Meaning of Unity and Antagonism
“The square, with its four corners represents both unity and antagonism, stability and order. The square is a symbol of the earthly matter and reality. For example, a city square can be seen as a symbol of civilization, unity, justice, knowledge and intelligence. However, the very nature of the square, speaks about antagonism, stagnation, and dead end. Therefore, the symbol of the square poses the questions to us – how tolerant and humane we are in our life and in our society? In this context I invite you to explore how different artists interpret the symbolism of the square through the concept of unity and antagonism,” explains Shakhnoza Karimbabaeva, Art Curator of the exhibition “Connections: 12 Symbols and Meanings”.
“Neoplasticism asserts justice, because the equality of plastic tools in a composition shows that everyone can be equal among equals.”
Piet Mondrian
Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Gray, and Blue
Piet Mondrian
Netherlands, (1872-1944)
Oil on canvas, 59.5×59.5 cm
© Kunstmuseum Den Haag
Mondrian set himself a task of comprehending and embodying the “world soul”, dreaming with the help of painting to form a new type of society. The composition was to be built on the principle of contrast, from which balance and harmony are born.
Spring festival in the park
Samuel Rubashkin
Oil on canvas, 89x122 cm
© The State Museum of Arts of the Republic of Karakalpakstan named after I.V. Savitsky
The work “Spring Festival in the park” is dedicated to the famous exhibition of the Soviet vanguard called “Bulldozer”. In 1974, the avant-gardist / non-conformist artists tried to organize their first exhibition on the open field near the “Beliaevo” metro station in Moscow. However, the authorities dispersed the exhibition with bulldozers under the guise of Subbotnik. The artist witnessed the dispersal and dedicated his work “Paintings from the Exhibition” to that event. In the left corner below, the artist depicted himself with an umbrella. I.V.Savitskiy bought the canvas, though changed the title to arrange the purchase easily.
Under the Sherdor Portal
Oganes Tatevosyan
Oil on cardboard, 70x51 cm
© The State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan
In the foreground of the painting, one can see a square mirror of a barber, sitting under the portal of Sherdor. The mirror is associated with a notebook that represents the portal of information space. Sherdor is a Madrasa located in Registan square, where sciences, religion and art were taught. The complex architectural fragments of Sherdor, its structure – brickwork, décor (tiles) – everything is built with square elements.
Check-Shura on the Folds of the Fergana Chapan. 1968 (childhood impressions)
Vyacheslav Useinov
(b. 1962)
“Chiy” weaving technique, acrylic, synthetics and wool, 160x180 cm
Technical execution of the Chiy technique on textile by master weaver Nina Petrosova
Collection of the author
Many towns in Central Asian Khanates were surrounded by suburb gardens that were created according to the special plan called “Chorbog”. They were built according to thoroughly developed projects, using sophisticated geometric and mathematical calculations. Each garden had its distinctive features; however, they were unified by the common style “Chorbog”, which connected the four cardinal points and the four elements. All of them had a shape of a square or a rectangle. To this day, the shape of the square is applied on crop fields, across which the main source of life, the water flow, undergoes.
Yakub Beknazarov
(b. 1994)
Acrylic on canvas, 180х90 cm
Collection on the author
“To go through the world and keep being imperfect – is– the same as to come out of the bath unwashed”.
Alisher Navoiy

Everything is born; everything grows, develops and then goes away into the abyss. The Islimi ornament, built on a combination of a Convolvulus and a spiral, embodies the idea of a continuously developing flowering, deciduous shoot, which is destined to go into the black space of mortality. The matrix of humanity.