Fine arts of Uzbekistan have ancient history going deep back to the centuries. Petroglyphic drawings referred to the epoch of primordial society (Zaraut – sai and the others) had been discovered on the territory of the republic. They depict the scenes of hunting, animals, people. Anciently, people used to sculpt from clay the images of goddesses and ceremonial creatures. The complex semantics of ornamental, anthropomorphous and zoomorphous characters had been used in the antiques of ancient art. Peculiar art picture, which had found its reflection in the image of the world of oriental human being, had been reflected in them. The existence of different religions, including also Zoroastrianism, had provided decisive influence on the mentality of Central Asian human beings formation.
Highly developed fine arts existed on the territory of Uzbekistan in the epoch of bronze, and the Amydarya treasury, presently stored in British National Museum, witnesses about this fact.
The epoch of ancient history had been characterized by the florescence of architecture, imagery, jewelry art, small plastique, monumental painting (Ayrtam, Khalchayan, Dalverzin – tepe, Phayaz-tepe and the others).
Early mediaeval paintings of Afrosiyab, Varakshi, Balalyk – tepe and other architectural monuments are the masterpieces of monumental painting of Central Asia. Since the middle of VII century Central Asia had been conquered by Arabs, and they brought with them the religion of Islam.
The monuments of architectonics of Bukhara, Samarkand, Termez, Shakhrisyabz witness about florescence of mediaeval monumental architecture.
Miniature painting of Central Asia had reached its florescence in XV – XVI centuries. The masters of Bukhara and Samarkand school of miniature Mukhammad – Murad Samarkandi and Makhmud Muzakhib, and also genius master of Heart school Kamalitdin Bekhzod, are well – known.
Since XVII century till the middle of XIX century the art culture of the region had been characterized by significant decrease. Imagery, especially the image of a human being could not almost be met, and zoomorphic images had been florized.
Though, artistic crafts in that period had been developing rather intensively. Local artistic schools of ceramics, jewelry art, artistic handweaving and other types of artistic crafts.
All types of ornamental traceries used in them had been based on ancient oriental symbolism.
Before XIX century table painting had been absent in the art culture of Central Asia. The masters of Russian art school had been the founders fine arts of Uzbekistan in the end of XIX century and in the beginning of XX century. S. Yudin, L. Bure and other painters were at the dawn of painting birth in Uzbekistan.
The significant period in the art culture of Uzbekistan is 20th – 30th years of XX century, when Central Asian avant-garde had revived greatly.
The influence of cubism, expressionism synthesized with the principles of decorative art of Central Asia are felt in the creation of the leading painters of the republic of the beginning of XX century. Alexander Volkov, Usto-Mumin (А.Nikolayev), Michael Kurzin, Victor Ufimtsev, Ural Tansykbayev and other masters of painting had written in the best pages in the history of fine arts of Uzbekistan. In that very period, the impressionist tendencies in the creation of P. Benkov, S. Kovalevskaya had been developing.
After 1934 the style of socialist realism had been forcedly implanted into fine arts, and in that stream painting of the republic had been developing up to the middle of 60-ths (Аbdulkhak Abdullayev, Mannon Saidov, Rashid Timurov, Rakhim Akhmedov and the others).
Though, in spite of all barriers there was search of national style in fine arts. The most brightly it had been performed in the creation of Chingiz Akhmarov, Shamsira Khasanova, Nadezda Kashina and the others.
“Snowbreak” of the 60-ths in the painting of Uzbekistan had been marked by the names of Vladimir Burmakin, Ruzy Chariyev, Grigory Ulko, Eugeniy Melnikov, Yuri Taldukin. The techniques of Western European painting had been organically synthesized with the traditions of oriental decorative art.
In the 70-ths the talented painters of Uzbekistan had been working, among them Bakhtiyar Babayev, Harric Zilberman, Maksud Tokhtayev, who had actively used surrealistic techniques and many others. A number of artists, including Zelimkhan Saidjanov, Andrew Krikis, Aslitdin Isayev and the other artists had assayed the influence of avant-garde tendencies of Western European painting.
The leading masters of the end of XX century and the beginning of XXI century are Bakhodyr Djalov, Javlon Umarbekov, Nikolay Shin, Rimma Gagloeva, Vjacheslav Akhunov, Akmal Nur, Alisher Mirzayev and many others.
Their creation provided huge influence on modern artists of the republic working in the XXI century. Regional originality of the art of Central Asia appears in the result of the most complex artistic processes, including the development of ancient traditions, dialogue between western and oriental cultures. The main characteristics of Uzbek painting are continuity of traditions, dialogue with cultures of the West, intensity for search by modern masters of their own artistic manner.
Brightness of paints, peculiar linear and colored rhythm, close to musical temperament, special partiality to linearity, peculiar foundation of painterly space, oriental poetics make the works of art of the masters of Uzbek painting rather off-beat and original.
Modern painting of Uzbekistan represents significant interest, as ancient traditions of the Orient and techniques of modern art of the West are synthesized in it. While appeared adjointly on oriental and western cultures the painting of Uzbekistan is highly professional, and it possesses with that peculiar philosophy of art. Today various traditions, different aesthetic systems exist in the national inheritance of Uzbekistan.
Diversity of stylistic trends of the painting of Uzbekistan attracts virtuosity. The influence of rather various trends is felt in it, these are avant-garde and realistic techniques of expression, sometimes fancifully bound between themselves.
For the last years in fine arts of Uzbekistan the transition from traditional plastique mentality to theoric – extensional concepts is noticeable. The leading artists of the republic create installations, environments, performances, in which they use mythological codes comprehensible for intellectuals.
Incarnation in the artistic images of the whole diversification of the modern world peculiarizes aesthetic and artistic value to the creations of artists.
Modern fine arts of Uzbekistan, while being self-valuable and highly professional enough, complements the picture of world culture significantly.