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Karen Ohanyan | Icons of the Future

July 2 - August 3, 2024

Born in 1981 in Yerevan, Armenia, Karen Ohanyan’s life evolved around the civil society struggles of his homeland. As a boy, Ohanyan experienced the consequences that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, namely massacres, blockade, wars, and the cold-blooded murder of his compatriots by the ruling regime of Armenia during the March 1, 2008 protests in Yerevan. These are the struggles that crystallized the realities of post-Soviet Armenia and defined Ohanyan’s art during that period. While his painting evolved in terms of form, style, and medium, Ohanyan stayed true to his progressive spirit in his relation to both the arts and society. It is this revolutionary and evolutionary spirit that takes shape in the most recent paintings created outside of the borders of his homeland.

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Teni Vardanyan | Out of Body

July 2 - August 3, 2024

Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice is pleased to announce Out of Body, an exhibition of drawings and paintings by renowned artist Teni Vardanyan. 

 

In Vardanyan’s art the expulsion of a fetus, malady, death, and other unimaginably painful events  take shape on paper andcanvas. Just like in theater, life is staged with scenes unfolding and alternating on two canvases, hanging loose from the ceiling, like stage curtains. In essence, Vardanyan’s body of work stages a lifespan that begins and ends somewhere in space and time. A staged cycle that perhaps needs visual tools to relate more easily to the viewer. A life too large to be lived in one body may expel and run like a river, reminiscent of bodily fluids responsible for the cycle of reproduction. In these works, the bodies are distorted and painted in a flattened form, creating a figure that seems hollow, as if the soul escaped the body and were unable to find its way back. These ponderous bodies have disproportionately thinner – or otherwise weaker – legs, often  bent knees, and move cumbersomely through life, or are otherwise completely unable to move. They dissolve into a chair or into each other. 

 

Feelings of emotional liberation and hedonism are present in most of the works on display. For Vardanyan, art is a form of acceptance of the dialectical opposition between pleasure and pain. Thus, in some of the works we see flowers surrealistically blooming out of affliction, turning suffering into salvation. 

  

Teni Vardanyan was born in 1957 in Yerevan. She studied at the  Panos Terlemezyan Fine Arts School and at the Set Design Department of Yerevan Fine Arts and Theater Institute. Vardanyan has exhibited her work at Harvest Gallery in Los Angeles (2004), Gabone Gallery in Yerevan (2006), and the Ahmad Shawky Museum in Cairo (2007). In 2006, she received a gold medal at the 10th Cairo International Biennale, and in 2010was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the Republic of Armenia.

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Armenak Grigoryan/amo | Being Inside/Resistance

July 2 - August 3, 2024

Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice is pleased to announce the exhibition of Armenak Grigoryan/amo’s work Being Inside/Resistance (2018) in New York City.  Grigoryan’s interdisciplinary practice “is invested in the critical constitution of the public sphere,” as art historian Angela Harutyunyan describes it. 

 

In a black box made by the artist, a video plays on a loop, depicting the artist in an extremely emotional stage. Placing the moving image in additional boundaries, depriving it from its context and sound the artist neutralizes the sensuality, transforming it into a mere tool for art. The contradictory and supplementary unity of the two forms – the video and the black box – becomes an object that relates with art from within. This form of inner relation condenses the contradiction of culturally inherited mores on the one hand and the yearnings to overcome them in modern life on the other.

 

Grigoryan was born in Armenia in 1985. He has a PhD in Arts from the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts. He is also a curator and teaches drawing and design at Universities in Armenia.

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Masha Keryan | Above Liquidation

July 2 - August 3, 2024

Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice is pleased to announce Above Liquidation, an exhibition of recent works by Masha Keryan. The selected small works by Keryan are a part of a larger ongoing series exploring angles of forgiveness and ascension. With Armenian heritage, the word ‘forgiveness’ holds a complex significance for Keryan. Previously focused on inclusion, togetherness, and collective consciousness, her new work delves into themes of loss, isolation, extermination, and collective trauma. 

 

For the Yerevan-born and Boston-based artist, feet symbolize humility, ancestral connection, and the inner relationship with the outer world. Historically, feet hold profound metaphysical and spiritual symbolism across cultures and religions. In Christianity, Jesus washing his disciples' feet exemplifies humility and service. Hindu traditions value touching elders' feet as a gesture of respect and blessing. Buddhism interprets feet as symbols of karma. In Islamic and Judaic practices washing feet before prayer is a ritual of purification. In Native American traditions, feet symbolize grounding and balance; and African cultures honor feet as a link to ancestors through dance rituals.

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