As a leading artist, curator, designer, and art advocate in Azerbaijan, Altay Sadigzade’s influence on the contemporary art scene has been profound. Beginning his career as a young artist in the Soviet Union, he studied at both the Faculty of Painting at the Surikov State Academic Art Institute in Moscow and the Azimzade State College of Art in Baku. A member of the Azerbaijan Union of Artists and Baku Art Centre, he has exhibited widely in group exhibitions in France, USA, Turkey, Germany, Italy, UK, Austria and Russia and he has held numerous solo exhibitions across the world, including multiple events in USA, France and Azerbaijan, in addition to solo exhibitions in Istanbul, London and Beijing. His works is held in institutional and private collections is in Azerbaijan, Belgium, France, Germany, Iran, Israel, Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and USA. In 2007, he launched a monograph of his work called “Painting and Sketch” at the Librairie Flammarion Centre, Centre Pompidou, Paris. In Baku, he is the director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which he designed during its inception in 2008-2009. In 2011, his work was included in the Azerbaijan National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He continues to exhibit his works widely in addition to his curatorial oversight of the MoMA.
While Altay works across various directions, he is primarily known for his paintings and sculptures, a practice which is linked conceptually and through his signature aesthetics. His works are abstract and vibrant, incorporating influences from caricatures and graphic art, which can be seen in the distorted and exaggerated subjects of his paintings. In his works, he creates surrealist representations of everyday life, using scale to emphasize humor. His works is full of optimism and his sculptures and installations draw his viewers into his inner world. Altay is influenced by his extensive travels, and his works features different geographies, as well as influences from various art movements, which he combines to form a new visual language. In his sculptural works he uses materials, such as metal to make his abstract figures three dimensional, adding depth to his conceptual work. For his contribution to the Azerbaijan National Pavilion at The Venice Biennale in 2011, he presented a more subdued collection of paintings, which continued his exploration of surreal landscapes but in muted, wistful shades of blue, black and grey to emphasize the dream-like quality of the works. While he has shown across the world, in Baku, the best place to see his artistic oeuvre is the Baku MoMA, where it acts as a narrative thread accompanying the modern art history of Azerbaijan. He also has a cafe in Old City (Baku) called “Mayak 13”, which includes his sculptural installations and whimsical paintings inspired by the seaside. Curatorially, he has shaped the collection of the Baku MoMA to showcase the most significant artworks by Azerbaijani artists in the 20th century while continuing to add new works to the collection, bringing it into the contemporary era and celebrating the breadth of talent in the Azerbaijani art community.