”Paper Mines” Kamo Nigaryan’s Explosive Poster Art, 1970 – 2000 s
The National Gallery of Armenia was proud to present the first retrospective exhibition of poster art by one of the eminent figures of Armenian contemporary art and design, Kamo Nigarian (1950-2011).
Organized by Tech Degh Theatre, in collaboration with the Goethe Centre in Yerevan, the exhibition “Paper Mines” gave a complete overview of Nigarian’s development as a #poster_designer between the 1970s and 2000s. Tackling political, theatrical, exhibitionary and film topics, Nigarian went far beyond the illustrative and didactic approaches that typified attitudes to posters in the USSR and Armenia. Under the influence of 1960s Polish, Cuban and East-German graphic art, the artist melded expressionist, surrealist and minimalist styles with highly conceptual uses of typography, in order to create a stylistically distinct vision of ‘critical’ poster art.
However, the aesthetically disturbing and intellectually provocative tone of Nigarian’s surreal posters was rejected by the Soviet-Armenian art establishment and, as a result, only a handful of the artist’s poster projects were ever printed. From 1981 onwards Nigarian mostly turned to painting and photography, and it was only late in life that he was able to fully realize his conceptual approaches in graphic design in a series of posters made for the National Gallery’s film screening program.
These stirring images consolidated Nigarian’s post-modern aesthetics into a visual language that shows the significance of this medium as an art form and reveals the existence of previously unacknowledged diversity of experimental approaches in contemporary Armenian design. In recent years, the rediscovery of Nigarian’s work has served as an important source of inspiration for younger generations of Armenian graphic artists, leading to a renaissance of poster art in Armenia. The exhibition was hold 04.03.2022 – 26.03.2022.
Exhibition “Armenian Impressionism” at the National Gallery of Armenia is hold 06.05.2022 – 20.08.2022. After a long break, the two floors of the National Gallery of Armenia are re-opened. The re-opening starts with a new, spring exhibition, within the framework of which for the first time in Armenia, the Armenian developments of one of the world’s largest and most important phenomena, Impressionism, its formation, evolution and unique transformations are presented on the same platform.
The exhibition “Armenian Impressionism” includes more than seventy paintings and graphic works by two dozen artists mainly active in the first three decades of the 20th century. Unique works by distinguished artists Gevorg Bashinjaghian, YeghisheTadevossian, Vahram Gaifejian, Karapet (Charles) Adamian, Martiros Sarian, Sedrak Arakelian, Yervand Kochar make the core of the exhibition.
The works from Yervand Kochar Museum and the Museum of Russian Art are also exhibited in the exhibition.
According to the famous sculptor of the statue Ara Harutiunyan (1928–1999), the “Glory to Labour” or the “Statue of a Worker”, as popularly called, was representing the working man and was the figure of an Armenian, walking towards Western Armenia with his eyes to Mount Ararat. The exhibition is hold 31.05.2022 – 20.08.2022.
In 1997, after Armenia had become independent, the statue, viewed by the public as a socialist monument, was dismantled and disappeared overnight. The author learned about the destruction of his work only in the morning which caused severe health impacts.
In 2004, fragments of the “Statue of a Worker” were found. In 2011, the “Art Laboratory” union artists again reminded of the figure of the “Worker”, and the wall adjacent to the “Gortsaranayin” station got covered with the picture of the statue, full-length. For the first time the monumental fragments of the statue will be represented in the National Gallery.
The conceptual basis of this exhibition, exclusive in meaning, is the imperative of preserving, restoring and re-evaluating cultural heritage.