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Marcos Grigorian: Crossroads Exhibition Opens at CCA

July 01, 2016
The Cafesjian Center for the Arts announces the opening of the 5th exhibition as part of its Inter-Museum Cooperation program, with the presentation of works by one of the most distinguished Armenian artists, Marcos Grigorian. 

Marcos Grigorian (1925-2007) was one of those few Armenian artists who found their unique position in the panorama of world art in the second half of the 20th century. He was born in Russia, raised in Iran, educated in Italy, lived in USA, settled in Armenia, and worked in various parts of the world, becoming a consolidation of different cultural streams from East and West. Grigorian’s exceptional body of work was the result, unequalled in its creative approach and many manifestations. He was at once an artist and a critic, a collector and a curator, even a movie actor for a while. In the beginning of the 1990s he moved his major collection and artworks to Armenia, and the Middle East Art Museum was founded, operating as part of the Museum of Literature and Art after Yeghishe Charents.

This exhibition, in cooperation with the Museum of Literature and Art after Y. Charents is an essential milestone by way of revealing Marcos Grigorian’s inexhaustible and energetic personality. After his tragic death, this is the first major exhibition in Armenia, of which the major portion of the work exhibited is on loan from the Middle East Art Museum, as well as from other institutions and private collections. 24 art pieces related to his earthwork and carpet painting are presented in Eagle and Sasuntsi Davit Garden galleries of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. In the scope of the exhibition the Cafesjian Center for the Arts has also published a catalog.

“By organizing such joint exhibitions, the Cafesjian Center for the Arts encourages inter-museum cooperation, bringing the Armenian public into closer contact with the art and fostering international recognition for Armenian museums. We are confident the exhibition, Marcos Grigorian: Crossroads, will provide new insights in discovering the artist’s life and creative path”, - said the Acting Executive Director of CCA, Vahagn Marabyan.

The exhibition dates are July 1 to August 28, 2016. Public admission will start from July 2, free of charge.

Marcos Grigorian was born in Kropotkin (Russia) to a family of survivors of the Armenian Genocide in 1925. In 1930 his family moved to Iran, where in the late 1940s Grigorian received his initial education in painting. In 1954 he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. Returning to Tehran he became one of the founders of contemporary art in Iran in the 1950s, he was a jury member at Venice Biennale, one of the initiators of Tehran-Venice Biennale. In the 1960s he began creating his earthworks, traveling to U.S.A., having exhibitions, and finally moving to the U.S. in the late 1970s. In 1980 he founded the Gorky Gallery in New York. In 1991 he presented his major collection and artworks as a gift to Armenia, on the basis of which the Near East Art Museum was founded. He became an honored citizen of Yerevan. For decades he was creating designs for carpets as well. In Armenia he founded a carpet weaving workshop. He was also occupied with the cultural development of Garni village in Armenia. In 2007 Grigorian was assaulted and beaten by two masked robbers who had broken into his Yerevan residence; he died of a suspected heart attack on August 27, a day after leaving the hospital.

Marcos Grigorian participated in many private and group exhibitions in Iran, Italy, France, U.S.A., Germany, Ciprus, Jordan and Armenia. His works are included in the collections of some museums in Armenia, and also in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Johnson Museum in New York, Tate Modern Museum in London, Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran, Empress Farah Pahlavi’s and Nelson Rockfeller’s collections, etc.
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