Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Article: Columbia City Paper, April 25, 2007

April 25 12:24 PM

Edmund and David Yaghjian’s Joint Exhibition at if ART Gallery
Published in Arts 
By Judit Trunkos

International Fine Art Services is currently presenting its first show at the if ART gallery, located at 1223 Lincoln St.

Edmund Yaghjian, a native of Armenia and long-time Columbia resident, moved to South Carolina from New York to become the first Chairman of the Art Department at USC. While teaching art he continued to work on his cityscapes as well as on his architectural pieces. if ART Gallery will present his earlier New York-era scenes alongside his later cityscapes. Edmund Yaghjian’s works can also be viewed at the State Museum, where there are currently over 100 paintings and sketches presented at his solo show titled A Retrospective, until September 16, 2007.

His son, David Yaghjian, is also fascinated by architecture and became known as an urban artist, painting buildings and highways. As David explained “[painting] buildings and highways was not only a break from painting people, but it was also convenient since buildings do not move.” 

Yet a drastic subject matter change occurred almost accidentally for the younger Yanghjian when he did a painting for a fund raising exhibition which featured a middle-aged man with a big belly standing around in his underwear. Yanghjian enjoyed his new creature so much that he started painting more and more of him, leaving behind the architectural and city life subjects. The comic, yet sad figure is presented in different environments—at his house, with his dog, at a circus—in surprisingly unusual positions.

But who is this character that seems to capture Yaghjian’s imagination? Is this a self-portrait or self-examination, perhaps an existential series of works? According to David, his paintings don’t always carry a deep philosophic message. The middle-aged figure is a mixture of people who appeared in Yaghjian’s life; perhaps his neighbor, his great uncle and a little bit himself.
The 20 monotypes shown at if ART Gallery, present a good variety of the younger Yaghjian’s new works and will run through May 12. David Yaghjian’s works can also be viewed at a group show titled Studio Visits, at the Greenville County Museum of Art until June 3.

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