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Grigor Khandjyan
In the galaxy of masters that have made the fine arts in Armenia what they are today a pride of place belong to Grigor Khandjyan. The artist, a brilliant book illustrator, painter, tapestry designer, is well - known and his art is liked far beyond its borders.

A series of illustrations (1959) for the novel "Armenia"s Wounds" by a classic of Armenian literature Abovyan, for the poem "The Ever-tolling Bell Tower" (1968) by Sevak and cartoons for large-scale tapestries on historical themes: "Vardanank" and "Armenian Alphabet" (1981)- the peaks of Khandjyan"s creativity up to date- have been preceded by a long career throughout which the artist strove to carry on a dialogue with the mass viewer and to prove his ability to awaken various memories and emotions in the spectators and to pass on to them the lofty ideals of good and justice.

Grigor Khandjyan began as a genre painter. His canvases and first illustrations for books by Armenian writers and poets revealed the artist"s bent for lyricism and a sharp eye for and love of minute detail.

Already in his illustrations for Tumanyan"s poem "Sako of Lori" (1957) the master displayed temperament, expressiveness and great skill in representing highly dramatic scenes in addition to a complete lack of shyness in rendering multifigured compositions filled with dynamism and tension.

In the later years Khandjyan used this style in executing themes of a different inner meaning: the history of Armenia becomes the main subject matter of his work.

The concept of the history of his native people was forming gradually in the artist"s mind gaining maturity and completeness with the passage of years.

His interpretation of the historical theme became clear in his illustrations for Abovyan"s novel "Armenia"s Wounds", in his presentation of the tragic events described in the book, of the masses involved in those events and in his accentuation of the hero"s figure leading his people.

The Epic-of -Heroism theme is treated here along with the Self-Sacrifice motif. In the black-and-white sheets, the deeds and nature of Agasi, the principal hero of the novel, are presented with romantic elan and inspiration.

In the book design line Khandjyan distinguished himself next by his illustrations for Sevak"s poem "The Ever-tolling Bell Tower". The illustrations brought to light another aspect of Armenia"s history.

The central figure of the poem is the composer Komitas, its main theme is the story of his life and death.

Komitas shared with his people the tragedy of the 1915 massacre of the Armenian population in Turkey. The illustrations were inspired by and dealt with the facts of the composer"s fate.

As designed by Khandjyan, the poem became a desk-book in each household in Armenia. The artist treated the subject on a par with the author helping to retain in the reader"s memory the vivid image of the hero and his own view on the tragedy.

The exhibition of Khandjyan"s cartoons for tapestries on the best - known events of national history became a landmark in Armenia"s art life.

The cartoons depicted the battle -scene of the 451 war wages by Prince Vardan Mamikonyan with the Persians, and the invention of the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots in the fifth century A.D. Khandjyan executed the battle-scene with the sweep of a classical battle painting displaying a superb skill in brush and color handling.

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Writer: News
Editor: Eugenia Melkonyan
 Date Added: Wednesday August 02, 2006 13:15:48 

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