Bakhodir Jalal was born in 1948 in Tashkent the capital of Uzbekistan. He studied at the St. Petersburg’s Repin Institute of Painting, one of the oldest and most respected art institutions in Russia. He was in St. Petersburg during the aftermath of the famous Thaw of the sixties, that initiated the transformation of Soviet society.
Art makers were looking for new ideas and forms that challenged officially sponsored and supported trends. At the end of sixties and during the seventies, examples of non-official Soviet art as well as Western modernist art masterpieces from Shchukin and Morozov’s collections became available for study, informing the younger artists about how to take their art onwards.
Even the personal exhibition of Marc Chagall took place at the Tretyakov Gallery in 1975. The political changes in the Soviet society allowed information to be circulated on the latest tendencies in Western art. New generations of abstractionist started to appear in USSR by the late sixties.
The discoveries made by Jalal during his student years in St. Petersburg became his points of reference, anchor and inspiration and are palpable in his later abstract works. Furthermore, the political changes of that decade gave him a freedom of expression to further unfold his artistic vision in abstract.
Abstraction for Jalal means freedom of choice - where he can use color and the symbolic language of lines and fluid forms to enquire into abstract art. The principles of Jalal’s abstraction follow in the path of the Malevitchian pursuit of a ‘non-objective’ painting.
Jalal’s art in this field takes two forms – first as ‘abstract’ art, whose starting point is a recognizable image which is progressively abstracted to a necessary minimum and ‘concrete’ form, which stems solely from the mind of the artist or the process of creation.
In his ‘concrete’ phase of pure abstraction, the artist builds the structures of visual metaphors needed to communicate all the complexity of the lived experience. He removes anything that might distract the viewer from focusing on the eternal now of the present. Jalal’s abstracts are vibrant surges of energy and expressionistic – almost astrological figurations, evoking a sense of freedom, eroticism and mystery.
There is a mystery about these paintings that ought to remind us they are messengers from elsewhere. The viewer can’t stop imagining contexts, motifs and can’t help but look for clues as to how they are configured.
Abstract works by Jalal allowed him boldly express himself through this medium and his paintings are all connected by an underlying thread of reflection of his multiple philosophical searches.
He is also a reputated academician. He taught at National Arts and Design Institute named after K. Bekhzad
as professor, a position he held for nearly two decades. He was in 2012 – 2013 the first full-time professor from Uzbekistan in Daegu, Korea at the Keimyung University.