YEREVAN (Armenpress/Art-lb)–A museum permanently displaying the works of diaspora Artist Paul Guiragosian has been established in Yerevan–Armenia’s Ministry of Culture–Youth and Sports Minister Hovig Hoveyan–announced on Tuesday–revealing that Guiragossian’s wife has donated the artwork for the museum.
Born in Jerusalem in 1926 to survivors of the Armenian genocide–Paul Guiragosian settled in Beirut with his family in 1939. He started to paint in 1942. In 1957–he received a scholarship to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence–and spent a year studying and painting in Paris in 1061. He lived the rest of his life in Beirut–where he created most of his works.
Guiragosian had a foreboding sense of tragedy from his earliest years. Some of his early paintings were haunted by a figure that had lost one leg. Ironically–in the early 1970s he lost a leg in an elevator accident. Guiragosian–during his lifetime–became Lebanon’s most celebrated painter–and remains so to this day. Guiragosian received a state funeral in 1993.
Paul Guiragosian was consumed by his art and paid little attention to anything but his family and his painting. His mature works express the complexities of the human condition through renderings of vertical–elongated–purged bodies–both static and in motion–painted with thick layers of often luminous colors. He also created frescoes–mosaics–stained glass windows–sculpture–and was a book illustrator. His paintings are always serious in feeling.
In the thirty years of his professional career–Guiragosian held some forty exhibitions in Lebanon–and throughout museums in Paris–Frankfurt–Marburg–London–Milan–Florence–Washington–DC–New York–Ohio–Tokyo–Kuwait–Saudi Arabia–and Syria. He garnered numerous prizes and was received by various governmen’s.
The human body is always present in Guiragosian’s work; man unchangeable over centuries–beginning from the Stone Age: Man–the center of the cosmos–center of nature–man the link between earth and sky–between finite and infinite
His works reveal his profound faith in man–symbolized in ethereal human bodies–refined and unsubstantial–pressing against each other–with no ornamental detail or embellishment.