From December 5th, 2009 to January 9th, 2010, Lori Bookstein Fine Art is pleased to present constructions, collages and sculpture by Varujan Boghosian. This is the artist’s first solo show at Lori Bookstein, following a two-person show with Paul Resika in 2006.
A lifelong collector, Boghosian’s studio is a veritable trove of old children’s toys, antiquated tools and oddball objects, a palette composed not of paint but of parts and scraps scavenged from constant trips to flea markets and antique stores. His working method is characterized by the various roles of selector, editor, builder, juxtaposer. The artist’s collages, like his relief constructions and boxes, cherish the out-dated and the cast-off and revitalize them with new meaning, contemporaneity and aesthetic value.
Time is an essential element; present in the varied histories of Boghosian’s chosen working materials, but also part of the working process. Objects amass in his studio, perhaps waiting years for their new purpose to reveal itself. Once re-contextualized, the materials, however surprisingly and often surrealistically reconfigured by the artist, tend to manifest their agedness and their vulnerability but are also rescued from it. The recognition of intended purposes is vital to Boghosian’s work, and yet, his skill in transcending prior meanings and identities allows for a conversation with the past while circumventing nostalgia.
History and legend are themselves employed as tools to be recast by the artist. The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has been one such source which Boghosian has mined repeatedly. Although the viewer sees glimpses of the story – allusions to music, fleeting gazes of disembodied eyes – the relationship is never so concrete as to be definitive. Robert M. Doty, curator of Boghosian’s 1989 retrospective exhibition at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth, explains how the artist creates something ever larger out of the bits and pieces of component parts:
There is a mood about the work, a stirring of feelings about life and death, which is greater than the specific narrative and has universal meaning and appeal. Boghosian has revitalized the myth of Orpheus in his own terms, using physical means to create images which act as catalysts for transforming individual rapport into the most fundamental human experience.
Varujan Boghosian was born in 1926 in New Britain, Connecticut, the son of Armenian immigrants. After serving three years in the Navy during World War II, Boghosian attended college under the G.I. Bill. A 1953 Fulbright Grant allowed him several years of travel and work in Italy, until he returned to America and enrolled in the Yale School of Art and Architecture to study under Josef Albers.
Boghosian has exhibited extensively, showing for years at Stable Gallery and Cordier & Ekstrom. He is currently represented by Berta Walker Gallery in Provincetown and Lori Bookstein Fine Art in New York. Public collections include the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Hood Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum. The artist, retired from a 35-year teaching career at Yale, Brown and Dartmouth, lives and continues to work in Hanover, New Hampshire.
“Varujan Boghosian: Constructions and Collages” will be on view through January 9th, 2010. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30am to 6:00pm. For additional information and/or visual materials, please contact the gallery at (212) 750-0949 or firstname.lastname@example.org.