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Artour Oshakantsi – Untitled


30th October 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Well established Artists


Artour Oshakantsi

Artour Oshakantsi (Armenian) based in London is a leading painter in the Soviet Union. He is the founder of Abstract Naturalism and is perhaps the most well-known painter of Independent Armenia. In Soviet Armenia, where abstractionism symbolized the voice of social protest, Oshakantsi is one of the first artists to use abstraction to express his political rage.”

Fast and furious, Artour OSHAKANTSI is probably the most powerful post – modernist painter of Independent Armenia. While his academic roots were fed by the figurative rigidities of the Socialist Realism in Soviet Armenia. Oshakantsi’s generation of angry young men drew comfort and inspiration from the mild abstract expressionism of the much decorated Martiross SARIAN, who seems to have remained the only Great Master of Soviet painting officially sanctioned to be mildly abstract during the worst times of camp Stalinist monumental masonry.

While in the West Abstract Art evolved from purely pictorial experimentation (although the Mother of them all, Dadaism, may have had some social content). in Soviet Armenia, Abstractionism symbolised (and manifested) the voice of explosive cork-bottled societal protest. And Artour OSHAKANTSI was one of the first to dare blow his top off, going, nay, racing headlong into a mad, sometimes bad, always wild abstraction, but rooted firmly in powerful colourful Fauvist structures.

However, like all true artists (whatever ‘true’ may mean), OSHAKANTSI, while very learned in the history and traditions of his metier, has no time at all for ‘-isms’, has reached beyond them to ‘sheer painting’, subtending a wide range of themes, subjects and styles.

Uniquely and single-handedly in post-modern art of today, OSHAKANTSI has hit upon re-inventing here and now in Britain, the almost forgotten Fayyum Portraits of Hellenistic Egypt-highly individualistic character-revelations of modern men and women, haunting readings of their immortal souls, the icon-ic capture of God’s breath in action, creating the individual in his own image. Infinitely variable yet somehow mysteriously the same, that is, divinely deeply puzzled pieces of human earth.

Arshile Gorky (1904-1948), the Armenian exile in America, invented the American Abstract Expressionism. His young disciple in Soviet Armenia, Artour Oshakantsi, became the greatest Armenian Abstract painter in the Soviet Union. A long spell in London, and a decade of experimentation led Oshakantsi to an iconographic synthetic style, which ironically only an analytical mind thinking in figurative terms, could achieve, creating a breakthrough new school of Painting which needs labelling ; I propose ABSTRACT NATURALISM, founded on so profound a spiritual/mythical symbolism as to encode almost heraldic medieval allegories. Oshakantsi is the abstract naturalist par excellence, and its Founder.

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