Chant Avedissian

Chant Avedissian was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1951. 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 Exhibitions


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 Exhibitions


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

 

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

 

Public Colections


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.