Installation view. Courtesy of Andakulova Gallery
Andakulova Gallery is a contemporary art gallery with an objective to promote Central Asia’s contemporary visual
arts. The gallery provides a platform to exhibit and support emerging to mid-market contemporary Central Asian
artists across a variety of media. Founded by Natalya Andakulova, the gallery has a goal to cultivate the
dialogue between Central Asia and the Middle East by positioning the art of Central Asia into the artistic hub
of UAE, as well as continuing to build relationships between artists, writers, specialists and collectors.
Andakulova Gallery carries out continuous and extensive research in Central Asia to find new talent and develop
their potential. This approach is key in building a strong programme that will keep the gallery’s current clients
loyal but also attract new clients.

ANDAKULOVA GALLERY


NATALYA ANDAKULOVA,
FOUNDER

What has your education in art brought to your career in art?
Working in the art industry for almost a decade and graduating from the Imperial Academy of Art St. Petersburg had helped me to deepen my knowledge of the art world and receive substantial knowledge in the art world. In addition to possessing the right kinfd of experience and knowledge, I believe that an art advisor should also have a good reputation and established relationships with art dealers and galleries as well. Pursuing a career in art requires a multitude of skills. To begin with, having an academic background in art has always helped me to update my clients with new information and convince them to understand the rationale behind purchasing an artwork. Good communication and listening skills have helped me understand what the customer needs and offer them the best solution.

How has your experience establishing your first gallery in the UAE, Alif, impacted the success of Andakulova gallery?
The gallery was opened in year 2012 as Alif Art Gallery and then the name was changed to Andakulova Gallery. It is my name and that way I feel more responsibility towards the gallery and the collectors, to offer them the best service.

Installation view. Courtesy of Andakulova Gallery
Installation view. Courtesy of Andakulova Gallery

Most of the artists you represent are based in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. How do you manage the distance while working with your artists?
I believe the development of technology and globalization has brought us much closer to each other. I always stay in touch with the artists via email and mobile calls. Andakulova Gallery is working with a number of curators who are representing Central Asia. And frequent visits to Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries help me keep a strong relationship with the artists. I often travel to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan as I personally believe that only by seeing the real artwork can you understand the energy behind it.

What does sharing your name with the gallery mean to you?
Andakulova Gallery has become a part of my life hence sharing my name has added a sentimental value to it. I’m enjoying my work and happy to introduce and promote Central Asian art in UAE. Meantime I feel responsibility towards my business and society since I’m sharing the name with the gallery.

How would you define the identity of your gallery?
Andakulova Gallery is the only gallery that specialized in and promotes Central Asian art in the Middle East market. The gallery provides a platform to exhibit and support emerging to mid-market contemporary Central Asian artists across a variety of media. We are also conducting art courses and educational programs as a way of giving back to the society. Andakulova Gallery helps introduce Central Asian art to the international scene and raises awareness about talented artists.

“ANDAKULOVA GALLERY HELPS INTRODUCE CENTRAL ASIAN ART TO THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE AND RAISES AWARENESS ABOUT TALENTED ARTISTS”

Vyacheslav ‘Yura’ Useinov, Caesurae of light during Fajr Salaat, 2009, 3000. Chi technique in silk and mixed media, 127 x 250 cm. Courtesy of Andakulova Gallery
Vyacheslav ‘Yura’ Useinov, Caesurae of light during Fajr Salaat, 2009, 3000. Chi technique in silk and mixed media, 127 x 250 cm. Courtesy of Andakulova Gallery

Could you tell us about your first exhibition, which acted as a statement for your program?
Andakulova Gallery was inaugurated with the “Myth and Legends” exhibition of Timur D’Vatz. It was shown in 2013 in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Butti Bin Suhail Al Maktoum.

Which photograph from 2019 best represents your gallery and activity?
We have conducted several exhibitions, art talks and art lessons in year 2019 and I believe Red butterfly by Almagul Menlibayeva best represents activities in 2019. We held her exhibition in March. Menlibayeva’s artworks are collected by international museums, and in 2017 she was awarded the Chevalier Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the French minister of culture. She was commissioned by the Louis Vuitton Foundation as well.

Almagul Menlibayeva, Red Butterfly, 2012. C-print, 71 x 101 cm. Courtesy of Andakulova Gallery
Almagul Menlibayeva, Red Butterfly, 2012. C-print, 71 x 101 cm. Courtesy of Andakulova Gallery

Could you tell us about your program for 2020?
Andakulova Gallery is excited for the Timur D’Vatz exhibition in March 2020. The artist has been awarded a number of accolades including the Guinness prize for “First time Exhibitor” at the Royal Academy. He was commissioned by the church for the altarpiece painting at the Notre Dame Chapel in Leicester Square in London. D’vatz was also commissioned to paint two paintings for the Four Seasons hotel in Moscow. He has also been featured in the BP Portrait award. Most of his artworks are collected by British royal families. We’re also planning a Vyacheslav Useinov exhibit in autumn 2020. Useinov’s textile artworks appear at the most recognizable and significant world auctions. He works in various techniques, including unconventional chi and quilting (artistic stitching of flaps), as well as embroidery and carpet weaving. His visual language is influenced by the images that surround him every day – from literature and cinema to his own illusions and nightmares. We also have art lecture programs and art talks planned for the 2020.


A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS, SHOW & TELL #51

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