Bakhtier Usarov, the master of studio pottery, was born in Karshi and represents the new generation of youth that came today into the world of arts having big opportunities for self-improvement and cultural growth.

After the secondary school, Bakhtier entered the Karshi School of music and arts and in 1989 got the specialty of graphic designer. He is particularly grateful to his teacher, D.Kim, who taught pottery at school and managed to perceive the talent of a great master in his pupil. Feeling necessity of mastership in practice, B.Usarov entered the pottery department of the Tashkent Institute of Theatre and Arts named after Ostrovsky (today — the National Institute of Arts and Design named after K.Bekhzad). Being the student of the Institute, Bakhtier worked together with the famous studio pottery master S.Ivanov upon the interior decorations of the ‘Turkestan’ Palace. His participation in the making of the ceramic panel ‘Circus’ with total area of 146 sq. m in the Tashkent Circus building became his diploma work. He made his contribution into production of the series of the ceramic panels in the ‘Friendship of Peoples’ metro station.

In 1999 B.Usarov joined the membership of the Creative Association of Artists of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan.

The first personal exhibition of B.Usarov was held at the ‘Intercontinental’ Hotel. In 2004 he held a successful personal exhibition at the State Museum of the Temuride’s History that was initiated by the Republican Foundation of ‘Uzbekmusei’. It presented about 90 works – lagans (flat dishes), vases and decorative tiles for interior decorations. They are made of the red and white clays, chamotte, color majolica and glaze. All works are painted in the original and creative manner. Production technology and character of decoration have been borrowed from the pottery heritage of the past and achievements of the contemporary masters. Contours of patterns are sometimes clearly accentuated by the thick layers of paint.

The eye is caught by the author’s compositions made up of fixing tiles and united by a common topic figuratively revealed in their titles: “Motherhood”, “Summer”, “Autumn”, “My Motherland”, “A Still-life”, “Sufi Echo” and “Architectural Heritage”.

B.Usarov managed to convey the feeling of enormous tenderness to abandoned Motherland in his triptych “Wind of My Motherland”. Images of the native land are seen both in the depiction of the old town and of the old architectural monuments. Thin and fine lines of the most intricate combinations convey sensation of the light warm wind seeming to ‘cover’ the urban landscape. Delicate, acutely felt knowledge of native nature are characteristic of B.Usarov’s landscape miniatures.

Lyrical notes of the autumn landscape sound in the conventionally figurative composition ‘Autumn’ composed of seven decorative tiles. This is proved by the warm shades of green creepers and brown twigs, tree’s silhouette, small red and orange fruits in the beige-yellow background. The ‘Summer’ composition was decided in orange and red ‘hot’ tones of the Uzbek summer.

B.Usarov’s still-lives depict the beauty of life and ‘fruits of the Uzbek land’ in their entire splendor. They include the ‘Still-life’ composition made of seven decorative tiles showing pomegranates, dastarkhan (tablecloth), lagans (flat dishes), jugs and other things related to the life of the Uzbek family.

Conscientious attitude to the traditions of Central-Asian miniature of the 15-16th centuries can be seen in the composition called ‘Sufi Echo’ consisting of seven decorative tiles where wise old men are hearing the voice of the Most High and of the sacred objects of the Muslim architecture. The work permeated with the deep belief in the humanism of time is decided tender color tones.

Original are the compositions of two or three decorative lagan-dishes and large floor vases. Some lagans present original modeling providing them with queer shapes, e.g.: birds with widely spread wings ripen fruit, outline of the minaret’s tops and the like. Intricate cuts in the lagan’s mirror are enhancing effect of the image. Such is the decorative mask-mask with the all-seeing ‘eye’ cut out in it.

Large floor decorative vases, which contours remind of the hum shapes, have been known in Uzbekistan since the ancient times. B.Usarov’s vases are wide, thickset with a big open orifice. Their outer surface is richly decorated. One of the floor vases is high, of narrow cylinder shape, with two protruding handles has been made following the pottery motifs of the Kasbi village (Karshi oasis).

B.Usarov covers the enrobed lagan surface with the fine delicate curly islimi ornament. Here are images of birds, fishes, deer and other animals that give names to the items. Thus, in a tree-lagan composition, one lagan depicts deer, the second – birds, and the third – fishes. Each of these living-beings symbolizes wealth and welfare.

Birds make up one of the favorite painting motifs of the artist. Therefore, the rhythmically repeated pattern of red ducks encircles the torso of one of the floor vases that makes up a single composition with the lagan. ‘Bird’s Parade’ obviously speaks for the influence of the Samarkand murals that were painted in the 7th century and became famous due to fragments found in the palace of the Samarkand rulers of Afrosiab. Birds are also depicted in the lagan poetically entitled ‘Dance’ and in two lagans and a big floor vase from the poetical composition ‘Garden’. Graceful fairy birds ‘are also hovering’ in the dishes from the triptych called ‘Swans’.

Lagans in the ‘Still-life’ are originally solved; one of them is made in the turquoise tones. They depict generous fruits of the Uzbek land and the jug filled with the pure water. Another ‘Still-life’ shows various objects of the Uzbek family life against a suzanne background.

Lagan ‘Time’ shows the sand clock and a pomegranate. The time is galloping, but the works of art to which by right we can refer the works of Bakhtier Usarov remain in it forever. Master’s products testify for the fresh perception, original and non-traditional view upon a certain kind of decorative and applied arts, for the ability to unite in one work both traditions and contemporaneity.

Alexander Djumaev