Aida Mahmudova illustrates Azerbaijan’s preserved architecture and landscapes with feelings of nostalgia and memory towards her rapidly modernising country
Words by Paulo Nascimento
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1982, Aida Mahmudova is the niece of the third president of Azerbaijan, Heydar Alyiev. She’s had quite an international education, from studying Fine Art in Central Saint Martins in London to obtaining her BA degree in Fashion Marketing at the American Intercontinental University in 2009. In 2011, she founded YARAT ( ‘create’ in Azerbaijani), a non-profit contemporary art organization which promotes Azerbaijani art, both nationally and internationally.
“Memory is the material of my work”, Aida Mahmudova has often implied. Indeed, her artwork is essentially based on the feelings of nostalgia and her memories of her ever-modernising country. Her paintings, installations and sculptures capture preserved and marginalised areas of Azerbaijan. These places represent both her source of inspiration and her incessant desire to recall and explore her cultural identity. Her pieces are mostly landscapes and built environment. Most of them are abstract, as she uses paint strokes to create blurred deformed pictures and there is sometimes no clear outline of her objects. She uses texture to emphasize the canvas.
Aida Mahmudova’s artworks have been exhibited in many galleries and museums across Europe, such as the MAXXI Museum in Rome, the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow and in a gallery in England. In 2015, she had her first solo exhibition, titled ‘Passing by’ in the United States, where she displayed seven paintings inspired by Azerbaijani landscapes and built environment.
Discover Aida’s foundation YARAT here