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Honored Member of the Academy of Art, Prague, Czech Republic.

Laureate of the European Art Union.

Associate Professor, Faculty of Painting.Sculpture and stage design, Kazakh National University of Arts.

Professor of the Kazakh- Russian University, Chair of Design, Astana, Kazakhstan.

Winner of the Medal of contribution to the art of the name of Franz Kafka, Prague, Czech Republic.


Kazakhstan, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, Moldova, Great Britain,
Netherlands, USA, Italy, France, Russia, China, India.


ART FORUM KULANSHI, Astana, Kazakhstan.
“Art Week” Festival, Esteburg, Germany
International Izmir Festival, Izmir, Turkey
“Silk Road by Modern Art”, “Art 21” Gallery, Munich, Germany.
“Silk Road by Modern Art”, Art Center, Berlin, Germany
“United Buddy Bear”

     Paintings in pubic collections of:

 fine art museum n.a. A.Kasteyev, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Museum of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Astana, Kazakhstan
Museum of Fine Arts of the Ministry of Culture, Ankara, Turkey
Museum of Fine Arts, Chisinau, Moldova
Historical Museum, Unter Uldingen, Germany
Museum of Fine Arts of the Hoja Ahmed Yassawi University Ankara, Turkey
“Art 21” Gallery, Munich, Germany
“Saray” Gallery, Berlin, Germany
 Modern Art Museum, Astana, Kazakhstan

       Paintings in private collections in:

  Kazakhstan, Turkey, Germany, Russia, Great Britain, Belgium and USA

“One makes use of colour, but one paints with emotions.”
by Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin

Leyla Mahat – Painter, poet, gallery director, pedagogue, and creator of
multiple international projects. There are many more things to list in her
spheres of interest, an more importantly, their incarnation into real life.
And despite the abundance, all of the things that she does are equally
successful. They say, “A talented person, is talented in everything.” It is
surprising and astounding, how is it that such a small, delicate woman is
able to find time for all this?

During my first meeting with with Leyla, I thought – Why, this is Tomiris,
the amazon warrior! I was just reading about the famous Turkic queen before
the acquaintance. And how fantastic that in my artistic imagination the
eidolon of Tomiris, is exactly as I’ve seen Leyla in our Museum. And my
first impressions have been confirmed over and over – If one is to create
the image of Tomiris, it must be drawn from Leyla.

Leyla Mahat was born in Balhash on the 1st of May, 1970. She studied in the
Alma-Ata Theatre and Arts Institute, the Repin Leningrad Institute of
Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Freie Universität in Berlin,  as well
as the Berlin Academy of Museums. She started her creative path with a group
of like-minded artists, who created one of the first art associations called
the “Green Triangle”.

A bit of history: in 1991 Kazakhstan became a sovereign state. The country,
at that moment, was experiencing the chaos of the perestroika. The country
was left prostrate by the mayhem. Old priorities were no longer working, and
the new ones were just being comprehended. Changes, by and large, were
frightening the populace. Doubt was disturbing the peace. But the artistic
intelligentsia embraced the new time with a great uplift. New boundaries
were opened, artists were now able to go out and conquer the “abroad.” It
was time to create, it didn’t matter what and didn’t matter how. Most
importantly, one had to not look back, not fear and not think about

The “Green Triangle” was one of the most creative unions, and freest in
artistic self-expression. They created “other art”. This was the first
perestroika generation, which was indulging in freedom. They created
paintings which could be exhibited upside down, attached metal beer cans to
canvases, all kinds of strings, threads, and beads, and could poke through
or even slice the canvas. You can even forget about the canvas. Everybody
was starting to use instillations of forms; one could paint on the human
body and go out to the Almaty Arbat district or main square. The choice of
materials was dictated by principles, conceptual considerations. This was a
special kind of “underground”, denying the classical canons and laws.

The first impulse that the “Green Triangle” gave Leyla we can witness to
this day in her art. It is still the same pursuit of the “new”. Experiments
with techniques, materials, and the playful use of color are all
reconsiderations of the various forms of delivery of visual expression.

In the works “Tumar”, “Skythian necklace”, “Guardian of the script”, “The
Sorcerer’s daughter”, “Road to Balhash” we see an interest to the history of
the nomads, the principle approach to which is shown in her ability to
create her own atmosphere, love and closeness to humankind, nature. All of
this is deeply reflected in her works of art.

Leyla Mahat’s ink graphics genuinely charm the audience. Expressions of the
animal style and static statues of the ancient Turks are the two polarities
between which Leyla searches for her own language in the visual arts. The
dominant theme remains the historical past of the people, the now
irrevocable nomadic life style. This material, which the artist studies in
an almost research expedition sort of manner, evokes great interest.
Examples of unified systems of artistic, spiritual, and material principles
are the works like “Tumar of an ancestral Aul”, “His sun”, “Orhun’s tears”,
“The future in the past”.

Leyla Mahat’s creative explorations come from a desire to create a holistic
harmonic world. Also impressive are the series of lithographs “Triune”,
“Meditation of the moon”, “the Tree”, “Chain of thought”. The author chooses
the line as the main element of expression – a delicate and thin in
execution yet holding a hidden energy within itself. In the East they say
“He cannot understand art, who cannot read the line.”

A separate theme in Leyla’s art is the subject matter of the Horse and her
anxious, loving, and an almost personified relation to him. “The Horse – is
a persons wings” goes an ancient Kazakh idiom. It conceals a very deep
meaning. The horse was a loyal friend and companion at all stages of a nomad’s
life. Based on his observations of nomads’ lives the famous researcher of
Kazakh culture V.V. Radlov once noted that “the horse is the only animal
worthy enough by which you can determine the price it’s owner.” The image of
the horse in Leyla’s art is also a symbol of the swiftness of time, the
element of wind and fire. We can see this in the works “Red horse”, “Green
kulan”, and “For my son”. Beside being loaded with meaning, these works also
contain experiments with color, which, I think, is heavily influenced by the
mood in which the author finds herself at the moment of creation. And, most
probably, it is not coincidental that Leyla named her gallery “Kulanshi,” an
equestrian of the steppe.

Portraits by Leyla is yet another separate theme. How does the internal
condition of the painter reflect on the external image of the portrayed? Why
does Leyla complicate the task for herself by transmitting internal pressure
or peace by the subtleness of color choice? Is color a momentary mood? Why
only female figures? And why do they all have sad eyes – eyes like Leyla’s
own? What is hidden behind them? Grief, cosmic loneliness? Or are they an
entrance into a new reality? Left behind is the acquired experience, which
is obtained at a certain phase of life. And ahead is a new state of being, a
new era, new vibes and new impulses in her art. And the words which Leyla
said about herself, better than any forward: “The only Border, which exists,
is the Border between the real World and the world in my Thoughts. And it is
so hazy...”