Minas Avetisyan (1928 -1975)
July 20, 1928 — February 24, 1975.
Minas Avetisyan was one of the most prominent figures of Armenian painting of the 2nd half of the 20th century. He managed to combine contemporary trends of depiction with traditions of old Armenian painting.
In 1960’s, in the period of maximal advancement of the national fine arts, Minas presented his original pictorial language and profound national art.
In the portraits, landscapes and still life paintings the artist’s imagination surrenders to the objects, living forms and colouring. But most of his works were drawn from memory and imagination as recollections of various events and places, as personal and universal thoughts.
Minas was also the author of a number of frescos and stage decorations.
Minas Avetisyan was born in the village of Jajur, Soviet Armenia. His mother, Sofo, was a daughter of the priest from Kars. His father, Karapet, was a smith from Mush. His wife was Gayane Mamajanyan.
The main theme of his works was Armenian nature, the nature of Jajur, the religion, poor people, mountains, fields etc.
Avetisyan emerged as an artist at the "Exhibition of Five" in Yerevan (1962). Numerous specialists and visitors to the exhibition appreciated greatly his work. Avetisian's method differs from the method of plain-air painting which was once widespread in Armenian art. For him working form nature is no more than a preliminary stage. The main portion of the work on the canvas was done in his studio.
In 1972, while Avetisyan was in Jajur with his family, his studio and many of his canvas were burned down. Some of the burned pictures were later reproduced from photographs taken earlier.
In his paintings, Avetisyan uses bright and unmixed colors that are juxtaposed with each other to form bold shapes that are clearly defined. A very popular person in Armenia and Soviet Union, Minas was an art dissident who used national elements in his painting style.
In 1975, Minas Avetisyan died under the wheels of the car, which stopped off at the sidewalk.
It has been a common misbelief among Armenians that one of most respected and loved artists of the nation was assassinated because of his political views. The death of the artist was tragic; however, it was an unfortunate accident.