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A Quarter Century. A Salute to Education.

In honor of the University’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of its founding, and in collaboration with the Antikyan Gallery, Yerevan, we are proud to present the art exhibition titled “A Quarter Century. A Salute to Education.” The exhibit features the work of 25 reflecting the diversity of media, styles and narratives of the nation.

Opening: Tuesday, May 31st at 6 pm

The exhibition runs until June 21, 2016,

and is open to the public Monday to Friday from 11 am to 5 pm

 

Proceeds from the sale of the artwork will go toward the University’s educational mission by providing support for the delivery of our liberal arts education programs.

This exhibition is part of a series of events, lectures, conferences and exhibitions scheduled for 2016 to mark our 25th anniversary.

give-now

01 02 03
  1. Butterfly, iron, 120x77x43

Ara Aleqyan, 2015
Price: 2400000 AMD

  1. Fish, iron, 140x70x40

Ara Aleqyan, 2015
Price: 6240000 AMD

  1. Path-31, oil on canvas, 140×90

Ararat Sarkissyan, 2016
Price: 1776000 AMD

04 05 06
  1. Blossoming apricot tree, oil on canvas, 83×108

Ararat Sarkissyan, 2015
Price: 1680000 AMD

  1. Street, oil and acrylic on canvas, 94×112

Ararat Sarkissyan, 2000-2014
Price: 1776000 AMD

  1. “Magnetism” series, oil on canvas, 100×90

Arevik Arevshatyan, 2003
Price: 1776000 AMD

 07 08 09
  1. Appearance, oil on canvas, 116×158

Arevik Arevshatyan, 2005
Price: 2880000 AMD

  1. Ordinal, oil on canvas, 90×100

Arman Grigoryan, 2013
Price: 480000 AMD

  1. She Wolf, oil on canvas, 140×120

Arman Grigoryan, 1985
Price: 1440000 AMD

 10 11 12
  1. Kars, oil on canvas, 100×80

Armen Gevorgyants, 2008
Price: 2880000 AMD

  1. Ruminations on the way, mixed media, 91x77x57

Armen Gevorgyants, 2013
Price: 5760000 AMD

  1. Disintegration, wood and metal, 73x129x26.5

Arman Gevorgyants, 2012
Price: 3600000 AMD

13 14 15
  1. Agreement, oil on canvas, 200×150

Arshak Sarkissian, 2016
Price: 3120000 AMD

  1. Medieval theatre, ceramic, acrylic, mixed media, 75x51x20

Arshak Sarkissian, 2012
Price: 2400000 AMD

  1. Untitled, ink on paper, 110×83

Arshak Sarkissian, 2016
Price: 960000 AMD

16 17 18
  1. 5 image lines, oil on canvas, 80×110

Arthur Sarkissian, 2015
Price: 1440000 AMD

  1. Image lines, oil on canvas, 100×110

Arthur Sarkissian, 2015
Price: 1584000 AMD

  1. Pears, bronze, 31x17x14

Ashot Baghdasaryan, 2013
Price: 1920000 AMD

 19 20 21 
  1. Bird, bronze, 18x16x8

Ashot Baghdasaryan, 2000
Price: 1248000 AMD

  1. Della primavera, lithography, 65×87

Bruno Bruni, 1985
Price: 864000 AMD

  1. La favorite, bronze, 82x26x14

Bruno Bruni
Price: 2400000 AMD

22 23 24 
  1. “Infinite motion” series, oil on canvas, 80×125

Gagik Ghazanchyan, 2015
Price: 2160000 AMD

  1. “Urban images” series, oil and collage on paper, 72×77

Gagik Ghazanchyan, 2009
Price: 720000 AMD

  1. The true way, bronze, brass, 35x33x27

Garen Bedrosyan
Price: 1680000 AMD

25  26 27
  1. Untitled, bronze, metal

Garen Bedrosyan, 2008
Price: 1680000 AMD

  1. Pieces from the constructed nature-1, onyx, 18x14x35

Garen Bedrosyan, 2015

  1. Two bouquets, oil on canvas, 95.5×85

Lavinia Bajbeuk-Meliqyan, 1984
Price: 3840000 AMD

28 29 30
  1. Still-life with a white vase, a bottle and a lemon, oil on canvas, 79×92

Lavinia Bajbeuk-Meliqyan, 2001
Price: 3600000 AMD

  1. Baptism: Saint Francesco, oil on canvas, 59×79

Levon Azatyan, 1995
Price: SOLD

  1. Untitled, oil on cardboard, 50×70

Levon Azatyan, 2007
Price: 720000 AMD

31 32  33 
  1. Under the clouds, oil on canvas, 100×80

Lilit Soghomonyan, 2012
Price: 1296000 AMD

  1. Waiting for a miracle, mixed media on paper, 56×76

Lilit Soghomonyan, 2015
Price: 480000 AMD

  1. In the shade of a tree, oil on canvas, 113×97

Marina Dilanyan, 2007
Price: 1920000 AMD

34

35

36

  1. Around the table, mixed media, 153×116

Marina Dilanyan, 2013
Price: 720000 AMD

  1. Meditation of the day, mixed media and acrylic on canvas, 54×65

Nora Badalyan, 2014

  1. The lion with a scar, mixed media and acrylic on canvas, 54×65

Nora Badalyan, 2014
Price: 240000 AMD

37 38 39
  1. The winner rocking-horse, mixed media and acrylic on canvas, 54×65

Nora Badalyan, 2014
Price: 240000 AMD

  1. Your time is over, mixed media and acrylic on canvas, 54×65

Nora Badalyan, 2014
Price: 240000 AMD

  1. Don’t kill the music, oil and tar on canvas, 130×100

Sahak Poghosyan, 2015
Price: 2160000 AMD

40 41 42
  1. Judith, bronze, 74x27x24

Sahak Poghosyan, 2013
Price: 8640000 AMD

41.  The memorial of the sacrificed lambkin, bronze, 30x20x25

(composition of 4 pieces)

Sahak Poghosyan, 2016
Price: 1440000 AMD

42.  The memorial of the sacrificed lambkin, bronze, 30x20x25

(composition of 4 pieces)

Sahak Poghosyan, 2016
Price: 1440000 AMD

43 44 45

43.  The memorial of the sacrificed lambkin, bronze, 30x20x25

(composition of 4 pieces)

Sahak Poghosyan, 2016
Price: 1440000 AMD

44.  The memorial of the sacrificed lambkin, bronze, 30x20x25

(composition of 4 pieces)

Sahak Poghosyan, 2016
Price: 1440000 AMD

  1. I don’t remember, oil on canvas, 80×68

Samvel Chibukhchyan, 2000
Price: 1296000 AMD

46 47  48 
  1. Park, oil on canvas, 60×70

Samvel Chibukhchyan, 2006
Price: 1200000 AMD

  1. Open letter on black – see me, oil on canvas, 130×65

Samvel Saghatelyan, 2016
Price: 1200000 AMD

  1. Where is my place-Hemingway, oil and mixed media on canvas, 31x41cm

Samvel Saghatelyan, 2013
Price: 240000 AMD

49 50 51
  1. The dream car-Cuba, oil and mixed media on canvas, 31x41cm

Samvel Saghatelyan, 2013
Personal Collection

  1. Last supper, oil on canvas, 80×120

Sargis Hamalbashyan, 2015
Price: 2400000 AMD

  1. Luggage, mixed media on cardboard, 77x52x19

Sargis Hamalbashyan, 2012
Price: 960000 AMD

52 53 54
  1. Encounter, oil on canvas, 40×30

Sargis Hamalbashyan, 2014
Price: 336000 AMD

  1. Street, oil on canvas, 40×30

Sargis Hamalbashyan, 2014
Price: 336000 AMD

  1. Rhinoceros, oil on canvas, 40×30

Sargis Hamalbashyan, 2014
Price: 336000 AMD

55 56 57
  1. Encounter, oil on canvas, 40×30

Sargis Hamalbashyan, 2014
Price: 336000 AMD

  1. Sevan lake, oil on canvas, 70×90

Seryoja Vardanyan, 1963
Price: 2160000 AMD

  1. Psakaqar, oil on canvas, 50×70

Seryoja Vardanyan, 1976
Price: 2160000 AMD

58 59 60
  1. Amazon warrior, bronze, 40×16.5×9

Spartak Gevorgyan, 2009
Price: 960000 AMD

  1. Rage, bronze, 22x37x15

Spartak Gevorgyan, 2007
Price: 1824000 AMD

  1. Giving the flower back to the skull, oil on canvas, 190×132

Teni Vardanyan, 2016
SOLD

61 62 63
  1. Completed Condition, oil on canvas, 80×100

Teni Vardanyan, 2005
Price: 2880000 AMD

  1. “The Queen of Spades” A.Pushkin, mixed media on paper, 100×70

Teni Vardanyan, 2015
Price: 1776000 AMD

  1. Beginning and end, end and beginning, watercolor on paper, 21×30

Teni Vardanyan, 2003
Price: 576000 AMD

64 65 66
  1. Archive of found items #1, acrylic on canvas, 60×70

Vahagn Hamalbashyan, 2015
Price: 384000 AMD

  1. Archive of found items #2, acrylic on canvas, 60×70

Vahagn Hamalbashyan, 2015
Price: 384000AMD

  1. Archive of found items #3, acrylic on canvas, 60×70

Vahagn Hamalbashyan, 2015
Price: 384000 AMD

67 68 69
  1. Archive of found items #4, acrylic on canvas, 60×70

Vahagn Hamalbashyan, 2015
Price: 384000 AMD

  1. Composition, mixed media, 101×89

Vazgen Bajbeuk-Meliqyan, 1998
Price: 3600000 AMD

  1. Composition, mixed media, 101×89

Vazgen Bajbeuk-Meliqyan, 1998
Price: 4320000 AMD

70     
  1. Not looking, not hearing, not talking Lithography, 57×77

Bruno Bruni, 1979
Price: 864000 AMD

   

 

THE ART OF ACCEPTANCE: The multiple narratives of contemporary art in post-independent Armenia

By Vigen Galstyan
Curator

The Armenian contemporary art scene has been surveyed regularly since Armenia’s independence from Soviet Union in 1991. Major exhibitions showcasing the progress of contemporary art have been held in Yerevan over a number of years, in 2001, 2003, 2011, and 2014. A new show covering the past 25 years of Armenian art is to be presented at the National Gallery of Armenia in September 2016.

These survey exhibitions display the diversity of current artistic practices in the country, while demonstrating the inherent issues and rifts that have defined the contemporary arts in Armenia. Indicative of this situation is a 1992 debate between some of the key figures of the Armenian artistic milieu that was published in the monthly Arvest.

At least to me, the result of the five years of existence of the ‘Third Floor’ is obvious: we were able to break stereotypes about the context and perception of art… No matter how many artists were able to gain a sense of independence during this period, [or whether] their talents were fully revealed… nevertheless, what was of value was the refusal of hierarchies… For me, avant-gardism in both politics and art is absolutely the same thing. The result in either case is intolerance. In my opinion, the aim of ‘Third Floor’s’ activities was precisely this: the rejection of intolerance.[1]

This statement by curator Nazareth Karoyan – one of the main ideologues of the ‘Third Floor’ movement – typifies the standpoint of the Perestroika generation. The call for a greater openness and diversity in approaches in the understanding of ‘contemporary art’ practices, was certainly a legitimate one, albeit it failed to acknowledge the existing multifariousness of 20th century Armenian art. The inadequate assessment of this legacy, and in some cases, its full rejection, brought forth a deepening divide between artists orientated towards socially-engaged activism and those who remained on the playing field of ‘traditional’ modernity.

By the dawn of the 21st century it became clear that the earlier, Soviet-style art establishment, had been metamorphosed into a lab of tasteful modernist experiments. Patronized by the doyen of the 1960s Armenian ‘avant-garde’, art curator Henrik Igityan, the group of artists who were part of this ‘academic’ movement used post-modernist tactics to convey their subjectivity and suspicion towards social dimensions of contemporary art. This continued search for individual style and authorial ‘vision’ were, in turn, rejected as anachronistic nonsense by the anti-establishment art world.[2] Informed by Western political and cultural theory, artists representing this critical front largely aimed to negate and deconstruct the historically formed narratives of the Armenian fine arts, as well as the means of artistic production itself.

Thus, the wider field of current art in independent Armenia developed along the analytical and ‘expressive’ tendencies of artistic practice in the country. The exhibitions by the Armenian Center of Contemporary Experimental Art,[3] for example, focused on conceptual and deconstructive trends. Other, more traditionally orientated galleries, such as the Museum of Modern Art Yerevan, featured artists whose rhetoric was confined to the ongoing exploration of ‘individualized’ aesthetics in fine arts.

Despite the apparent polarization of the local art milieu at the end of the 1990s, a merging of artistic camps is increasingly noticeable. Painters and sculptors, such as Teni Vardanyan, Ruben Grigoryants, Sarkis Hamalbashyan, Ararat Sarksyan, Sahak Poghosyan and Marine Dilanyan continue to participate in critical discourses, while retaining their commitment to the exploration of formal properties of figurative art. On the other hand, we can observe critically-orientated artists like David Kareyan, Diana Hakobyan, Samvel Saghatelyan, Sona Abgaryan, Narek Avetisyan, Ashot Ashot and others, who turn towards a sustained practice in traditional visual arts.

This state of hybridity is a development predicated, in part, by the succession of failed projects in the local art scene (such as the dissolution of avant-garde art collectives and private initiatives) as well as the rapid changes in the socio-political fabric of the country.[4] The earlier beliefs in collective frameworks for artistic practice, seemed superfluous and even futile in the age of global mass-media communications and virtual social networks. In this context, the necessity of authorial vision has become self-evident. Significantly, the search for this authorial identity was marked by the renewed interest towards aesthetics and its political dimension.
To risk generalizing, I would argue that the current art produced in Armenia is no longer a mere illustration of political demands. Confirming its minority status, its responsibility lies in addressing what Boris Groys calls the:

…infinite number of images [that] remain excluded: for as I said there is an infinite variety of forms that can be used as artworks. Today’s art, like today’s politics, thus operates in the gap between formal equality and actual inequality. This gives the artist the opportunity to refer to this endless number of equal, but excluded images in his art.[5]

The recent contemporary artistic practices in Armenia allows us to witness plurality of voices. Referring to images and forms that are excluded from the ‘extreme tautology of mass media’,[6] the viewpoints of artists (many of whom are included in this exhibition) indicate alternative ways of perceiving and picturing reality.[7] In their highly local, retro-futuristic sensibility, we may find a reinstatement of the right to be both anachronistic and transgressive. Thus, the possibility of renewed associations, fluid identities and transformations is the constructive message of contemporary art in Armenia.

This is also discernible on the formal level. As seen in the 2014 exhibition Kayl, co-curated by Arman Grigoryan, the stunning array of styles on display showed ‘works of the generation of independence, who has created a new aesthetic way of thinking.’[8] The collation of contrasting approaches in this exhibition – from neo-expressionists to performance and ‘academic’ art – signaled a constructive sense of egalitarianism. Regardless of how one may evaluate it, this could be considered a true manifestation of Karoyan’s 1992 statement on ‘tolerance’. The aesthetics of this ‘new way of thinking’ emphasize a critical resistance to the incessant flow of time and an engagement on a subjective level. Each artist is anchored to a particular tradition, and collectively, they give analytical and expressive voices to a multiplicity of audiences. This heterogeneity has a political function, as it defies the homogenizing polemic of global economy and produces tensions in the dialogue between indigenous and global narratives.

By focusing on individual, rather than ‘national’ space, Armenian artists of today speak to different strata of society. Consequently, the artists and their diverse audiences, all become actors in the dynamic debate on cultural identity and the evolving definitions of ‘contemporary art’. What is to be expected in light of  ‘breakdown of hierarchies’ in definitions of progressive art practice? We can begin, perhaps, with a full reassessment of the overall history of modern and contemporary arts in this country.[9] And this should not exclude the supposedly ‘salonesque’ or ‘institutional’ post-modernity of some of its most fashionable artists. One may hope that this broader engagement will result in new strategies for impacting the socio-cultural processes in the Armenian actuality.

_______________________________________________________

[1] Original discussion appeared in Arvest, issue 11, 1992, pp2-8. Quoted from Vardan Azatyan, ‘Arvesty azatutyan ev kanoni mijev. “3rd harki” banavetcherits, arteria.am, 26.02.2012, http://www.arteria.am/hy/1330171952 (accessed 19.05.2016)

[2] See for example Arman Grigoryan’s essay in Hedwig Saxenhuber (ed), Adieu Parajanov: contemporary art from Armenia, Springerin, Vienna, 2003

[3] Among these one should especially note the Armenian pavilions curated by ACCEA for the Venice Biennale.

[4] In 1998, the ousted first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan was replaced by Robert Kocharyan. His reign, which lasted until 2008, was marked simultaneously by controversy and corruption as well as economic growth and relative political stability. With some notable exceptions such as the recently dissolved collective ‘ArtLabaratory’, the phenomenon of artists ‘groups’ continues to be short-lived and incidental in Armenia.

[5] Boris Groys, ‘The logic of equality’, in ArtNeuland, http://www.artneuland.com/article.asp?aid=24 (accessed 20.05.2016)

[6] ibid

[7] Though not featured in this exhibition, this move towards inclusiveness also embraces previously disregarded media like photography and design.

[8] Arman Grigoryan, ‘Introduction’ in Arman Grigoryan, Arevik Arevshatyan, Ararat Sarkissian, Sarkis Hamalbashyan, Vardan Jaloyan, Step: between transforming and forming, Ministry of Culture of Armenia, Yerevan, 2014, p5

[9] A project undertaken and soon to be published by art historian Vardan Azatyan.