Paintings by Iranian-Armenian artists on view at Tehran gallery

Javid Gallery in Tehran is currently playing host to an exhibition of paintings by a group of Iranian-Armenian artists, Tehran Times reports.

Works by Marco Grigorian, Misha Shahbazian, Sirak Melkunian, Liliet Teryan and Hakup Vartanian have been selected for the exhibition entitled “Roots”.

The collection has been accumulated by art experts Sanaz Aryanfar and Kianush Motaqedi for the exhibition.

“It has been five years since I have been conducting research works on Iranian-Armenian artists, studying the influence of their art on the history of Iranian visual arts and have organized several solo and group exhibits,” Aryanfar said in a press release published on Wednesday.

“This collection features paintings by 27 artists from the first and second generations of influential artists in contemporary Iran. Some are not alive and some are not living in Iran, though,” she said. 

A highlight of the showcase is a painting by Leoni Tashchian, a 94-year-old pioneer painter who has trained many artists.

“The paintings have been collected from the families of the artists, private collectors and the Ardak Manoukian Museum in Tehran,” she said.

“All the artists have had their own style of works in creating still lives and landscapes, which are the main themes of the exhibit,” she noted. 

She added that she is still working on research about the careers of the artists.

“Today, all people can easily get access to all the knowledge they like, but there was a time when people had no means of communication, and traveling to other countries was not much common. The Armenians, however, had many trips to Iran where their relatives lived, bringing the new events happening in the West into the country,” she explained.

“The best example is Marco Grigorian. He was an Iranian-Armenian and American artist, a gallery owner, and a pioneer of Iranian modern art,” she remarked.

In 1955, Marco participated in the Venice Biennale for the first time. He then returned to Tehran and was appointed as the Head of the Graphic Department of the then Culture Ministry. In 1958, Marco participated as the Iranian delegate and an international jury member at the Venice Biennale. In the same year, under the auspices of the Culture Ministry, Marco organized the First Tehran Biennial, attempting to coin a modern tradition with an ethnic flavor.

The establishment of the biennial, in which creative artists were recognized for their genuine and yet individualistic styles inscribed Marco’s name in the unfolding of modern Iranian art.

The exhibition will be running until March 10 at the gallery located at No.17, Yazdan Alley, Zartosht St. off Vali-e Asr Ave. 

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