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Tehran galleries hold Sirak Melkonian's Paintings Retrospective


Source: Tehran Times

Two galleries in Tehran are holding a retrospective of painter Sirak Melkonian in a joint project. A collection of paintings created over the past 70 years by the 85-year-old artist are on display at the Aria and Ab Anbar galleries, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Tuesday.


The paintings remind the visitors of the evolution and achievements of Iran's contemporary paintings over a long period of time.

The nature and character of paintings of this type belong to the divine world, art critic Dariush Kiaras wrote in a text about Melkonian's works.

The extraordinary concentration on horizontal lines, replacement of drawings by rough sketches, and highlighting disjointed lines are the significant characteristics of his paintings, he added.

Born in 1930 in Arak, Melkonian was the winner of the first prize for the Paris Biennial in 1959 and has held many exhibitions in Iran, France, Canada and the United States.

Read Pelle Magazine's interview (in Persian) with Sirak Melkonian

The two exhibitions opened on January 30 and will run until February 19.

Aria Gallery: 10 Zarrin Alley, off Vali-e Asr Ave.
Ab Anbar Gallery: 2 Roshan Manesh Alley, Khaqani St., off Enqelab Ave.


Sirak Melkonian's Seven Decades of Painting
By Dr. Reza Barahani, Ab/Anbar

Ab/Anbar is pleased to present “Sirak Melkonian’s Seven Decades of Painting” by Toronto based artist, Sirak Melkonian.

This project is collaboration between Ab/Anbar and Aria Gallery and brings together Melkonian’s artworks throughout his professional career, from 50′s to present.

In dealing with the works of “Pablo Picasso”, “Gertrude Stein” had said: Picasso only sees something else, another reality. Complications are always easy, but another vision than that of the world is very rare. That is why geniuses are rare, to complicate things in a new way that is easy, but to see things in a new way, that is really difficult.

It is always very difficult to talk about him, but whenever I do, I simply speak until I gradually find my way to him in the rather bizarre association of words [...]

Sirak Melkonian does not resemble the Surrealists and the Dadaists either. All similarity to movements of art has been minimized. Sirak is introducing a new world by excluding the real world, by minimizing shapeliness, ridding his work of the onrush of paradoxical objects towards each other. Although you can say with absolute assurance that he belongs to the contemporary world, he has killed all reference to the life and art of this world. This does not mean that his art introduces yet another jingoism that as soon as it is foregrounded and understood, it will come to be a matter of the past. Its seriousness as art lies in what the basic elements of art, the line and color, do to themselves and each other. The revolution brought by him deals with what the material of art does to the art itself, without necessitating a memory of the non-art-non-line background [...]

This is a painting that shows nothing, in other words it is art par excellence: lines move from the margins to the middle e of the can vas and they merge, with their moving and merging being the only things one is expected to see. You can say that these lines merge in the middle, and this in itself is a form. Certainly there is a form, the form of confusion in the middle, but the beauty of this merge lies in the beauty of merging itself. Revolution in poetry is a revolution in the language of poetry. Revolution in art is the revolution in the language of the line and color.


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