Charles Garabedian: Outside the Gates. (15 July - 31 August) is a collaborative online exhibition presented by L.A. Louver and Betty Cuningham Gallery.
Charles Garabedian embraced grand themes in his idiosyncratic and compelling body of work. Inspired by Armenian manuscripts, Biblical stories, and the epic poetry of ancient Greece, his iconoclastic approach to figuration breathes vibrant, pulsating life into these old tales. His works are populated with warriors and gods, bathing beauties and epic journeys. Abstractions lie unsettlingly at the edge of recognition, seeming to take on the unknowable logic of Olympus. A hallmark of Garabedian’s style is his Mannerist approach to the body. Twisted and elongated figures lounge, bend, and stretch across his compositions. That nearly all of his figures from this period are nude reinforces a feeling of otherworldliness. He treats the body as something malleable, something that can be distorted or even truncated.
Garabedian’s work has been seen internationally, with inclusion in important museum exhibitions including the Whitney Muse-um of American Art Biennial, 1975 and 1985; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA, 1976; the Venice Biennale, 1976 (also 1982, ’84 and ’85); “Bad” Painting, curated by Marcia Tucker, New Museum of Art, New York, NY, 1978; The High Museum Atlanta, GA, 1980; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1984; Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY, 1989; the Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan, 1991; the Corcoran Biennial, Washington, D.C., 1993; and in the Getty Museum initiative Pacific Standard Time exhibitions: L.A. Raw: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles, 1945-1980, from Rico LeBrun to Paul McCarthy, Pasadena Museum of California Art, 2011, and Under the Big Black Sun: California Art, 1974-81, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, 2011. He was also included in Drawing in L.A.: The 1960s and 70s, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA, 2015. Garabedian received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1977, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1979, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters award in 2000. Garabedi-and has also been honored with several solo museum exhibitions: The La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art presented a survey of Garabedian’s work in 1981; and in 1983, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Massachusetts held a mid-career retrospec-tive. In 2003/2004, a survey exhibition of works on paper was presented at the Luckman Gallery, California State University, Los Angeles (traveled). A retrospective of his works, curated by Julie Joyce, was presented by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA in early 2011.