Chant Avedissian

Chant Avedissian was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1951 and passed away in the same city in 2018. Coming from Christian Armenian traditions due to his origins, but raised and educated inside the Egyptian culture and schools, he and his work had been always committed to the identity of nations, traditions and culture.  His work for the Aga Khan Foundation with celebrated Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy (1900-1989), inspired him to develop a strong interest in traditional art and local materials: all the tracks and tools he follows to understand and get a close look to his own primal identity as a transversal human being.

 

Well travelled, Avedissian finds icons from traditional arts and local cultures around the world and transfer them to his own universe, working through a wide range media, including photography ant textiles. Since 1990, his most known work focuses in painted stencils on cardboard, showing the icons he found during his trips all around the world trough several countries, from Egypt to Uzbekistan, Paris to Canada, from Cuba to Greece. Avedissian stencils collect symbols and icons from every corner visited by the artist and translate them into his own artistic language.

 


Education

 

1976     Major in sculpture. École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD), Paris. France           

1973     Graduate Montreal Museum of Fine Arts at School of Art and Design, Montreal, Canada.

1967     Kalousdian Armenian School, Boulaq, Cairo. Egypt.


Solo shows

 

2018     Al Musiqa, voix et musiques du monde arabe. Paris Philharmonie. Paris, France.

2018     A Levantine heading East. Casa Árabe. Cordoba, Spain.

2017     Un levantino camino del Este. Casa Árabe. Madrid, Spain.

2017     Transfer, transport, Transit. Sabrina Amrani, Madrid, Spain.
2006     Gallery Janine Rubeiz, Beirut, Lebanon.

2000     Solo show curated by Elizabeth Harney. National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, US.

1998     New Stencils on Arab Women. British Council, Cairo. Egypt

1996     Panels and Stencils. Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam. Holland.

1995     Stencil show. Icons of the Nile. Leighton House Museum, London. UK.

1994     Stencil show, Icons of the Nile. Galerie 50 x70, Beirut, Lebanon.

1992     Stencilled panels curated by Basma El-Husseiny at the British Council, Cairo. Egypt.

1991     Stencils at Mireille and Kenton Keith’s house in Cairo. Egypt.

1990     Costume show at the Institut du monde arabe, Paris. Closing of the exhibition Egypt-Egypt. France.

1988     Costume show organized by Shahira Mehrez, at Manial Palace, Golden Hall, Cairo. Egypt.

1985     Textile hangings organised by historian and art collector Shahira Mehrez, Cairo. Egypt.

1979     Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Centre art gallery, Los Angeles, CA. US.

1979     Carzou Hall, Cairo. Egypt.

1978     Atelier of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt.

1976     Carzou Hall, Cairo. Egypt.

1974     Carzou Hall, Cairo. Egypt.

1973     Carzou Hall, Kalousdian School, Cairo. Egypt.

1971     Tekeyan Armenian Cultural Association, Montreal. Canada.

1971     Tekeyan Armenian Cultural Association, Boston. US.

1970     Carzou Hall, Kalousdian Armenian School, Cairo. Egypt.

1969     Kalousdian Armenian School parents' council, Cairo. Egypt.


Group shows

 

2018     Soundlines of Contemporary Art. International Contemporary Art Exhibition: Armenia 2018. Cafesjian Ceter for the Arts. Yerevan, Armenia.

2017     From Sound to Silence. Galerie Tanit. Beirut, Lebanon.

2015     Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015, Whitechapel Gallery, London. UK.

2014     What Remains Part I, Rose Issa Projects, London. UK.

2012     Re-Orientations II, Rose Issa Projects, London. UK.

2012     Green: A Spring Hanging, Rose Issa Projects, London. UK.

2010     Arabicity, Beirut Exhibition Centre, Beirut. Lebanon.

2009     Taswir -Pictorial Mappings of Islam & Modernity, Martin Gropius Bau Museum, Berlin. Germany.

2008     Re-Orientations: Contemporary Arab Representations, curated by Rose Issa. European Parliament, Brussels. Belgium.

2003     Love Affairs, curated by Rose Issa. IFA Galleries, Stuttgart, Bonn and Berlin. Germany.

1998     The Shape of Memories. Curated by Rose Issa. Berchem Cultural Centre, Antwerp, Belgium

1984     Fotografia Mediterrania. Centre Cultural de la Caixa de Pensions, Barcelona, Spain.

1995     The Art of African Textiles. Curated by Carole Brown. Barbican, London. UK.

Biennals
 

1995     Kwangju Biennale, Korea.

 

Art fairs

 

2019     ARCOmadrid. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.

2018     Art Basel in Miami. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Miami, USA (solo).

2018     Artissima. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Turin, Italy.

2018     Art Basel in Hong Kong. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Hong Kong, China. (solo)

2018     ARCOmadrid. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Madrid, Spain.

2017     Abu Dhabi Art. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Abu Dhabi, UAE. (solo)

2017     Artissima. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Turin, Italy.

2017     Art Brussels. Sabrina Amrani Gallery. Brussels, Belgium.

 

Public Colections

 

Victoria and Albert Museum. London, UK.
National Museum of African Art - Smithsonian Institution, Washington, US
British Airways Collection, London, UK
The British Museum, London, UK
British Council, Cairo, Egypt
National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

 

 

Bibliography

 

Picton, John ed. The Art of African Textiles: Technology, Tradition and Lurex, London: Lund Humphries, 1995.
Beyond the Borders, Kwangju Biennale 1995, South Korea: Kwangju Biennale Foundation, 1995.
Karnouk, Liliane, Contemporary Egyptian Art, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.
Porter, Venetia, Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East, London: British Museum Press, 2006.
Issa, Rose ed., Reorientations: Contemporary Arab Representations, Brussels: European Parliament Publications Office, 2008.
Almut Sh. Bruckstein and Hendrik Budde, ed. Taswir – Islamische Bildwelten und Moderne, Berlin: Nicolai Verlag, 2009.
Arabicity: Such A Near East, Liverpool: Bluecoat Arts Centre and Beyond Art Productions, 2010
Saeb, Eigner, Art of the Middle East: Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World and Iran, London: Merrell, 2010.
Blazwick, Iwona and Af Petersens, Magnus, Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915-2015, London: Prestel and Whitechapel Gallery, 2015. 
Issa, Rose, Signs of Our Times: From Calligraphy to Calligraffiti, London: Merrell, 2016.