Related Artists

Soltan Soltanli

"The intimate beaty"

YAY Gallery announce the solo show The intimate beaty by artist Soltan Soltanli. 

Exhibition curated by Lesley Gray

What is the purpose of art? How can we address philosophy in painting? As a self-taught artist and trained philosopher, Soltan Soltanli seeks to use art in service of humanity by exploring of the existential questions of human life and social behavior through his work. During his childhood in a village in Azerbaijan’s Agsu region, he developed a personal philosophy about the role of humanity in the world around it. 

An avid student of Azerbaijani literature, poetry and philosophy, including the writings of Nizami and Nasimi, Soltanli’s artwork is a contemporary representation of the ideas they put forth about beauty and truth. In his practice, he explores both aesthetic realism and primitivism to capture the essential nature of his subjects. Using vibrant colors and imaginative perspective, he paints people, animals and landscapes that symbolize pure emotion and a higher purpose. In his works, he references themes such as love, labor, death and human relationships, titling the artworks to give insight into his intention, revealing his own nuanced understanding of life. While his work may seem to have a surreal quality, he rejects this label – he paints to reveal relationships between things by using illusion, but he does not seek to deceive. His messages are straightforward – he illuminates universal human truths to serve and inspire humanity itself. 

On the first floor of the gallery, paintings of fantastic landscapes juxtaposed with depictions of rural life explore the natural world as a source of beauty and wonder but purpose and labor. In Soltanli’s depictions of animals amongst a forest of trees and ponds, the works suggest a paradise of natural harmony. In the paintings of shepherds, gardeners, and farm laborers, nature is a bounty to provide sustenance. 

Soltanli is also a celebrated graphic artist and has won a number of international awards for his work. On the first floor is a capsule collection of graphic works and watercolors, including studies for larger paintings and portraits in his signature style blending caricature and realism. 

On the second floor is a collection of portraits expressing humanity’s connection to nature and to itself, representing the complexity of the myriad relationships between people and the world around them. Along the right wall of the gallery is a series of domestic scenes showing the nuance and intimacy of family life. Humorous and meditative, Soltanli reveals his interpretive framework of deep symbolism through accessible imagery, inviting viewers to contemplate the intimate beauty of life for themselves. 

Exhibition opening: February 15, 7 pm

Exhibition dates: February 15 > April 1, 2019

Gallery working hours: 12:00 – 20:00 (except Monday)
Free admission

*All works available for sale. For inquiries:

Address: Icheri Sheher, 5 Kichik Gala str.
T.: +994 12 505 2323

5 Kichik Qala Street, Icheri Sheher Baku

Azerbaijan, AZ 1000

+99412 505 23 23


Opening hours

12:00 — 20:00 (except Monday)