COLORS OF THE EAST BY RONALD KLEIJER

The State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan in Tashkent has once again pleased its residents. It for the first time opens a personal exhibition of the artist fr om the Netherlands Ronald Kleijer ‘20 Years Later.’

The title of the exhibition is not accidental - the works presented in the exhibition were created by the artist during 20 years of life, which he spent in Uzbekistan.

Ronald Kleijer was born in 1973 in the village of Nootdorp near The Hague. There he graduated fr om the Painting and Drawing Department of the Royal Academy of Arts. Back in 1994, the artist visited Uzbekistan, where he got acquainted with the diverse architecture of the region, nature and, of course, with people. His impressions were so strong that many times the theme of Central Asia appeared in his student works. After graduating fr om the academy, he made a decision that radically changes his life - moving to Tashkent.

The main source of inspiration, according to the master, served and serves primarily people and everything related to the life and activities of an ordinary person. Ancient cities, villages of Uzbekistan and the whole of Central Asia, Western China, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine are the routes of the artist’s travel. Special place in his creativity occupy Muynak and the Aral Sea.

Over the years of his creative activity, Ronald has developed his recognizable style.

Picturesque paintings of the artist are laconic, and detailed images with extraordinary accuracy convey the ideas of the master. His works, most of which are devoted to Uzbekistan, were displayed at exhibitions in the capitals of Central Asian countries, as well as in Moscow, Baku and Kiev.

In the museum, Kleijer’s works are placed in three halls. The first hall displays the latest paintings of the master, which, according to him, no one, except of him, have yet seen.

“This is my surprise for the guests of the exhibition. Since I did not say that I would present new works, I confess that I am a little worried, how art lovers will perceive them,” Ronald Kleijer in an interview with UT correspondent said. “My earlier paintings are written in the style of realism, but recently I wanted to try something new - changed the manner of writing.”

However, there was no reason to worry, since the new works aroused admiration among the visitors of the exhibition. In abstract compositions, differing somewhat in a rigid manner of writing, the viewers could guess only blurred real objects. At first glance, the pictures seem to be a sketch, a play of shadow and light, but when looking closely – it is possible to recognize the outlines of native places, which one has visited many times, the people he or she met. In such works as ‘Old Town’, ‘Bukhara’, ‘Aksakal’, the artist conveys his vision of the Eastern world, recreated Uzbek culture, shows its traditions and architecture. Kleijer’s innovation in his art is a fresh, original style of drawing, wh ere the viewer mentally completes the images, created with oil on canvas, while getting involved in the master’s creative work.

The second hall presents earlier works reflecting the way of life and culture of the inhabitants of Uzbekistan. The painting ‘Welcome’ causes a true surprise, wh ere a simple Uzbek woman smiles from the canvas, standing on the porch of her house, holding the child’s hand. Ronald himself admitted that he was fascinated by the hospitality and cordiality of the Uzbek people, which inspired him to such a plot of the picture.

Kleijer showed himself very successfully as a portraitist, creating a whole gallery of portraits of people he met. At the same time, he did not try to depict prominent figures, writers, artists and scientists in his portraits… He wanted to depict ordinary people who impressed him with the sincerity of feelings they experienced. So, a series of Kleijer heads appeared those of ladies, women and men… Those are the portraits of young people and elders, depicted in different angles, and experiencing very personal emotions.

The third hall of the exhibition presents the author project of Ronald Kleijer - a huge banner with a lot of bright impressive photos under the general name ‘The Stop.’ Lonely and empty stops are depicted in the banner, which are located in the foothill areas and villages of the whole Central Asia, wh ere the artist traveled.

“This project by Ronald demonstrates his talent and creativity using modern forms,” ​​ Nigora Ahmedova, a leading researcher at the Institute of Art Studies of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, noted. “Of course, these stops are not architectural monuments that you can admire, but they are a reminder of the beauty of our villages and auls.”

The exhibition presented a lot of impressions and joyful emotions to the guests of the museum. After all, one can rarely meet an artist who was born and raised in another country, and who so accurately and gracefully can convey in his work the national Uzbek color, its culture and traditions.

“Jahon” Information Agency

 

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