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Welcome to the Cafesjian Center for the Arts!

Nov. 11th, 2009 | 05:10 pm

The building that is already open as Cafesjian Art Center for many years has been a place of interest in the city of Yerevan. I wonder if the dream of the famous Armenian architect Alexander Tamanyan is now turned into reality?

Tamanyan wished to join the central and Nothern areas of the city, that is to say the historically inhabited and cultural centers. These two areas were planned to be joined by a large territory of waterfalls and gardens and this territory was to rush down from the highest hills of the city. Unfortunately, the architect did not manage to realize his project and only in 1970s the main architect of Yerevan Jim Torosyan gave a new life to this project. However, this again was not to take the construction of the monument to its culmination. It was only in 2002 that Mr. Gerard Cafesjian cooperating with the Municipality of Yerevan and also with the Government of the Republic of Armenia undertook the recently completed construction of Cascade. It took seven years to make a reality out of a miracle, it took seven years to reconstruct Cascade and to turn it into one of the world’s outstanding contemporary art centers. It took seven years to make Armenian people and guests all over the world believe that we have a wonderful monument that could undoubtedly serve as an assembly place for all those who love art, who live in art, who appreciate this remaining value.

During those seven years the monument was basically reconstructed and the main part of it was completely altered and turned into an art center that now bares the name of its main benefactor Gerard Cafesjian. It serves to bring the best of contemporary art to Armenia.

No words will ever do to describe the emotions and the surprise that conveyed the fairy evening of the 7th of November, the day of the opening ceremony of the Cafesjian Center of the Arts that was accompanied by unforgettable fireworks display. On the 8th of November at exactly 10:00 am the public was invited to celebrate the official opening ceremony of the Cafesjian Center of the Arts that was accompanied by the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Inspired by the vision of its founder, Mr. Gerard Cafesjian, the center offers a wide variety of exhibitions, the majority of which are derived from Mr. Cafesjian’s own extensive collection of contemporary art. However, let’s not hurry…

Such internationally recognized figures as Fernando Botero, Lynn Chadwick, Jaume Plensa and Barry Flanagangot mixing their bright imagination with years’ hard work created the Tamanyan Sculpture Park that is located at the base of the Cascade. It presents one of the world’s finest collections of monumental sculpture.

The Visitor Center is located at the ground floor of the Cascade. Here you can buy tickets to many events that are going to be held in the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. Here you will always be welcomed by the friendly staff and all your questions will get quick answers in different languages.

As soon as you enter the building adjacent to the Visitor Center Gallery One is located demonstrating a variety of exhibitions. The part of the exhibited objects pertain to Mr. Cafesjian’s private collection. Here a large-screen media display provides informational videos about Armenian artists and their artworks not only in Armenia but throughout the world.
Museum Store should also be mentioned as far as it includes not only merchandise from all over the world but also demonstrates unique artworks by such well-known artists as Dale Chihuly, Andy Warhol and Isamu Noguchi.
No one can stay indifferent to Khanjyan Hall representing such important events from the Armenian history as the creation of the Armenian Alphabet, the Battle of Vardanank and The Rebirth of Armenia.

In this building one can also admire the masterpieces of the world glass art, the artworks of the Czech glass artists Stanislav Libensky (1921-2002) and Jaroslava Brychtova. The artworks are located in the Sasuntsi Davit Hall and will remain there for a while. The art center also includes Sasuntsi Davit Garden Hall and Eagle Hall and the Special Events Auditorium offering the city’s premier venue for the best in classical, jazz and pop music.

The Eagle Garden Hall represents an exhibition entitled In the Mind of the Collector. The lovers of eclectic art can enjoy the amazing collection of objects, ranging from a 28-foot model of a ship on which Mr. Gerard Cafesjian served in the Pacific during World War II, to a rare 1906 Model N Ford Runabout, and a working model of a Wabash steam locomotive.
In 2007 Swarovski Cristal palace invited 18 international designers and artists to create a new approach of chandeliers. New York architectural studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro reacted creating their scandalous “Light Socks.” This is a completely new and modern approach of chandeliers that have also been brought to Yerevan and are now located in one of the halls of the art center.

The miracle of these two days will stay with me for a long time. This miracle will surely stay with all those who had a chance to be a part of these events.

“I’m extremely happy to be present at the opening ceremony of the museum and once more have a chance to be with you my dear Armenian nation. The idea of the construction of the center is the logical continuation of my great love to art and of the desire to find the best future for my art collections,” was mentioned in Gerard Cafesjian’s speech.

I think the city of Yerevan really deserves to have such wonderful events and the great fete that Mr. Cafesjian and all the organizers presented to the city. Art and culture are values that must be preserved. Such events are more than important to give people opportunities to be close to art.

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UK welcomes the Gyumri Artist

Nov. 6th, 2009 | 12:56 pm


On October 22The British Ambassador to Armenia, Charles Londsdale hosted a reception for Armenian artist Arshak Sarkissian. The event, marked Sarkissian’s forthcoming departure for London, where he was to attend the opening of an exhibition of his recent works. Present at the Ambassador’s reception were family and friends of Sarkissian, local artists and art patrons, as well as representatives of museums, and the Ministry of Culture.
The opening of the exhibition of paintings and sculpture by Arshak Sarkissian, a young artist from Armenia at the Albemarle Gallery, 49 Albemarle Street. London, W1S 4JR took place on November 5th and will last until 28th.
Born in Gyumri, Armenia, Sarkissian achieved fame at a young age. The recipient of his country’s Presidential Gold Medal for Fine Arts, he was commissioned to redesign a section of the Zvartnots International Airport terminal. Since 1999 his works have been exhibited throughout the world. Most recently he completed a residency at New York’s Art Omi International."
Today Arshak Sarkissian is widely regarded as the visual poet of Yerevan’s youth culture. His sprawling, densely populated canvases depict the sacred and the profane of a society in giddy flux, hungry for self-discovery and meaningful transformation. Sarkissian distills the fierce energies of an eclectic metropolis into tightly-woven pastiches, in which the street life of the downtrodden and behind-the-curtain abandon of bacchanalian beauties at turns collide and converge.
“Meeting and getting to know artists has been one of the greatest pleasures and inspirations for me in Armenia, and that certainly includes Arshak”, said Lonsdale. “It’s incredibly hard for artists to get shown in the UK, so it’s a real tribute to Arshak’s achievements and talent that he has secured this show at a very serious gallery in London. We wish Arshak enormous personal success with this show, but I hope it can also pave the way for other Armenian artists to become better known in the UK and to arouse interest in Armenia more generally.”
“It is an honor to receive the moral support of Ambassador Londsdale,” Sarkissian said. “Encouragement of this order means the world to an artist. I am profoundly moved by this gesture, and also very grateful to Albemarle Gallery for exhibiting my latest works.”

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Michael Kimmelman in Armenia for the Grand Opening of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts

Nov. 5th, 2009 | 12:39 pm

Yerevan, Armenia, 3 November 2009 – The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is proud to announce that Michael Kimmelman, the lead art critic of the New York Times will visit Yerevan, Armenia to take part in a series of special events marking the Grand Opening of the Center on November 8th, 2009. An influential force in contemporary art, Kimmelman will deliver a lecture on his Pulitzer Prize nominated book The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa. A book signing will follow the lecture, providing a unique opportunity for the public to meet the author.

 "Good art is generous," says Kimmelman. "It's about encouraging people to look more closely at what's around them.” Kimmelman’s unique approach is told with great color in his book, placing both art and art viewers into a cultural context and in communication with each other.

 As Kimmelman writes in the introduction to The Accidental Masterpiece, his goal was to explore how “…art provides us with clues about how to live our own life more fully. Put differently, this book is, in part, about how creating, collecting, and even just appreciating art can make living a daily masterpiece.” The book includes discussions on artists as wide-ranging as Bonnard, Vermeer, de Kooning, and Duchamp, but it also includes a chapter about Dr. Hugh Hicks, who runs a private museum from his basement showcasing his collection of over 75,000 light bulbs. 

 Born and raised in Greenwich Village, New York, Kimmelman attended Yale College and did his graduate work in Art History at Harvard University.  He is currently based in Berlin, writing the Abroad column for the Times on culture and society across Europe.

Tickets to the event can be reserved by phone at (374 10) 54 19 32 or e-mail (info@cmf.am), and purchased in the Visitor Center on the day of the event. The book can be purchased at the Museum Store.

 The Cafesjian Center for the Arts reminds the public that its Grand Opening Celebration will begin on the evening of Saturday, November 7th with a spectacular fireworks display near the Cascade monument.  Taking over seven years to complete, the Cascade has been completely transformed into one of the world’s outstanding contemporary art centers.  On Sunday, November 8th, the Center invites the public to view all the renovations that have taken place inside the Cascade and to enjoy an outstanding schedule of exhibitions, visiting lecturers, book-signings, concerts and events.  For a detailed schedule of events, please visit our website at www.cmf.am.

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The Cafesjian Center for the Arts welcomes!

Oct. 27th, 2009 | 05:57 pm

Thanks to the Armenian-American businessman and philanthropist Gerard Cafesjian and the Cafesjian center for the Arts, the former Soviet monument in the center of Yerevan, Cascade has been renovated and will now be open to the public as one of the world’s prominent contemporary art centers.

The monument occupies 13,000 square meters including a Visitor Center, Museum Store, Special Events Auditorium and an exhibition hall occupying 1,100 square meters’ space.

The Cafesjian Sculpture garden adds a unique harmony to the monument. It is located at the base of the Cascade demonstrating one of the world’s most amazing collections of monumental sculpture.

Such world known designers as Fernando Botero, Lynn Chadwick, Jaume Plensa, and Barry Flanagan have taken the responsibility of designing the garden’s unhampered walkways, long vistas, and formal paintings.

Works by an international array of glass artists, including Czech artist Jaromir Rybak, the Japanese artist Tadashi Sumi, and the Swedish artist Bertil Vallien will be demonstrated. The exhibition will also include Mr. Cafesjian’s comprehensive collection of contemporary art.

The lovers of Arshil Gorky art are welcomed to admire the demonstration of works of the hero of Abstract Expressionism , as an art critic once called Arshil Gorky. 7 paintings and 16 drawings are exhibited from L. Cafesjian’s Collection of Arshil Gorky paintings.

On view is an eclectic collection ranking from a 28-foot model of a ship on board which Mr. Cafesjian served in the Pacific during World War II, to a unique model N Ford Runabout and a working model of Wabash steam locomotive.

A hall titled Yesterday and Today represents 50 photographs of George Harrison, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and Pattie Boyd herself. The famous New York architectural studio Diller Scofidio+Renfo exhibits Swarovski “Light Socks”

The Center’s full-blooded exhibition schedule contains a distinct program of visiting lecturers, classic films, concerts and various educational programs, specially for adults and children.

This wonderful and unique event will be open to the public Saturday evening, November 7th and will be accompanied by an impressive firework just near the Cascade monument at 10:30 pm. On Sunday, November 8th Armenians and guests from different parts of the world are welcomed to admire the renovation that has taken place inside the Cascade and also to admire exhibitions, lectures, book-signing and events. On this and only on this day The Cafesjian Center of the Artists will be free to the public.

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Cascade Transformed Into Contemporary Art Center

Oct. 27th, 2009 | 12:50 pm

Yerevan, Armenia, 26 October 2009 – The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is proud to announce that after seven years of renovation the Cascade – a former Soviet monument in the center of Yerevan – has been completely transformed into one of the world’s outstanding contemporary art centers.  Virtually every aspect of this 13,000 square meter monument has been transformed, and it now houses a Visitor Center, Museum Store, Special Events Auditorium and over 1,100 square meters of exhibition space.  The center bears the name of its principal benefactor Gerard L. Cafesjian.

 Located at the base of the Cascade is the Cafesjian Sculpture Garden, which presents one of the finest collections of monumental sculpture found anywhere in the world. The Garden’s unobstructed walkways, long vistas, and formal plantings have been specially designed to provide a modern setting for large-scale sculpture by such internationally recognized figures as Fernando Botero, Lynn Chadwick, Jaume Plensa, and Barry Flanagan.
Inspired by the vision of its founder, Mr. Gerard L. Cafesjian, the Center offers a wide variety of exhibitions, many of which are derived from Mr. Cafesjian’s own extensive collection of contemporary art.

Particularly noteworthy is a Persian installation by Dale Chihuly, a leading figure of avante-garde glass art. On exhibition in the same gallery are works by an international array of glass artists, including the noted Czech artist Jaromír Rybák, the Japanese artist Tadashi Sumi, and the Swedish artist Bertil Vallien. A large-screen media projection area provides a unique place for informational videos and for the work of video artists living in Armenia and abroad.

 

  • The Gerard L. Cafesjian Collection has one of the largest collections of glass found in any museum, and its collection of work by the Czech glass artists Stanislav Libenský (1921–2002) and Jaroslava Brychtová is undoubtedly one of the finest in the world.  The exhibition For Armenia demonstrates the abstract power of Libenský Brychtová’s work, making clear why they are viewed as the single most influential force in the world of glass today.

 

  • Also on view in the center is the first major exhibition of original work in Armenia by Arshile Gorky, an artist once described by a critic of the time as a “hero of Abstract Expressionism.” Arshile Gorky: Selections from the Gerard L. Cafesjian Collection exhibits 16 drawings and 7 paintings by the man who would become known as the most monumental presence in American twentieth-century art.

 

Another gallery in the center demonstrates Gerard L. Cafesjian’s passion for collecting areas lying outside the arena of contemporary art.  His varied interests are on continuous display in an exhibition entitled In the Mind of the Collector.  On view is an eclectic collection ranging from a 28-foot model of a ship upon which Mr. Cafesjian served in the 

  • Pacific during World War II, to a rare 1906 Model N Ford Runabout, and a working model of a Wabash steam locomotive.

 

  • Pattie Boyd: Yesterday and Today lends an intimate view into the lives of George Harrison, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and Pattie Boyd herself.  This unique body of 50 photographs represents 40 years of work and has garnered attention from art critics internationally.

 

  • In a gallery specially constructed for large-scale glass work, the center exhibits an installation of  Swarovski “Light Socks” by the well-known New York architectural studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro.  Accompanying this piece in the same gallery is the monumental work Sitting Tatoo IV by Jaume Plensa and the glass piece Column #39 by Howard Ben Tre.  Immediately adjacent to this gallery is the center’s Special Events Auditorium, which exhibits at its entrance a stunning Dale Chihuly Pergula Ceiling.

 

A diverse program of visiting lecturers, classic films, concerts, and numerous educational programs for adults and children augment the Center’s vigorous exhibition schedule.

The Cafesjian Center for the Arts Grand Opening Celebration will begin on the evening of Saturday, November 7th, with a spectacular fireworks display near the Cascade monument at 10:30pm.  On Sunday, November 8th, the Center invites the public to view all the renovations that have taken place inside the Cascade and to enjoy its outstanding schedule of exhibitions, lecturers, book-signings, and events. For this one day only, the Cafesjian Center for the Arts will be open to the public with no admission fee.
 



 

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Masculinity: breaking stereotypes

Oct. 26th, 2009 | 05:41 pm

Armenian society can be described as a patriarchal one and men are viewed here as powerful and leading figure. Masculinity has exact shapes and perception and it is highly important to fit into this frames.

This is the core reason that “Public Information and Need of Knowledge” NGO decided to start “Masculinity: breaking stereotypes” project.

Within the bounds of the project was organized an exhibition which took place on 17 of October at Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography.

Both professional artists and non professionals took part in the exhibition Presentationwhere they presented their perceptions about how the “real man” should be and which are the main stereotypes that exist in our reality. Participants were from Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Slovakia and USA.Men viewed as an utility beeing- a teapot

During the exhibition the artists presented photos, graphic art, paintings and also short movies. The art works related to different spheres where stereotypes of masculinity are emphasized and appear to be an obstacle in daily life. In their works participants captured ideas about how man can be masculine and implement different roles that are not supposed to be done by an Armenian man, how understanding of who can touch whom, how and why disturb doctors in their work, harmony between men and women and how it is important to value sameIt is more important to value what men and women have in common instead of emphasizing differences.ness and not differences and etc.

The exhibition started with the presentation of the current project of the organization and after that 2 short movies. Performance of art works was presented for the guests with the explanation of artists. Guests were asked to vote for the best art works and the 3 winners were granted according to the votes received from them and professional jury.

Those who weren’t present at the exhibition have a chance to see the electronic version of it in “Public Information and Need of Knowledge” NGO’s official website.


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Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, the most powerful figure in the contemporary art world

Oct. 16th, 2009 | 03:45 pm

AFP recently reported that the British journal ArtReview made its annual competition of the most influential personages in the world of contemporary art (Power 100 list).

The last year’s leader Damien Hirst lost 50 positions.

Swiss curator Hans Ulricjh Obrist has been named the most powerful figure in the contemporary art world. Obrist is the co director of exhibitions and programs and director of international projects at London’s Serpentine Gallery.

According to Guardian newspaper Obrist is ‘not so much a curator as a human whirlwind.’ Guardian found it important to mention that it was the first time in eight years that a curator rather than an artist or a museum director topped the annual list. Last year Obrist took the 35th place.

Profilic British collector Charles Saatchi who helped to develop careers of such artists as Hirst and Tracey Emin upgraded from number 14 to number 72 this year.

Hirt’s company Science that topped the list of last year, this year downgraded to 48th because of recession and the drop in prices of art works.

The director of the “Museum of Modern art (MoMA) in New York comes second in the list, while the director of London’s Tate, Nicholas Serota, is the third.

The top 20 of the ArtReview Power 100:

1. Hans Ulrich Obrist

2. Glenn D Lowry

3. Sir Nicholas Serota

4. Daniel Birnbaum

5. Larry Gagosian

6. Francois Pinault

7. Eli Broad

8. Anton Vidokle, Julieta Aranda and Brian Kuan Wood

9. Iwona Blazwick

10. Bruce Nauman

11. Iwan Wirth

12. David Zwirner

13. Jeff Koons

14. Jay Jopling

15. Marian Goodman

16. Agnes Gund

17. Takashi Murakami

18. Alfred Pacquement

19. Fischli and Weiss

20. Mike Kelley

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16 masterpieces stolen in California

Oct. 2nd, 2009 | 03:09 pm

Boston Globe recently informed that 13 pictures were stolen from a fashionable health resort Pebble Beach in California. Among these pictures were the masterpieces of Rembrandt, Henri Matisse, Paul Jackson Pollock.

The pictures pertained to Angelo Benjamin Amadio and to Ralph Kennaugh, collectors who had rented a house in Pebble Beach. The collection also included works of Edgar Degas, Renuar and Van Gogh.

In 2002 the stolen collection was valued at $27 million. Today only Pollock already costs from $20 to $80 million.

The thieves stole 30 works of art, 16 of which are expensive pictures of famous artists. Now the owners offer $1 million for getting back the pictures and $5 million for giving information that will help not only to return the works but also to catch the thieves.

It is supposed that the theft was realized by professional thieves as far as only few people knew about Amadio and Kennaugh’s collection. The thieves took no reproductions though among them were  very qualitative ones.

This is already the second shocking theft of art works in California during the last period. In the beginning of September 11 works of Endy Uorchhol’s collection were stolen in Los Angles.

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Back from New York to Moscow

Oct. 2nd, 2009 | 10:31 am
location: Armenia, Yerevan
mood: calmcalm

The gallery “Our painters” exhibits not so well-known paintings of Sergey Sudeykina, Boris Grigoriev, Nikolay Feshin and Pavel Chelisheva from Moscow and Saint Petersburg private collections.

The gallery “Our painters” holds the exhibition of works of “Russian Americans” organized by the initiative of the journal ART+AUCTION RUSSIA. All the 40 art works of the painters that worked in the US in the first half of the 20th century are represented by the gallery and by private collectors from Moscow and Petersburg. Some of the collectors preferred not to go into details and did not tell their names.

The owner of the gallery Natalia Kurnikova as well as Boris and Marina Molchanovs also agreed to exhibit the works they pertained. By the way, Marina Molchanova is the director of the gallery “Elizium.” This gallery is also actively promoting artists of Russian diaspore.

The interest to the art of Russian emigration arose just in the last two-three decades. This theme managed to become timely and actual not only for researchers but also for art collectors.

Today the price of some pictures of Feshin and Rarikh rolls over $1 million. Boris Grigoriev’s canvas “The shepherd in the mountains” was sold in Sotheby’s auction in November of 2008 for unprecedented $3,7 million.

Thanks to the purchases of Russian collectors the works of art of “Russian American” painters are being brought back to their motherland and are coming out of the shade.

Let’s hope that new auction records are expected for the heroes of the gallery “Our painters”


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Modern art prices go down

Sep. 30th, 2009 | 05:43 pm

The Bloomberg agency informed that estimates of works put on October auctions in the sphere of modern art in London are lowered for 81% as compared with the estimates of the last year.

The lowest estimation bounds for the works that are offered on the bids of such auction houses as Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips de Pury makes 20,8 million pounds ($ 33,1 million). A year ago it was 107 million pounds.

In the end of 2008 the three auction houses stopped guaranteeing the sellers the minimal prices for their pieces of art. Besides, more paintings are sold not at open bids but through private transactions.

The Christie’s and Sotheby’s bids will be held on the same day, October 16th.
Christie’s brings forward 25 lots, the lowest estimate boundary is 6,8 million pounds ($ 10,8 million). Last year the auction houses sold 47 lots expecting to get not less than 57,8 million pounds for them.

Sotheby’s brings forward 177 lots and plans to get 9-13 million pounds for them ($ 14,320,6 million). Last year it brought forward 62 lots and the lowest estimating boundary was 30,6 million pounds.

On October 17th Phillips de Pury will offer 44 lots on the bids and hopes to get not less than 5 million pounds ($ 7,9 million).

Last year it brought forward 70 lots estimating them 18,6 million pounds.

 

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