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New Locality                  

David Kareyan 

September 14-October 22, 2023



New York, 2023 – Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice is pleased to present New Locality, a posthumous exhibition of paintings by David Kareyan. Kareyan, an illustrious figure in the realm of post-Soviet contemporary Armenian art, left an indelible mark on the artistic landscape despite his untimely passing at the tender age of 38. His pioneering contributions to the history of Armenian art continue to resonate, capturing the essence of his unique perspective on art and reality.


Kareyan's international recognition shone brightly as he represented Armenia at the Venice Biennale. His participation in the Armenian Pavilion at the 49th and 50th Venice Biennale in 2001 and 2003, respectively, highlighted his exceptional talent. Furthermore, his curatorship of the Armenian National Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 demonstrated his multifaceted involvement in the art world.


Born in Vanadzor, Armenia, in 1973, Kareyan embarked on his artistic journey at P. Terlemezyan Art College before further honing his craft at the State Academy of Fine Arts, Armenia, from 1990 to 1996. In 1996, with a group of artist friends, he co-founded the "Act" group, marking a significant turning point in his artistic philosophy. He viewed art as a dynamic process, a platform for social and political activism, cultural exploration, and the expansion of artistic boundaries.


Trained as a painter, Kareyan's artistic journey initially unfolded through video, performance, and installation art. However, his pivotal transformation occurred following an artist residency in New York in 2002. Following this experience, Kareyan returned to his homeland and rekindled his relationship with the traditional art form he was trained in. In 2009, just two years before his tragic departure, he unveiled the "New Locality" series, a testament to his evolution as an artist. The "New Locality" project marked a creative fusion of traditional techniques and contemporary media. These hexagonal paintings transcended conventional artistic boundaries, as Kareyan employed digital drawings, cutting, and pasting various images and forms to craft a mesmerizing "new locality" that was simultaneously unfamiliar and evocative.


David Kareyan's profound insight into the relationship between art and reality is best encapsulated in his belief that "the strength of art lies in the exaggeration of reality." He saw art as a realm where the extraordinary could exist within the ordinary, striving for the concept of "more humane than humane." According to Kareyan, art was not mere optimism; it held the power to transform reality itself. 


As we celebrate the enduring legacy of David Kareyan, we recognize his exceptional contributions to the world of art and his lasting impact on the cultural heritage of Armenia. His work continues to inspire and challenge our perceptions, reminding us that art possesses the extraordinary ability to change the very fabric of our reality. 


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David Kareyan, Incomplete as Usual, 2009, oil on canvas, 83x100 cm.jpg
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