Unique Armenian artworks capture attention at D3

Pop-up art exhibition brings more than 100 artworks by world-class Armenian artists to the region for the first time

Dubai: A pop-up exhibition showcasing the best of modern and contemporary Armenian artworks is turning heads at the Dubai Design District (D3).

More than 100 original art pieces representing the works of 21 nationally and internationally renowned Armenian artists are being showcased at the gallery running until March 26.

From captivating installation arts speaking about human identity and high-quality contemporary assemblages of chairs representing a human body to unique 3D paintings using only lines, the exhibition titled ‘I’m Not Afraid to Fly’ carves new ground in the Armenian culture.

Set up as a series of three exhibitions at the Art Hub Dubai Gallery, with each focusing on a certain type of style or medium, the gallery is considered the first of its kind to be brought to the region, organisers said.

“The first thing everyone notices in Armenian art is the high quality of technique which is incomparable,” says Noushik Mikayelian, who along with her husband are the founding directors of Gala Art Gallery in Armenia which has organised the exhibition in Dubai.

But it’s not only quality, she said, but the deep culture that is represented in the artworks and the contemporary concepts used.

“Many artists from Armenia master their work. Also, the Armenian culture has deep roots, since the country is one of the oldest nations on Earth. Contemporary or modern art is a continuation of that old culture but in a new way,” she said.

Mikayelian says they wanted people to get to know Armenia through its art and how the country’s people express themselves.

“One of the very admired pieces is a contemporary assemblage by an important master artist, Gevorg Mshetsi Javrushyan, titled ‘Victory’. It is a mixed-media assemblage of a chair and a chess game. The chair represents the human being and the board game is the challenges we like to beat in our life. It’s truly a museum quality art piece,” she said.

The installation work of Sarko Meene, a young Armenian artist, has captured visitors’ attention in the second series of the exhibition, which runs until March 6. “Consisting of six pieces of stainless steel net, the artist used fire flame to create six different fingerprints tackling the theme of identity and how people belong to one race, which is humanity.”

Another artist Arkadi Petrosyan, recognised as a pioneer of figurative abstraction, has been represented at the gallery with 3D paintings of animals and humans using just lines.

“We tried to bring in a variety of styles and mediums here to show the entire palette of Armenian modern and contemporary art. Armenian art has started to gain high demand during the last five years because it’s high quality and is sold in a reasonable price range,” said Mikayelian.

Also displayed at the exhibition are original oil-on-canvas paintings, bronze sculptures, collages and graphic and ceramic arts. The last series, which opens on March 7, will be focused on art on Plexiglas by four world class artists.

“We are actually considering to make this pop-up an annual project in order to make Armenian artworks available for people in this part of the world,” Mikayelian said.


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