"Creations" by Kenzhebai Duisenbaev
Kenzhebay Duisenbayev does not get tired of repeating: "I leave art, I go to creation ...". Probably not everyone understands the meaning of confrontation for these very close terms. But this is the peculiarity of figurative thinking, and more precisely, of the artist's infinite and inexhaustible movement towards the truth. I have known the artist for a long time, since the early 1970's. And all the stages of his way seemed to be clear but here's the paradox: today he is a mystery to me. I really want to solve it, to understand the secret of his creative juvenility.
During the 70’s, he was described as a lyricist who chants the rural motives with love and feeling. In the 90’s he got marked as a “black” painter. Beginning of the 21st century his paintings became lighter with prevailing blue and soft pastel shades shining out a “sunny mood”. There is no narrative, no story behind. However, correlation of wide layers of the Colour and Light creates clear and definite dialog. What is it? Abstraction? Or the “Voice” inviting to a place free from human vanity?
Those who know today's trends, consider him as a classic of modern Kazakhstan's fine art. It’s difficult to argue with this statement. I can add only that for me he remains a remarkable painter whose instrument is the colour, which he powerfully orchestrates. To understand the "Creations" of this great painter, let us try sneak into the space where its secrets are born and revealed.
In the studio of Duisenbaev, old jugs, woodwork, baskets, vases with different colours and fabric textures still reign. They coexist in silent consent for many years, easily accepting new objects into their community while maintaining a single amazing chorus of colours and forms.
The magic of their "voices" is that sacramental birth of the compositions, that are figurative and always emotional. Surprisingly, with all the rhythmic dynamics of sweeping brush strokes, wide colorful spots that fill the spaces on canvases, still the shapes of the objects are quite recognizable and according to the artist’s interpretation – it gets literally material. In a sort of abstract canvases, real events are suddenly recognized. For example: "Naked people" (2010-2016) or "Prayer" (2016), or “Lunar Evening" (2017).
The artist is sincere when he says: "I paint and admire Nature, whether it's a landscape, a portrait or a still life". He always claims: "I do not invent anything, I take everything from Nature." That’s how impressionists perceived and felt the World just like Cezanne and Matisse. One may wonder, what is the purpose of this excursion into the history of Art? To dig in, to bring the process of "creation" into the light. It (the process) is not that simple, it is intense and processes specifics into a voluminous sense of the structure of the Object, Phenomena, Nature and Human.
Kenzhebai Duisenbaev expressed his vision of the world with passion and strength during the most difficult times for the country particularly during the collapse of the Soviet system when Kazakhstan gained its independence. In 1991 I had a chance to arrange an exhibition of Kazakhstan artists in France, dedicated to the Friendship between the cities of Rena and Alma-Ata (modern day Almaty) with the most attractive for visitors being the paintings of Duisenbayev, especially "Black Sun" (1990). To my mind, it became kind of an omen for future events. This image is striking with the sharp feelings of the artist who reflected the state and the spiritual, psychological "degree" of the society.
Today he creates bright and sunny paintings. Previously gravitating to contrasts in color rhythm, today he intensifies the interaction of Light and Colour creating a Single Unity, undivided. It is not by chance that on the canvases of 2010-2018 each colorful brush stroke emits light itself.
The interrelation of Light and Colour recreates the atmosphere of Being, towering above the everyday routine of fast vanishing time ... Therefore, a simple lemon, a sunflower or a jug acquire new meanings, new emotions, affirming the infinity of beauty.
The path to Truth, clearly, is full of contradictions and requires special devotion. In current times (21st century!) Art remains a rescue, giving the artist an opportunity to show his essence. Kenzhebai Duisenbaev’s "creations" provide hope for the development of a visual art as a special kind of creative perception of the world, discovery of feelings and emotions of the human being, absence of which makes the World empty.
Rauza Kopbosinova, art critic