A first personal exhibition for Irina Grigoryan

A selection of works by the talented young photographer Irina Grigoryan will appear at a small group show in Yerevan ‘A Very Simple Exhibition’. The other participants of the show are printmakers Mariam Hakhnazaryan and Lilith Arshakyan who will exhibit graphic works.

Irina was one of the youngest photographers to be included in ‘Industrial Symphony: photography and the post-industrial age’ exhibition which is currently on view at ACCEA (NPAK) in Yerevan until January the 28th. Her series of small black and white photographs called ‘Gortsaranayin’, impressed the jury of this show, who awarded it the second prize given by ‘Lusadaran’ foundation of Armenian photography.

Grigoryan’s work has a special place in contemporary Armenian photography as she is one of the very few current practitioners who works with analog formats, printing all her work in the darkroom on gelatin silver paper. Typically for Grigoryan, the photographs included in ‘A Very Simple Exhibition’ explore ideas of childhood, femininity and memory.

The exhibition opened on the 27th of December at ‘Yellow Street’, Tumanyan 40-63 and will close on Friday, the 29th.

Kamo Nigaryan 1950-2011: The tragic demise of one of Armenia’s greatest contemporary artists.

Kamo Nigaryan, one of the pre-eminent contemporary artists working in Armenia passed away in Yerevan on December 23rd, 2011. The artist has been unwell for over a year but was on his way to recovery after an emergency surgery a month ago. His unexpected death was a severe blow not only to his family and friends but also the entire art world in Armenia where he was almost unanimously accepted as one of the great masters of post-Soviet Armenian art.

Nigaryan was mainly known for his disturbing neo-expressionist canvases that delved into the depths of human condition with a novelistic scale worthy of Kafka, Bulgakov and Dostoevsky. His photographic work, created during a short period in the 1990s and 2000s was a well kept secret and it was only in 2011 that Nigaryan agreed to exhibit these works at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Yerevan.

© Vigen Galstyan 2008

A tireless innovator, Nigaryan brought his unique brand of philosophical transcendence, conceptual rigour and ‘politicised’ aesthetics to the photographic image, constantly pushing and transforming the photograph beyond the limitations of the medium. Interested equally in the social and art historical dimensions of photography, Nigaryan sought to synthesise seemingly incompatible polarities between painting, photography and graphic design, in the same way he broached the artistic heritage of Western and Eastern worlds.

While he remained somewhat outside of the contemporary ‘scene’, Nigaryan was fully engaged with current movements and ideas, ensuring that his art was always immediate, relevant yet unflinching, objective and dispassionate. 

Lusadaran is currently planning a full retrospective of Nigaryan’s photographic works that will travel to a number of major international venues between 2013 and 2014.