Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Paul Guiragossian (1926–1993)

 The development, since the late 1940s, of a tradition of Armenian figurative arts in Lebanon filled a gap in the reconstruction of an Armenian cultural world in the country and enriched the image of Beirut as a hub of Armenian culture in Diaspora.

In painting, the Armenian-Lebanese artistic movement arguably began with the arrival in Beirut of a young, Jerusalem-born son of refugees: Paul Guiragossian. Initially self-taught, and then artistically educated in Italy, , Guiragossian managed to elaborate a personal style that drew inspiration from the European tradition of authors like Goya, Daumier, Van Gogh but also from the Oriental tradition of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Byzantium and Armenia, and rapidly imposed himself as one of the most promising artists on the Lebanese scene.

 Life in the Armenian camps and quarters (Baraque, camp Amanos, 1948; Funerailles à Bourj Hammoud, 1948; L'Eglise St. Joseph, Bourj Hammoud, 1949), the 1915 deportations and his own family life (Juliette et Mano, 1955; La famille, 1957) were the main themes of his work, all bound together by the experience of the Genocide.

Reconstructing Armenia in Lebanon and Syria by Nicola Migliorino

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