NEW YORK, NY—Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School is pleased to announce a special exhibition drawn from the extraordinary discovery of artwork created by Arthur Pinajian (1914-1999). Rare works on paper and canvas will feature the artist’s mid-century geometric abstractions and late lyrical landscapes. The limited run exhibition will open on Friday, April 12 and close on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at St. Vartan’s Armenian Cathedral located at 630 Second Ave. New York, NY 10016. A portion of proceeds from sales will benefit Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School. For more information, please write to Mina Hovsepian at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (917) 741-2966.
Public viewing hours:
Friday, April 12, 4-10 PM
Saturday, April 13, 12-4 PM
Saturday, April 13, 7-10 PM: An evening reception will be hosted by Holy Martyrs Armenian School.
Sunday, April 14, 1-4 PM
About the Exhibit:
Twenty-eight rarely seen pieces will be on display, providing art lovers an opportunity to view and acquire important paintings by a man who died in obscurity, but who, through fortuitous circumstances, has been rediscovered and reclaimed by the art world. After Pinajian’s death in 1999, five decades of accumulated artwork were found stacked up in a cottage in Bellport, Long Island which the artist shared with his sibling. Of special interest, three canvases recently returned to the Estate from their three- year exhibition at the US Embassy in Yerevan, Armenia will be on display.
As a boy growing up in an Armenian community in West Hoboken, NJ, Pinajian was a completely self-trained cartoonist. During the Great Depression he became one of the pioneers in a new medium: the comic book. In 1940 he created “Madam Fatal,” and “Invisible Justice” among other characters for Crack Comics. After World War II, when he received the Bronze Star of Valor for heroic action against the Nazis in Belgium, he enrolled at the Art Students League in Woodstock, New York. Although he associated with a number of New York Abstract Expressionists, such as Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and Philip Guston, he was largely reclusive.
In 2007, the late Dr. William Innes Homer, once dean of American art historians, agreed to study the collection and concluded that Arthur Pinajian represented one of the most compelling discoveries in the history of twentieth century American art: “Even though Pinajian was a creative force to be reckoned with, during his lifetime he rarely exhibited or sold his paintings. Instead, he pursued his goals in isolation with the single-minded focus of a Gauguin or Cézanne, refusing to give up in the face of public indifference… he could be compared to a lone researcher in a laboratory pursuing knowledge for its own sake… Ultimately, Pinajian’s work reflects the soul of a flawed, yet brilliant, artistic genius.”
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