The small series of portraits by well known Karkhiv painter Askhat Saphargalin is of considerable interest. "School Girl" (1958), "Student" (1975), and "Youth" (1975) are not portraits of specific, concrete personalities but come closer to generalized characters. Without doubt these outwardly anonymous faces hide ones that are well known to the painter, but seen anew in the mirror of their time. No coincidence that in the eyes of the self-absorbed school student of the late fifties can be read the still severe reflections of the recent Stalinist era. The lyrical "Youth" from the 1970s is heavy with the weight of dreams and future hopes. The restrictive color palette exemplifies many Saphargalin works, remarkable in its evolution from restraint to richness in very subtle shades of gold, pearl and blue.
...Not commissioned, these are both portraits and art at the same time, expressing through individual characters more general but shifting ideas which exist only in the sphere of picturesque-plastic perception of the outside world.
- Boris Lobanovsky (1926-2002), leading Kiev art critic
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