Azerbaijan International

Winter 2005 (13.4)
Pages 40-45

Alakbar Rezaguliyev
Black and White Realities of Stalin's Era
by Alakbar Rezaguliyev, who was in exile for nearly 25 years

Alakbar Rezaguliyev (1903-1974) is one of the very few Azerbaijani artists who survived Stalin's repression and then came back to document some of his memories in sketches and paintings. Amazingly, Alakbar spent nearly 25 years of the prime years of his life in prison and in hard labor camps in Siberia and Central Asia. He was arrested three times: (1) in 1928, when he was sent to Arkhangelsk to the Solovetsky Monastery (see sketches No. 1 and 2); (2) in 1937, when he was sent to Krasnoyarsk in Siberia (3) and finally in 1949, he was sent to Altai, Central Asia. It was in Altai that he met and married a German woman whose family had been prisoners of war.

The pretense for arresting Alakbar was that he was propagating "pan-Turkism". Often he was arrested merely because he was a friend of someone who was accused of being involved in anti-government activities.

To read more about Rezaguliyev's life and see more examples of his linoleum prints, search "Art As Memory: Alakbar Rezaguliyev's Prints of Azerbaijan" by Jean Patterson. AI 10.3 (Autumn 2002). Also "Street Scenes from Yesteryear: The Prints of Alakbar Rezaguliyev". AI 8.2 (Summer 2000).

Many thanks to Aydin Rezaguliyev, the son of Alakbar and Berta, who keeps this print collection in Baku and who provided us with the description and context of his father's art work.

For more information or to purchase prints, contact Aydin, the son of Alakbar Rezaguliyev in Baku at Tel: (994-12) 439-4419 (studio), or mobile: (994-50) 374-2062.





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