Atom Hovhanesyan

After refining and continuing to develop the post divisionist technique by painting not so much in a narrative sense, Atom painted bits and pieces of thoughts or emotions/memories, at times incidental, at times directed consciously, unified in one mood or an atmosphere.

Sleeping Venus (Study After Giorgione) - Oil on canvas 30 x 48 in.

Atom Hovhanesyan was a New York-based artist working in oil and ink. Atom lived a life not many would understand. To this day, his family and friends still don't understand the struggles and depression he faced for nearly the past decade, but his art speaks volumes. In his abstract works, Atom's goal was to create a unified atmosphere and sense of luminosity. Bits and pieces of forms from memory were utilized as building blocks for constructing the composition. Atom was trying to create a  complex space compelling enough to act as a point of departure while retaining the often accidental mystery and painted energy.

As a faithful and respectful learner, Atom loved traditional media and ground his own colors. He committed a colossal dedication to his art, beyond any imaginable passion or love. Sometimes spending 72 hours nonstop working on a painting or drawing, Atom unintentionally, or maybe subconsciously even, created a unique and unprecedented style and technique in post divisionism and ink drawings never observed before.

Atom's own statement about his art: "The goal here is to utilize the whole surface of the support, challenging the viewer's perception of negative space. Essentially divisionist, the figure/composition is woven into the fabric of the plane and the space warps into the figure. In the painting process, repetitive, almost automatic, application of the cross-hatched lines allow the subconscious the opportunity to direct the composition. There is a tension between the desire to hide vs. the need to reveal, conflicting within the human mind. As far as drawings, I worked with ink with the same approach, because of the fine lines unique to this medium and the texture that arises from multiple built-up layers of cross-hatched lines, allowed me to focus on light and texture and the feel of the drawing ended up being quite different from the paintings."

MG - Oil on canvas 40 x 30 in.
Burlington Cartoon (Study After Leonardo) - Ballpoint pen on paper 30 x 22 x 1 in.
Untitled - Oil on canvas 20 x 16 in.
Portrait of Annie Clark - Oil on canvas 36 x 24 in.

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


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