By Narek Avetissian
In 1994 Narek started making his “Trace Canvases”. On the surface of the canvas, by automatist gestures, he left traces of his hands in luminescent colors covering the entire canvas with all-over compositional principle. In these works the romantic principle of Action Painting was intermingled with eastern impersonality leading to pure art. Formally it appears in identification of the optical (simultaneous contrasts made by luminescent colors) with the tactile (actions of the body and traces of hands). As a result, the aggressive tactile gesture is turned into optical aggression. These canvases in several recent exhibition have been installed hung at a certain distance from the wall, thus appearing not as painting but as spatial objects. In this sense parallels can be drawn with Ellsworth Kelly’s works, and in Armenian context with Yervand Kotchar’s spatial paintings, of which Narek has great admiration.
Narek is one of those contemporary Armenian artists, who habitually and fiercely defended virtualization of art by means of new technologies. The basic concept of recent exhibitions at NPAC (ACCEA) has been cross-fusion of art and technology, in one of which Narek took part by one of variations of his “fractals”. But in the same year he also came fore with his “Trace Canvases” which can be considered as materialized versions of “fractals”. At such a devoted artist of virtual art as Narek, it is interesting to find persistent interest in material.
In this exhibition Narek is primarily presented as an artist working with material and body. Here works exist in physical space as their necessary precondition. The need for works dealing with physical reality, with material and body, are really felt in the context of recent “technological” exhibitions held at NPAC (ACCEA). This is even more the case when these kinds of works belong to Narek Avetissian.
Curator Vardan Azatyan
Feb. 7-28, 2006