Exhibition Brings Akhalteke Horse and Alabay Dog into Focus

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Exhibition Brings Akhalteke Horse and Alabay Dog into Focus

The Museum of Fine Arts is currently running an exhibition of works by Turkmen artists to celebrate the Turkmen horse and Turkmen Alabay dog.      

In the center of the hall is a plaster sculpture of Turkmens’ forefather, Oguzkhan, with a high base. The work by People’s Artist of Turkmenistan Saragt Babaev depicts the great leader weaponless. His wise words spoken to others are his weapon. Oguzkhan is mounted on a magnificent Akhalteke horse - beautiful, well-built and strong - a perfect match for its rider.    

In my opinion, the highlights of the exhibition are two works devoted to a horse named Akkhan: a picture carpet entitled ‘Akkhan’ by People’s Artist of Turkmenistan Ada Gutlyeva and Mekan Nuryagdyev’s painting ‘Sounds of the Past’. Both of them portray the legendary horse that has secured a spot in the Guinness World Records.

While the painting by Mekan Nuryagdyev shows Akkhan with Alabay dogs and two cooing pigeons, the carpet by Ada Gutlyev is somewhat enigmatic. From a distance the handmade carpet looks like a piece of mélange cloth, but when viewed at close range, it features a herd of horses running like the wind.  A closer look at the carpet reveals the contours of the legendary Akkhan.  

Horse-racing events are an essential part of National Turkmen Horse Day celebrations. The exhibition showcases dynamic paintings of horse races. Created in 1950s, Igor Poida’s ‘The Horse Race at A Collective Farm’ reflects a classical style. Nearby is ‘The Horse Race’ by contemporary artist Arslan Atakhanov. It is imbued with the spirit of the new epoch. 

‘Childhood’ by Rejepberdy Mukhammedniyazov evokes positive emotions. The painting features a horse, a boy and an Alabay puppy. The little boy looks up at the horse as if saying: “It is all very well for you – you are big, but we are little.” 

‘Friendship’ and ‘The Silk Road’ by Tachmurad Egenberdyev provide a fascinating glimpse into celebrations. The paintings’ titles powerfully convey the essence of the scenes.

The capital’s Expo Center is also hosting a thematic art exhibition devoted to Akhalteke horses and Alabai dogs, showcasing a wide variety of styles in national painting.  

Tamara GLAZUNOVA

Photo: Yuri SHKURIN