Vahram Davtian

Biography:
Born in 1961 Vanadzor, Armenia
1986 Graduated from P. Terlemezian Art College, Yerevan, Armenia
1989 Studied technique of the old masters in Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg
1992 Graduated from the Yerevan Fine Art Institute, Yerevan, Armenia
1995 Visited Moscow to study Russian iconography
2012 Visited Madrid and Barcelona to study Spanish Renaissance Painting

Awards:
2013 Awarded Arshile Gorky Gold Medal, Ministry of Diaspora, Republic of Armenia
2012 "Prix D'excellence, Nouvelle Dimension" Award, Monaco
2000 "Best Painting" Award, Fantastic Art Museum, Switzerland

Group Exhibitions:
2017 Art: The Nectar of Life, Clemenceau, Beirut, Lebanon
​2017 Art Stage Singapore, with Noah’s Ark Art Gallery, Marina Bay Sands Convention Center, Singapore
2016 Twenty Years and Beyond, Jeweler's Souks, Solidere Era, Beirut, Lebanon
2016 Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair, with Galeri 77, Istanbul, Turkey
2016 Art Stage Singapore, with Noah’s Ark Art Gallery, Marina Bay Sands Convention Center, Singapore
2015 Rebirth of a Nation, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, Lebanon
2015 Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair, with Galeri 77, Istanbul, Turkey
2015 Roots, Gallery Bel-Air Fine Art, Geneva, Switzerland
2015 Art Stage Singapore, with Noah’s Ark Art Gallery, Marina Bay Sands Convention Center, Singapore
2014 Maîtres Distilleurs d'Art, Château de Châtenay, Cognac, France
2013 Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair, with Galeri 77, Istanbul, Turkey
2013 International Art Expo, Pier 92, New York, USA
2012 Carousel du Louvre, 10eme Edition du Salon de l'Art Accessible, Paris, France
2010-11-12-13-14 ArtMonaco, Salon d'Art Contemporain, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
2009 12th Beijing International Art Expo, China World Trade Center, Beijing, China
2008 Art Expo 2008, Las Vegas, USA
2008 International Art Expo 30 NYC. Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, USA
2007 Arteclasica 2007, 4th Feria de Arte Contemporaneo y Clásico, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2006 Artexpo 2006 New York Big Apple Big Art, New York, USA
2006 Art Expo Montreal Festival International 2006, Montreal, Canada
2004 International Art Expo New York, Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, USA
2004 Art Philadelphia 2004, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, USA
2003 WCAF Show, Hilton Convention Center, Las Vegas, USA
2002 International Art Expo New York, Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, USA
2002 Perugia Torre Strozzi, Perugia, Italy
2002 Museo d’Arte Moderna, Rapolano Serre, Italy
2001 EUROP’ART 2002, Internationale Kunstmesse, Geneva, Switzerland
2001 Immagina Mostra Mercato di Arte Contemporanea, Livorno, Italy
2001 EUROP’ART, V Salon International d’Artistes Contemporanis, Barcelona, Spain
2001 Museo Dell’Antica Grancia, Rapolano Terme, Italy
2000 Foire d’Art REGGIO, Piombino, Florence, Turin, Italy
1998 EUROP’ART 2000, Fiera Internationale dell’Arte, Geneva, Switzerland
1998 1999, 2000 ARTUEL, Salon International d’Art Contemporain, Beirut, Lebanon
1997 Expo Année Internationale des Océans Unesco
1996 PISO-3 Centre Culturel BORGES, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1996 ARCO-96 International Exhibition, Madrid, Spain

Personal Exhibitions:
2007 Dom Nashchokina, Moscow, Russia
2007 Art Club, Zurich, Switzerland
2007 A.G.B.U. Cultural Center, Montreal, Canada
2007 Hamazkayin Cultural Center, Toronto, Canada
2005 Karly Residence, Beirut, Lebanon
2003 Modern Art Museum of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
2002 Noah’s Ark Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
2001 Salon of National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
2001 Salon Mosaic of Hotel Phoenicia Inter-Continental, Beirut, Lebanon
2000 Galleria Percorsi d’Arte, Venice, Italy
2000 Galerie Comunale, Centre de Recherche sur les Arts Visuels, Piombino, Italy
1999 Noah’s Ark Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
1999 Gallery of M’ARS Museum, Moscow, Russia
1998 Salon Hotel Renaissance, Dubai, UAE
1998 Caribe Galeria de Arte, Sao Paulo, Brazil
1997 The New Academy & Business Art Galleries, London, UK
1997 Primavera, Punta Del Este, Uruguay
1997 Noah’s Ark Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
1996 A.G.B.U. Demirdjian Center, Lebanon
1996 Gallery of M’ARS Museum, Moscow, Russia

Museums:
Centre International de l’Art Fantastique, Château de Gruyères, Switzerland
M’ARS Modern Art Museum, Moscow, Russia
OAC, Spiritual Modern Art Museum of Crete, Greece
State Museum of Alma-Ata, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Modern Art Museum of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
Paul G. Modern Art Museum, Beirut, Lebanon
ArtEvo Foundation, Calgary, Canada
Château de Châtenay, Cognac, France

Private Collections:
Pélé (Edson Arantes Do Nascimento)
Seniora & Ayrton Senna
Eric & Leza Lidow
Jane Seymour
Etienne Chatton
Christopher Talbot

Publications:
2008 Artexpo Las Vegas (catalog), Las Vegas, USA
2008 International Artexpo New York (catalog), New York, USA
2006 Expoart Montreal Festival International (catalog), Montreal, Canada
2007 Arteclasica, 4th Feria de Arte Contemporaneo y Clásico (catalog), Buenos Aires, Argentina
2007 “Expression of Spirit” exhibition, by Dom Nashchokina Gallery, Moscow, Russia
2007 Arteclasica Meeting Cultures, El Mundo Post Sovietico, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2006 “Art Business News” Magazine, April issue, New York, USA
2006 “Big Apple Big Art” International Art Expo New York (catalog), New York, USA
2005 Vahram (catalog), editor, M.S. Herguelian (Dr. in Arts), Beirut, Lebanon
2005 Lounge Art (magazine), February issue, Egypt
2004 Art Philadelphia (catalog), USA
2003 International Artexpo New York (catalog), New York, USA
2003 Art World News (magazine), May issue, article by JoYanow-Schwartz, New York, USA
2002 Europ’Art 2002 (catalog), Geneva, Switzerland
2002 La Revue du Liban (magazine), December issue, “Les oeuvres de Vahram” Sonia Nigolian, Lebanon
2001 Tra Sognoe Magia (book), Siena, Italy
2001 Artuel 2001 (catalog), Beirut, Lebanon
2001 Vahram (catalog), editor, M. S. Herguelian (Dr. in Arts), Beirut, Lebanon
2000 Ph+Arts (magazine), August issue, article by Pierre Hugli, Switzerland
2000 Europ’Art 2000 (catalog), Geneva, Switzerland
2000 Les Trois Générations de la Galerie Nationale d’Arménie (catalog), Beirut, Lebanon
1999 Imagina Mostra Mercato di Arte Contemporanea (album), Siena, Italy
1999 First Look (magazine), June-July, issue, article by Edgar Davidian, Beirut, Lebanon
1998, 1999, 2000 Artuel (catalogs), Beirut, Lebanon
1996 The Close of the 20th Century, M’Ars Museum publishing, Moscow, Russia
1996 Post Soviet Painting (catalog), preface by Movses Zirani, Beirut, Lebanon
1995 Gallery Noah’s Ark, Modern Art Museum of Armenia (album), Beirut, Lebanon
1992 50 Anos de Arte Sovietico (album), Catalonia, Spain
1991 Goyac Cultural Association (album), Moscow, Russia

Reviews:
      Making the experience of spiritual torture under a regime intolerant of any freedom of expression, Vahram created figures (some of them seemingly hermaphrodites) originating in the past, in the Middle Ages, but, permeating the present, they dwell in the instable, unreliable and illogical components of the future.
      Here time is ensnared in transgression’s net and life becomes a passtime, a performance or a juggling. This compulsory condition transcends the spheres of time and space and stretches out on other dimensions, where the escape from the daily nuisances and anxieties does not contribute to the inner tranquility of the human being. Rather they continue to live and labor in super‒prudent and alarmed psychosis.
      Vahram strives to ignore the present or surpass the reverberations of innate atavism, but metamorphosed faces, whimsical bodies and fantastical circumvolutions portrayed by him are correlated to his current life and milieu, and to a certain extent also condition his dilemmatic perceptions of the philosophical conceptions of the Renaissance or the Far East.

Movses Zirani, Noah’s Ark Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

***
     From the beginning, the work of Vahram wants an elegant Praise of Folly. A gentle madness, as is evidenced by the many ships of fools sailing on the terra firma. Stationary boats, they do not need to anchor and not likely to fluctuate or, a fortiori, to sink. They do not advance nor retreat and go nowhere. Or rather, they have arrived in this country has always elsewhere outside our space and our time, Geography and History, what the Vahramie. The clothing similarities with some known periods are a ploy to make us believe in the reality of this world shifted totally theatrical, as evidenced by the curtains often used to appear and disappear wacky characters, mostly hidden or fitted with masks sleeves, this enigmatic Commedia dell'Arte.
      Vahramie in the laws that govern our universe are optional, those of logic and plausibility as those of gravity there will provided that levitates a little musician. In this world of pure exhibition, verbal communication is unknown, the silence of rigor. In the absence of speech, it is a complex network of viewpoints which establishes a certain narrative coherence among characters locked in themselves and, if they graze, never meet as if they were flying lines parallel space and time. The work is unknown in this land of plenty reign only recreation. It spends its time to go in full dress or suit without at all, pinch the lute or harp, blowing into his flute, beating time on his drum, playing hide and seek, hoop, darts, bowling, puppets.
      Perhaps this strange and ideal society of idlers is it ultimately a puppet show and the painter is it that the chief puppeteer, able both to fade and get value, mixing appearance and reality: what are avatars of the divine painter choreographer these showmen articulated figures, these impassive -pullers. Like him and the characters who engage in this mode found wandering life, their motto is: Do what you like.
      In this utopia thélémique, angels and birds (ostriches, peacocks, owls, parrots, hoopoe, all rich in symbolism) have intercourse with men who pretend indifference to the nudity of women , even though the figures of substitution ubiquitous betray their obsession with sex: hoops, wheels, buoys, targets, windows, balloons, flowers, rounded trees, drumheads, owl eyes, ocelli peacock naves pot cages, headwear quirky, towers, poles, canes, rods, stakes level, arrows, strings stretched instruments, ladders, vehicles stubby, pointed trees, towers of Babel, etc…
      All this parade, all these wanderings happen almost on a single scene: the terrace of the artist, for background decor, fruit filled or depleted depending on the season or the mountain scenery which closes the prospect trees. It is here, on this open nature, the artist terrace, projecting the film of his imagination, recreates the world in the measure of his dreams, in the form of Thelema in Vahramie.

Joseph Tarrab, A.I.C.A.

***
      Vahram Davtian paints a world that he created with his imagination. This world lies beyond time and space, and only the artist has a key to it. We, the viewers, can judge about this hotbed of life, as it were, only through paintings of Vahram, the only person capable of penetrating this world.
Despite the fact that inhabitants of this world could be with a certain irony called almost realistic, events and activities in the paintings have none of time coordinates—it is impossible to determine either the time of day in them or the season.
      The artist skillfully uses all these artistic devices in order to bring to the foreground the main idea of his canvases—the depiction of plasticity. Vahram’s paintings can be certainly called “plastic passages”. The notion of plasticity in the real world implies the smooth malleability of matter that creates an impression of the slowing of time and unhurriedness of events. This is exactly how the characters of Vahram’s appear—indolent and contemplative, imposing and graceful at the same time.
      The development of possibilities of the figurative plasticity leads the artist into the world of carnival costumes. And this seems logical, for the clothing, especially if it is elaborate, with sumptuous forms and whimsical accessories, provides a whole field of action for a creative person and a beneficial source for artistic experiments.
      Technical capabilities of Vahram Davtian as an artist are at the highest level; he creates his works with the method of multilayered painting, the very same that was used by the Old Masters and the only one that allows to convey the depth of colors and to reflect the maximum of their gradations. The perfect mastery of the technique leaves the artist more time to develop the subject matter and to submerge into the world that he created and to study its laws.
      In part, the laws are dictated by Davtian himself: he leaves three-dimensional space to his characters, even “throws” some domestic objects into it, but he changes the law of gravity—he puts the characters into a state similar to that of weightlessness. A question arises: how to express the interaction of characters and objects on a canvas’s plane? And the artist Davtian finds his own solution—he creates the method of figurative plasticity. Having found “the key”, possessing the technical capabilities and being endowed with a natural talent, the artist, armed with patience, expands for us the borders of his fantastical world with each new painting.

Svetlana Vais, Art critic, New York, 2006

***
      Surrealism is, by nature absurd, and the work of Vahram takes the genre to a new and exciting level. Anchored in the Flemish tradition of painting and influenced by Renaissance Art, Vahram’s images are both whimsical, at times haunting, and clearly contemporary. For those of us who did not personally live through the end of the Cold War and the break up of the Soviet Union firsthand, each of Vahram’s paintings is not only a visual masterpiece, but a history lesson. Filled with historical references which are easy to decipher and stunning to the eye – horses, pomegranates and masks abound—each painting in its unique way draws us in and makes us think.
      Not unlike members of Andre Breton’s group, Vahram is a thinker, a poet and a philosopher. His subjects are whimsical and always bursting to tell us their stories. The artist’s use of color to define not only space and time, or perhaps the lack thereof, as well as the human personality in the context of history, is nothing short of extraordinary. The talented Post–Soviet artist is telling us on canvas in his own unique way, that the absurd realities of the past continue today. One can only hope for world peace to weave its way into the masterworks of Vahram.

Carol Curci, President, Sabbatique Ltd., Art Advisory and Appraisals, New York, 2006

***
      Vahram Davtian is an artist who moves between magical realism and the absurd. His artworks come from a clear and smart technique which shows a dreamed and strange world full both of irony and nostalgia. Aristotle said that in art it is necessary to lie for saying the truth which means that saying a lie the artist builds a truth, creates it, constructs a new paradigma. Vahram’s paintings are meant all the time about that. They are scenes of daily and mostly ordinary lives which open wide ways to new possibilities and self projections of our own lives.
      I have been so proud for the chance of showing these artworks at Arteclasica 2007, the works of an emblematic contemporary master in the Post–Soviet world.

Andres Bardon, Director of Arteclasica, Buenos Aires, 2007

***
      It was “love at first sight”! It is difficult to find the words to describe my admiration and surprise of his marvelous work; his paintings were magic... You could not stop looking at them.
      Vahram must appreciate games, because he repeats the idea of the bright green table with billiards or dominoes and other games. Personally I am sensitive to the charm of games of hazard, that is why I adored the painting where four characters dressed in clothes of Renaissance period stand around a green roulette table; their faces have a mask–a quality that gives them so much mystery...

Cici Sursock, Painter, Croatia, 2006