Ruben Grigorian

Born 1954, Yerevan, Armenia.
1978-1984 Yerevan State Institute of Fine Arts.
1983-1988 Art producer at Yerevan Youth Theatre.
Since 1985 Member of Artist's Union of Armenia.
Since 2000 working at National Cinema Centre, Yerevan, Armenia.
Has illustrated 25 children books.

Group Exhibitions:
1990 New Academy Gallery, London, UK
1990 Armenian Avangard Artists group show, Kassel, Germany
1994 Stream of Fire New Art from Armenia, Nicosia, Cyprus
1995 Moscow days of Armenian Culture in Moscow
1995 Armenian Arts and Culture- Bochum days of Armenian Culture in Bochum, Germany
2007 Orangerie du Luxembourg Musee d’Art Moderne d’Armenie, Paris, France
2008 I colori dell Armenia, Castel Sant Ancelo, Roma, Italy
2010 New Masterpieces of Arame Gallery, Yerevan, Armenia
2011 UNESCO Palace, Beirut, Lebanon
2011 Contemporary İstanbul 2011 Art Fair, Istanbul, Turkey
2012 Contemporary İstanbul 2012 Art Fair, Istanbul, Turkey

Personal Exhibitions:
1999 Gallery Caribe, San-Paulo, Brazil
2004 “Terra Nova” at Academy Gallery, Yerevan, Armenia
2006 Gabone Gallery, Yerevan, Armenia

“Ruben Grigorian’s refined paintings resonate with symbolic significance. His choice of subjects is arbitrary: he will paint a goat’s head, a bit of a Renaissance painting, a hunk of raw meat, or a closed door. Within a geometric compositional order, he allows the disparate meaning of his subjects to bounce against each other. Grigorian is drawn to the representational image.

Grigorian has perfected his skill as a painter, and each canvas reflects his virtuosity in rendering. But a comprehensive meaning for each picture remains elusive; his surreal juxtapositions seem irrational, electric, and even ironic. He compares his work with the physical trajectory of a glance.”

Kathryn Hixson
Art critic and curator


“The art of Ruben Grigorian is a combination of surrealism and naturalism. In his paintings subjects and figures are deviated from their usual sense, transforming in front of our eyes without losing their lucidity and simplicity. He has created his realism, which does not reflect the reality, dictating subconsciousness. Looking at Ruben Grigorian's paintings, different feelings seize the watchers: faith, discouragement, a little bit fear and what is the most important- interest, wish to appear inside the painting, feel the painter's mysterious world. His canvases are filled with tension as well as mystery. He has masterly combined extraordinary not real subjects with monochromatic peaceful backgrounds.

In his paintings “Pause” (2012), “The Bird”(2012), “Wounded”(2012), “Lighthouse” (2012), “The Air” (2012-13) etc. the figures’ faces are not seen but there is inexplicable clarity and emotionality. These artworks seem to be riddles, which can not be disclosed till the end. The characters do not have shadows, so it is up to the watcher to decide whether they are real or not.

In general the titles of Ruben Grigorian's paintings play special role in his art, because mystery exists even in the titles. Grey and brown are the main colors of his palette. Among the main features of his style are the photographic precision and sometimes the application of detailed ornaments.”

Tatev Manvelian
Art critic