Leyla Akhundzada 

Born in 1953 Passed away in 2010 | Moscow, Russia

1974: Art history, Moscow State University

Leyla Akhundzadeh, a curator, art historian, artist, and artistic mentor, was one of the most significant players in Azerbaijan's developing modern art culture when the Soviet Union fell apart. She managed to collect a generation of young artists as the program director of the History of Art department at the Azerbaijan State Academy of Art to inspire them to evolve their practice as well as the larger modern art movement via events, and catalogs, scholarship, as well as aesthetic experimentation.

She inspired emerging artists to investigate Azerbaijani culture within the context of the opportunities that emerged after Soviet control ended. She formed the art collective "Zamanin Ganadlari" (Wings of Time) in 2000, which held the first-ever exhibit of upcoming artists using a variety of new media. Many of Azerbaijan's globally renowned modern artists participated in her works, and she leveraged her connections and knowledge to assist acquire grant funds and supplies for solo shows. She urged contemporary artists to extend their work outside academic standards, write about and analyze their work, document and preserve their actions, and create possibilities for themselves.

In 2003, for the first time in Azerbaijan, he was the initiator and organizer of the "Aluminum" International Biennale of Contemporary Art. In 2005, 2007, and 2009, "Aluminium" rendered invaluable services in the successful holding of the Biennale of Contemporary Art.

Leyla moved to the Ministry of Culture, where she was able to keep her work on a bigger organizational scale, including providing advice to the Heydar Aliyev Centre as it was being built. Orkhan Huseynov, Rashad Alakbarov, Elshan Ibrahimov, Farid Abdullayev, Faig Ahmed, Niyaz Najafov, Fakhriyya Mammadova, and Farid Rasulov are just a few of the Azerbaijani artists who have benefited from Leyla's guidance. On many projects, she collaborated with popular artists and curators Sabina Shikhlinskaya and Jahangir Selimkhanov.



From 4th International Biennale of Modern Art – “Aluminium” “Apocalypse or general harmony?”, 2009 Baku, Azerbaijan

Untitled, 2008
Installation, mixed media
Exhibition section: USSR-Remix