard over materials collected during his trips, and from 1910 was completely engaged in painting. In 1913 he exhibited 9 works at the Petersburg exhibition of the “Non-Party Society of Artists”, thus declaring his creative credo “I am a realist”, that should be a counterbalance to “the distribution of various formalist trends in that period.” (18) In 1920 he founded the art studio which was attended by S.Chuikov, А. Кasteev, А. Bortnikov, and others. The participation in 1934 of the 90-year-old artist in the first exhibition of the Kazakhstan artists, that took place in Moscow at the Museum of Cultures of the Peoples of the East, produced numerous warm responses in the all-Union and republican press. K.Yuon wrote in the mentioned article about Khludov “ … The only veteran of realistic art… Takes a leading position, both on the technical perfection and the subject matter of works depicting various moments of the Kazakh mode of life.” The Kazakhstan newspapers named him “the singer of dzhailau”. The canvases of Khludov, due to attentiveness of the author to the clear and precise description of images - the gain of the long-term experience of a land-surveyor (19) and а drawer - are valuable historical and ethnographic source materials. Nowadays, after a lapse of the century, it is especially evident the artist’s keenness and love of nature, which causes the response feeling equal to the “spontaneity and pleasure of child perception seizing everyone...at the sight of the artist’s works.” (20)
The first decade after signing the Decree “On Formation of Autonomy of the Kirghiz (Kazakh) SSR” in 1920 was extremely rich with art events. Art studios were created in the cities of Kazakhstan, the exhibitions of the local and coming artists who were attracted by nature, culture and the idea to build a new life, were conducted. (21) In 1920-22 in Alma-Ata (Verny was renamed Alma-Ata in 1921) the industrial workshop was opened with A.S.Ponomarev as its head, who in 1917 graduated from the Baron Shtiglits Petrograd School of Technical Drawings. (22) The art studio of the graduate of the Kazan art school N.V.Кrutilnikov was working in Semipalatinsk, where the artist Davydov, the graduate of the Moscow Stroganov School, gave lessons on drawing. In 1926 а 1st Kazakhstan art exhibition was organized in Kzyl -Orda, the capital of Kazakhstan at that time, in which Khludov, Bostrem, Krutilnikov and other artists participated. The native of Verny G.A.Brylov, after graduating in 1927 from the Academy of Arts in Leningrad, returned to Almaty and participated actively in creative construction. He wrote the theoretical works “The Techniques of Drawing. General Provisions of Psychophysical Method”, “Study of Drawing and Painting With the Use of Psychophysical Method. The 1922 Free Art Circle” and issued an album on color. (23) But the most significant event of the decade has become the 1st traveling art exhibition initiated by N. Krutilnikov. (24) The exhibition was formed in Semipalatinsk, from which it, by a caravan of camels and horses, moved to Leninogorsk, Karsakpai and further to Petropavlovsk, where a 15-year-old Aubakir Ismailov joined to it with his drawings. The exhibition was festively ended in the capital of Kyzyl-Orda and was devoted to the 7th Congress of the Council of the Kazakh SSR. Almost on the whole route the exhibition was held at the artists’ expense and was transferred to the state budget only when in Petropavlovsk the salutary telegram was received from A.Lunacharsky.
N.Krutilnikov together with A.Shmelev appealed in 1929 on the pages of the newspaper “Soviet Steppe” with a program document “The Problems of Kazakhstan Artists”, where, after the Declaration of Revolutionary Russia Artists Association (RRАA), the major objectives of Kazakhstan art were formulated. (25) The Program, however, did not bear а rigid character like the Declaration of RRАA. Except for the necessity “to be an objective builder of every day life and the proletariat’s state of mind”, it was limited basically to organizational issues: “to hasten the training of proletarian Kazakh artists; to acquire pictures from the exhibitions for the future gallery; to grant state orders to the best artists; to open an art studio under Narcompros,” etc. With this document the party’s ideology became embedded in creative freedom of Kazakhstan artists. The following step in this process was the establishment in 1933, on the initiative of the first secretary of Kazkraikom Mirzoyan, of the organizing bureau of the Union of Soviet Artists and later, of the cooperative society “Kazartist”. The newspapers wrote that this was the commencement of the artists’ collective work and their participation in public life. (26)
In the next decade (1930s-1940s) the rates of art arrangement in Kazakhstan continued to grow. It was a period when the organizational basis of Kazakh Soviet art has laid its foundation promoting the further development of creative activities up to the last decade of the passed century. Despite constant criticism, the Union of Artists, named from the Organizing Bureau into Organizing Committee, had been actively working with the talented youth gathered around it. The artist K.Khismatullin, graduated in 1936 from the Moscow Art School, worked with these naturally organized groups on his own wish and completely disinterestedly. The artists L. Gerbanovsky and А. Bortnikov followed his example. The organizing committee of artists supported this movement by appointing the artist R. Bolkoyev as director of the school and allocating the staff and funds. So, in 1938 the Alma-Ata School of Arts was founded, where many generations of Kazakhstan artists studied and continue to study. A little bit earlier, in 1935 as a result of active exhibition activity the Council of the People’s Commissariat of the Kazakh SSR adopted а resolution about foundation of the art gallery. As а basis for collection there were works purchased for the first time from the anniversary exhibition devoted to the 15th anniversary of the Kazakh Republic. (27) And, finely, in 1940 а significant event was held ended the first stage of the organizational construction of visual arts in Soviet Kazakhstan: on June 26, the 1st Republican Congress of the Kazakhstan’s Union of Artists was opened with participation of 8 regional branches organized by that time. G.Brylov was elected а chairman of the Union while A.Kasteev was elected as his deputy on creative issues. At the meeting of the organizing committee of the USSR’s Union of Artists held in Moscow in October 1940 12 artists from Kazakhstan got an official status of the members of the Union of Artists of the USSR. (28)
In the 30s the tradition of holding thematic exhibitions was established in the country to reflect the ideological aims of the ruling party. The first such exhibition under the motto ‘Results of sovietization of art in Kazakhstan’ has become the exhibition of works by Kazakhstan artists opened in 1934 at the Moscow Museum of Cultures of the Peoples of the East. (29) The exhibition was widely highlighted in the press with the names of the artists Khodzhikovs, Ismailov and Kasteev sounded on the pages of the All-Union and Republican newspapers. For the future People’s Artist of Kazakhstan Abylkhan Kasteev this was a first exhibition (29) and participation in it in many respects determined his further creative destiny.
In the 20s-30s there was organized а small, but the united group of artists actively working and doing much to develop creative processes in the early days of Kazakhstan’s statehood. These include N. Krutilnikov, A. Bortnikov, A. Ponomarev, G. Brylov, A. Ismailov, L. Gerbanovsky and F. Bolkoyev. Later, A. Rittikh, who set up in Alma-Ata by that time, and A. Kasteev, who returned back after а two-year life in Moscow, joined in them.
The basic types of fine arts are represented by their names: Krutilnikov, Bortnikov, Bolkoyev and Rittikh, a graduate of the Munich Academy of Arts, are painters; Gerbanovsky is engaged in graphic art and water-color; Ponomarev is а sculptor; Brylov, а graduate of the graphic faculty of the Leningrad Academy of Arts, member of RRАA and participant of the exhibitions in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Baku, combines the theory and the practical work of a graphic artist. The majority of them devoted their life to pedagogical work at the Alma-Ata School of Arts. Owing to their professional training and due insistence in the educational process, the high level of education had been taken at school from the start. The creative achievements of these artists were developed within the framework of realism, yet not socialist, which canonized themes and plastic methods in the spirit of postulates of the party’s ideology, but classical, academic realism with its requirements of a strong drawing, strict composition and harmonic color schemes. It was the academic school that brought up the students and was the basis for their personal creativity. Thus, the sculptural busts by Ponomarev could be true specimens of academic art. Of large success were his portraits of Ch. Valikhanov, I.Altynsarin and P.Semenov-Tyanshansky. (30) A.Brylov continues his theoretical developments: in 1931 he published “Illustrations in the Cinema, Journal and Newspaper” (Izogiz, Moscow). The historical canvas of Bortnikov The Speech of D. Furmanov Before Rebels in Verny illustrates the main idea of his artwork, which should be “clear and understandable to each viewer.” (31) More personal and individual perception of life is felt in the art of Krutilnikov and Bolkoyev that makes their works sincere in rendering the spirit of time in spite of general realistic tendencies prevailed in their art. The paintings by а remarkable draftsman Rittikh demonstrate a high level of the European classical art school, which combines the rigidity of drawing and color with precise, detailed rendering of the natural properties of material, texture and form.
A real gain in the art of this period was the appearance of the first national artists, since they were given the role to embody the national world perception through artistic and plastic language, new for national culture. Nowadays, the works of Khodjaakhmet and Kulakhmet Khodzhikov, Aubakir Ismailov and Abylkhan Kasteev are the cultural treasure-house of Kazakhstan. The archive documents of that time mention the name of Beisembai Sarsembayev (1914-1938), about whom unfortunately is known only that he studied together with А. Ismailov at the M. Vrubel Art and Industrial School in Omsk and in 1934 participated in the competition for the Abai’s portrait. (32) The only known work of Sarsembayev has a flat surface and decorative sketchiness that speaks of the artist who just trying to master a new plastic language. In the late 1930’s Abdugani Tashbayev (1915-1941), the graduate of the Tashkent Art School, first recorded himself as a bright painter. His self portrait, the only preserved picture in Kazakhstan, shows him as a talented artist and one of those professionals who received a profound art education.
The life and art of the brothers Khodjikovs have much in common: both began with graphic works and were professionally involved in the cinema and theatre. Khodjaakhmet (1910-1954) participated in the 1st 1934 exhibition of Kazakhstan artists in Moscow and his works were highly praised by art critics for passion and expression of drawing. (33) He attended the art studio at the Tashkent Museum and completed preparatory courses at VKHUTEMAS. (34) In 1938 he was repressed and only in 1943 returned to Moscow. Khodjaakmet is undoubtedly counted the founder of graphic arts in Kazakhstan being the first artist, a Kazakh, working in this area. (35)
Kulakhmet Khodjikov (1914 -1986) in 1934 was directed to study at the Leningrad Bolshoi Drama Theatre, where within 2 years worked as an assistant to the artist. On returning back he worked as the artist – producer of almost all performances which were on the stage at the Kazakh Drama Theatre at that time. He was one of the first Kazakh artists to specialize in book illustrations. (36) Their mother – a well-known national craftswoman Latifa Khodzhikova, who was famous for her ornamental improvisations and a high skill in making textile handicrafts - must have been decisive in their artistic education.
Aubakir Ismailov (1913 - 1998) was born in Karaganda region into а family of a miner. After graduating from a seven-year school he continued his study at the Vrubel Art and Industrial School in Omsk (1927-1928). During one of his arrivals to Semipalatinsk, where his family lived, he visited the 1st Travelling Art Exhibition. His drawings The Sary-Su Valley and The Hunter in Betpak-Dala were accepted to the exhibition, and “young Ismailov left together with this exhibition, connecting his life for ever with fine arts.” (37) He entered the 1905-Year Memory Moscow Art School and in 1934-1938 continued education at the Moscow Theatre Institute. (38) Aubakir Ismailov had many artistic talents. “The dancer, fairy-teller, producer, artist, actor of cinema and theatre, improviser-musician and collector of folklore,” everywhere he contributed his mite and in each area worked with ecstasy taking great delight in self-expression and new discoveries. (39)
In the 1930’s A.Ismailov was active as graphic artist, devoting his drawings to industrial laborers of Kazakhstan. These works are interesting “not only by their connection with figurative plastic quests of Soviet art, but they express heroic romanticism and this approach was new in the young art of the Republic.” (40) The artist was inspired by heroics of Soviet ideology, in which he saw “the embodiment of public spirit and patriotism, mandatory for each individual, and which became his creative personal credo in art.”
The name of Abylkhan Kasteev is very dear to each citizen of Kazakhstan. The best art museum of the country has awarded the name of Abylkhan Kasteev (41); the art school in Shymkent, schools and streets in other Kazakhstan cities were named after him. (42) Children, students and foreign guests begin their acquaintance with the art and culture of Kazakhstan from the Kasteev’s memorial hall at the State Museum of Arts, and they may witness the artistic chronicle of the history of Kazakhstan in his pictures. The art of А. Каsteev is devoid of schools, styles or ideologies. It was the native nature that endowed him with a talent and spiritual independence and gave him the power to remain himself. The driving force of his creative art was love of native land, people and art, for which he was born and to which he devoted all his life.
The future artist’s earliest memories were of nature. He began to work at 8 after his father’s death, having been employed as the shepherd to the rich neighbor. (43) Almost all the time he spent at pastures, carefully observing the surrounding world and ‘speaking’ with nature which became his first teacher. He began to draw on stones, birch-barks and later, on paper, representing everything he saw around. The old men, condemning ‘his sinful occupations’, he answered: “Are my drawings, telling about life, not the same as the singing of akyn, so worshiped by people?” (44) In 1929 Kasteev arrived in Alma-Ata and entered the art studio of N.Khludov. Later, A.Kasteev tried to continue his education in Moscow, but could not adapt himself to the large city. Probably this was fated to be, because the academic school was not necessary for natural talent. The fidelity to nature and creative studies at Khludov’s helped him to develop his gift and to elaborate his own vision of life and his own style. The studies at art studio were usual for the art school: the students drew plaster moulds and ornaments, copied reproductions of old masters and painted out of doors. Kasteev quickly mastered the technique of watercolor (45) and tried to work in oil. He studied thoroughly the works of the teacher, finding the response in his soul. Indeed, the creative art of these two artists is close to each other. However, unlike Khludov, whose pictures have a bit discharged position of an attentive and benevolent observer, the art of Kasteev is а peculiar visual ‘terme’ (46), the picturesque narrative of ordinary life outgoing from the heart of its participator and creator. А Collective Farm, The Milking of Horses, the first train of Turksib and landscapes of dzhailau are the parts of one circuit, stringing by time in man’s destiny.
Up to the last years of his life Abylkhan Kasteev worked productively and intensively. In the 60s-70s - the time of flourishing of Kazakh Soviet art - he created a series of works connected with the program thematic aims – “The Land and People of the Republic”, “The Constructions of Five- Year Plans”, “Riches of Kazakhstan”. (47) This was his contribution to the culture of Soviet Kazakhstan, the affair to which he trusted, as he got used to trust everything surrounded him. His artistic endeavor will always be a light and joy source of sincerity and deep affection for people and art.
In the early period of formation and development of the new art school in Kazakhstan the realistic method became the major and available instrument in mastering the new art forms, both in the creative and educational processes. There was no rigid ideologization in Kazakhstan art of that years, though in 1931 the method of Socialist Realism, as the only principle of Soviet aesthetics (48), was established by a ruling Communist Party for all national schools.
The next stage - the epoch of “developed socialism” – also did not manifest any orthodoxy in the art of Kazakhstan and this was a special feature of Kazakhstan art development.
The struggle against formalist movements and abstract art for which this defensive board – the only legal art method was put forward – has not directly touched Kazakhstan though the republican press after the central one, appealed to this preventive measure.
Nevertheless, there were artists working in the republic at that time, whose artwork, not bound to any ideological objectives, comprises a glorious page of Kazakhstan’s history and culture.
1. See N.Mukhin’s archives. A department of Kazakhstan of the A.Kasteev State Museum of Arts.
2. Ibid. Section Artists of Kazakhstan till 1917.
3. The History of the Kazakh SSR, Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, 350.
4. L.Khinkulov, Schevchenko, JZL series, Molodaya Gvardia publishers, М., 1966.
5. N.Mukhin’s archives.
6. О. Matskevich, “The Historyof One Portrait”, Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, No 71, 26 Mar., 1965.
The article indicates that the famous American journalist and traveler D.Kennan speaks about Lobanovsky in his book “Siberia and Exile”. The traveler arrived in Kazakhstan for the first time by the order of his relative - inventor of the Morse electric telegraph.
7. Seisen Мukhtaruly, Shokan Valikhanov, Оnеr Publishers, 1985.
8. From conversation with Shota Idrisovitch Valikhanov.
9. The History of Russian Art, Science Publishers, Moscow, 1969, Vol. Х, b. 2, 260- 299, Vol. Х, b.2, 90-91.
10. In 1926 the expedition of N.Rerikh visited Altai, by passing the Irtysh river up to Ust-Kamenogorsk. Rerikh had а special adherence to Altai and his impressions were reflected in а series of paintings entitled The Banners of the East. L.R.Tsesyulevitch, At Altai in the book “N.K.Rerikh. Life and Creativity”. Collection of Articles. The Lenin Award Research Institute of the Theory and History of Arts of the USSR Academy of Arts, 171, 181.
11. N. Mukhin’s archives
12. V. Vereshagin offered his services to K.P.Kaufmann, governor-general of the Turkestan krai, and this gave him the possibility to travel twice across Turkestan. The History of Russian Art, Moscow, Science Publishers, 1965, Vol. IХ, b.1, 266.
13. This theme should be researched separately in order to restore a full and precise picture of the Kazakhstan’s fine arts development. (C.L.)
Vil Zainullovich Galiyev, Ph.Doctor, for many years worked over the book “Artists of the
19th Century about Kazakhstan”, which unfortunately has not published yet because of lack
14. А.Каnapin, L.Warshavsky, Art of Kazakhstan, КаzGosIzdat “Khudozhestvennaya Literatura”, Alma-Ata, 1958.
15. А.Chegodayev, S.А.Chuikov, Moscow, 1950, 89.
16. D.Chebotov, N.G. Khludov. Life and Creativity, a catalogue, Alma-Ata, 1956.
19. “For over 30 years N.Khludov worked as an expert on delimitation of lands in settled regions of Semirechiye and Syr-Darya.” N.Mukhin, N.Mukhin’s Archives.
20. Y. Dombrovsky, The Keeper of Antiquity, Soviet Russia Publishers, Moscow, 1966, 71.
21. Hereinafter on materials of N.Mukhin’s Archives.
22. Nowadays, The Mukhina Higher Art School.
23. G.А. Brylov (1893-1894), a booklet of the T.Shevchenko Kazakh State Art Gallery, 1965.
24. 20th century, Kazakhstan, The chronicle of events. Prostor journal, No 2, 2000.
25. On materials of N.Mukhin’s archives.
25. The Revolutionary Russia Artists Association (RRAA) is the first and perhaps the only creative association (founded in 1922), which expressed the ideological program of the Communist Party in the field of art. The RRАA declaration stated the primacy of contents to the counterbalance to formal searches, recognized ‘heroic realism’ as a major method in modern art and called the artists to “record artistically the greatest moments of history in its revolutionary burst.” The History of Russian Art, Publishing House of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Moscow, 1957, Vol. IХ, 187.
26. Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, No 270, 26 Feb.1935.
Aubakir Ismailov was a first chairman of the organizing committee for a while.
27. N. Mukhin’s archives.
29. Abylkhan Kasteev, Album, Alma-Ata, Оnеr Publishers, 1986, 41.
30. А.S. Ponomarev’s file. The article by I. Kuchis, the library of the A.Kasteev State Museum.
31 D. Chebotov, А.Bortnikov, A catalogue, The T.Shevchenko Kazakh State Art Gallery, 1969.
32. From unpublished materials of the art historian R. Kopbosinova.
33. N.Mukhin’s archives.
34. VHUTEMAS – The All-Union Higher Classes of Art and Design.
35. L. Plakhotnaya, Khodjaakhmet Khodjikov. An exhibition catalogue, Alma-Ata, 1979.
36. G.Khrei, Kulakhmet Khodjikov. An exhibition catalogue, Аlma -Atа, 1976.
37. I. Rybakova, Aubakir Ismailov, in Masters of Fine Arts of Kazakhstan, Science Publishers, Alma-Ata, 1984, p.54.
38. Ibid., 55.
39. Ibid., 54.
40. Ibid., 55.
41. In 1984 there was held the posthumous exhibition of works by Abylkhan Kasteev, the People’s Artist of the Kazakh SSR, Ch.Valikhanov State Premium of the Kazakh SSR laureate, after which the State Museum of Arts was awarded the name of Abylkhan Kasteev. Abylkhan Kasteev, Аlma-Аtа, Оnеr Publishers, 1986.
43. Е. Vandrovskaya, Abylkhan Kasteev, Soviet Artsist Publishers, Moscow, 1955, 7.
44. Ibid., 11.
46. Terme is the Kazakh word for one of the types of recitative songs in the Kazakh folk musical tradition. Each sound in terme coincides with each word of the poem bearing a poetic and philosophic contents. 1977, Alma-Ata, Kazakh Soviet Encyclopaedia, Vol.11, 47.
47. E.Vandrovskaya, ibid., 47.
48. There was formulated the definition of the method of socialist realism at the All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers: “Socialist Realism … requires that the artist should depict truthfully and historically the concrete images of a real life in its revolutionary development. At the same time truth and historic definiteness in artistic depiction of reality should be combined with the objective of ‘progressive’ alteration and education of working people in the spirit of socialism.” The shorthand report. М. 1934, 716. The History of Russian Art, the USSR Academy of Sciences Publishers, 1957, Vol. 11, 181.