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Joan Lluís Montané

Internacional Association of Art Critics

“Muhadin Kishev is an artist who works like the renaissance artists of the past”

Kishev presents us with a universe full of animals, plants, planets, sea, land, woman, signs, symbols, structures, geometries, landscapes, still lifes, diffuse sequences, symbolic allusions to war, reminiscences of a certain pop.

He puts together a series of elements and themes that are interrelated and present a vision of life, an attitude towards art and a versatility that can only come about through communion with poetry.

In truth Muhadin Kishev is an artist who works like the renaissance artists of the past with a permanent thirst for knowledge and experimentation. The creator always looks for ways to innovate, a search for the unknown, the unusual because in the doubting lies the essence of those who wish to know. Thus, throughout his work, the zones of dark and shadow are converted by the artist into splendid lights

His creative work is diverse, ranking from his own contribution to the historic avant-guard in a kind of subconscious homage to his vote for the discipline of colour as an anchor of permanent flux and true guide to the visual structure.

He crosses the poetic sea of the complexity of existence, without crutches, flying like a gull.


Efgraf Konchin

Journal “Culture” Moscow 13-19 October 2005

“The power of colour”

At first sight Muhadin Kishev´s art surprises us with the enormous variety of its stylized and colourful composition. Here the ancestral traditions of oriental culture, with its refined and decorative ornamentation, its expressive and powerful use of colour, the fantastic flights of the imagination all combine with a passionate and finely tuned searching for contemporary plastic forms with an elaboration of spatial concepts.

Colour is the main protagonist throughout the whole of Kishev´s art, a colour which is strong, powerful and at times unexpected, with an unending abundance of fine subtleties, combinations, contrasts and a range of colour which is truly limitless.

It is through the use of colour that the artist submerges us in a world of wonder and marvels, he makes us dream of cosmic spaces and experience the mystery and enigma of their shapes. Muhadin has such a free command of colour that it seems as if he could use it to say anything, to express the deepest feelings, the state of the soul and the tremors of the heart.

Muhadin has a masterly command of all the different possibilities for expressing reality and with the greatest of ease passes from one to the other.

In all of his work the artist flees from artistic stereotypes, worn over so many years to become easy tricks.. He himself says: “ my search is like a wonderful path, which is endless and the more one walks, the more one comes across interesting things which make you just want to carry on for ever….”

Nicholas Usherwood

Art Critic, London

“Eastward as well as westward looking”

For all its prolific variety, a longer, more reflective study of Kishev’s work also reveals a number of highly consistent underlying artistic intentions. These can perhaps best be summarised as a passion for colour, ornament and pattern that is almost oriental in its richness and profusion and may owe something at least to the multi-faceted, eastward as well as westward looking culture of the Kabardino-Balkaria republic itself in its music, poetry, dance and drama traditions quite as much as in its art and design.

El Punto De Las Artes

Art Journal, Madrid

“Eastward as well as westward looking”

For all its prolific variety, a longer, more reflective study of Kishev’s work also reveals a number of highly consistent underlying artistic intentions. These can perhaps best be summarised as a passion for colour, ornament and pattern that is almost oriental in its richness and profusion and may owe something at least to the multi-faceted, eastward as well as westward looking culture of the Kabardino-Balkaria republic itself in its music, poetry, dance and drama traditions quite as much as in its art and design.

Nikita James

Londonski Courier, Russian newspaper in UK

“his crystal clear vision of our world”

I would like to point out the personal and artistic qualities of Muhadin Kishev. Formed in the Academic School and over 60 years old, he does not shy away from abstract themes and neither does he sell himself to the commercial success of much traditional Russian art.

The value of his work to my mind, lies in his clear and crystal understanding of our world and his personal kindness towards humanity in general. From his contact with Spain he opens up a dream world of beauty within reach of us all.

Carmen Garrido

Prado Museum, Madrid

“the Imagination of the Artist errant”

Muhadin Kishev’s rich imagination is a basic ingredient of his work and can be appreciated not only in his creativity and the interweaving of forms and shapes in space, but also in his understanding of colour. Both concepts, form and colour, are based on reality, only to be then recreated in the artist’s imagination and in his pictures, in order to express his own reality, full of poetry and plastic beauty.

His mind is never at rest but in constant creative activity, and his pencils and brushes at the ready to instantly transmit his ideas and images through the different techniques and diverse supports used by the artist in the creative process.

Muhadin is usually to be found surrounded by an array of pencils and books of different sizes where he captures the never-ending stream of ideas which flow from his mind. In these books the sketches appear, precisely and perfectly executed, even with indications of the colour and tone; each piece of work is conceived and studied to perfection before the artist sets about the task of creating a painting from his mental image. The works that we finally see are the end product of some of these small sketches in the books which accompany him everywhere. These preparatory drawings, which transmit to us the way in which Muhadin works, are of great intrinsic interest in themselves and have their own special charm. As if they were miniatures they constitute in themselves works of art, which we can gaze at and contemplate with joy, these sketches from the artist’s imagination, which he is timid to share with us, as if they were part of his inner soul.


Víctor Vladimirovich Vanslov

Director of the Institute of Scientific Investigation of the Russian Academy of Arts, Doctor of the Science of Art Criticism, member of the Presidency of the Russian Academy of Arts.

“A Hymn to Beauty”

Muhadin is recognised world-wide for his talent, for the unique personality of his art and his individual style. He speaks out on the global events of today’s world, of the grief and the tragedies; he studies peoples of different nationalities in depth and over all, creates paintings full of lyricism and harmony – a hymn to beauty.
This artist does not copy reality. He materialises images from his imagination, which are born from deep contemplation and understanding of the world that surrounds him.

Maestro Kishev has a great command of the Academic School of Art and so, according to the demands of a certain thought or subject matter, he knows how to create a convincing and realistic image. Such images may be of nature, man, animals, birds etc. In these paintings we see recognisably real shapes, but at the same time they are not photographic and have nothing in common with a copy of reality.

The realistic shapes are embedded into an integral and decorative image. The shapes are made up with rhythms and colour, achieved through a harmony of shades. These rhythms and colour harmonies constitute the background, as if absorbing real figures. In their own way they are like an emotional accompaniment, creating a symphony of rhythm and colour evoking musical associations. In the words of the artist:” Painting is like an orchestra, like a symphony, where all the colours should play in harmony just like musical instruments.”

This is so, not only with images of nature, animals, birds and flowers, but also architecture, people and portraits. Reality is always combined with fantasy as a product of the imagination and an impression of the inner world of the artist.

M.Kishev shows great interest in the peoples of different nationalities and ethnic groups with pictures dedicated to his native Kabardino-Balkaria, Siberia, Russia and also Spain, his second motherland. He has a series of peoples of the world where he encapsulates the great aesthetic beauty of men, women and children. He achieves a great likeness without photographic naturalism. The pictures are always complete, with decorative and harmonious colour – a hymn to the harmony of colour and line, not narrative, but metaphorical and truly artistic.
Many of Kishev’s pictures seem to be fantastic creations, at times mysteriously enigmatic, evoking a myriad of associations and an emotional response. At times the decorative elements become isolated from the realistic image, independent and self-contained with their own musicality. And thus the abstract pictures arise.

There are many, very varied, abstract paintings in Kishev’s work. He often uses geometric shapes, whose precursors are Mondrian and the suprematists, but Kishev is not like the one or the others. Kishev’s abstract pictures are never born of a chaotic combination of shapes; they are always strictly rhythmical and the shapes and lines are subservient to the harmony of colours.

However there are many abstract pictures that are not geometric. Here neither, do we find chaotic colours, on the contrary, there is always a systematic colour structure, full of rhythms and harmonious combinations, and at times, ornamental characteristics so that the painting reminds us of stained glass or a colourful rug.

The artist maintains that, “for each subject matter you have to find the most appropriate form of expression. For some themes the abstract is more fitting, for example in the series “Cosmic Space”, although everything is real, the image itself is abstract. “Nostalgia for Nature” however, can only be expressed in a realistic way, but that does not mean one should copy nature, the artist’s imagination should always preside. Here Kishev has mentioned two series in his work, “Cosmic Space” and “Nostalgia for Nature”, one abstract and the other realistic. However, Kishev’s abstract paintings are always focused on a concrete theme. Sometimes they enclose a purely emotional thought, being the lyrical outpouring of the artist’s soul. Thanks to the rhythmic composition, the harmonious and decorative colour, his abstract paintings are always beautiful. Their musical beauty is like a hymn to the beauty of the real world and a confirmation of the artist’s ideal.

The creation of such abstract paintings requires great professional mastery. With these works Kishev stands above the mass of amateur paintings that fill many exhibitions of contemporary art, which conceal beneath abstract shapes an elemental lack of drawing, of composition and of painting. Kishev, in his writings, underlines the importance of professionalism in art and of academic studies, without which one cannot create realistic images and abstract paintings of real artistic beauty.

Kishev is convinced that only when you have acquired professional knowledge can you paint abstract pictures, well made, artistic and with the capacity to express emotions. His own work is a confirmation of this, opposed to the amateur and to speculation with ways of the avant-guard. These ways in the case of the classic artists of the avant-guard were always based on a professional mastery.

“The abstract”, says the artist, “is a very complex art, a special method of artistic thought. True abstract art is a medium for expressing philosophical ideas which should be accompanied by an artistic language and professional quality.”

The avant-guard artists of our time, Kandinsky, Malevich, created realistic paintings and drawings executed with great professionalism. There is a sort of bridge or ladder between realism and the abstract. You cannot suddenly jump from a lower rung to a higher one just like that, nothing is achieved.”

Muhadin Kishev’s art in that sense is instructive. In any of its explorations it is concerned with the confirmation of beauty. The artist sings of the beauty of the world with beautiful artistic forms. But that beauty has nothing to do with the banal and false prettiness of cheap, botched art. The beauty of Kishev’s paintings is not brash, but modest, serene and charged with deep emotion. It is at the same time a lyrical understanding and deep contemplation of the world.

The artist is at the height of his creative powers. Nowadays, the celebration of beauty is so important in our chaotic, catastrophic unpredictable world. And in Kishev’s art this celebration is presented, not in an archaic way, but in a contemporary, artistic way, convincing to the spectator of our times, enriching the fertile path of the history of art.