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Atom Hovhanesyan

Atom Hovhanesyan

Atom Hovhanesyan

(August 19, 1981 in Yerevan, Armenia – May 10, 2018 New York) was New York based artist working in oil and ink. Atom refined and continued developing the post divisionism technique. His creations attempted to tell a story or a path that the eye would take through the painting. As he wrote in his biography on artbyatom.com, he painted in “not so much in a sense of a narrative but bits and pieces of thoughts or emotions/memories, at times accidental, at times directed consciously, unified in one mood or an atmosphere providing a kind of epilogue that’s open to interpretation.”

Atom lived a life many wouldn’t understand. To this day, his family and friends still don’t understand the struggles and depression he faced for the past decade nearly, but his art spoke volumes. From a single look at his abstract creations you will see the artwork speaks for itself.

“What struck me the most about the work that Atom produced in my class was his ability to apply his self-directed understanding of abstract design to his long-term inquiries into the human form. His ability to appreciate the expressive nature of the human figure and insight into the human condition gave Atom the rare ability to compose stunning works that utilized both the lyrical qualities of line and movement while achieving a profound sense of depth, space, and atmosphere.”

Michael Grimaldi (info@michaelgrimaldi.net)

An educated, bright, caring young man faced a quick turn of events in his life at an early age and turned to, many didn’t and never will know what caused or spurred the chain of events to occur, but nonetheless they did. In May 10, 2018, at age 36, Atom took his life. He left behind over 200 pieces of work that exert such powerful messages.

“Atom was a very talented artist and the kind of student most teachers dream about. I was always excited to see what he had done and often gave him long critiques because I knew he wanted to hear everything I had to say. He wanted to know everything I knew about painting. He was always searching for answers, in painting, and perhaps in life too. Atom's candle burned brightly and he will be remembered for his vitality and curiosity, for the light that fired his imagination, and for the light that he brought to the lives of his friends and family.”

Thomas Torak (thomastorak@gmail.com)

“I remember first meeting him at The Art Students League, in Studio 15. I was immediately struck by the gentle strength of his nature. While dialoguing about painting, his consideration was evident, but Atom was also a great listener. Over time, I enjoyed our exchanges tremendously – Atom’s wonderful, dry sense of humor would often emerge, seemingly out of nowhere. I respected Atom’s artwork and his working methodologies. I tried to critique him in the same spirit as his intentions would permit, to honor what he was doing. Our discussions were, resultantly, more about the philosophical-side of his painting practice. He appeared to use oil painting as, almost, a sort of meditation. He seemed very content and engaged while he was painting in class. Students only allow me to see certain sides of them, but the side I saw of Atom I admired. His artwork is very unique and reflects his character and great integrity as a person”.

Dan Thompson (danthompsonart@gmail.com)


2015-2017

Art Students League of New York

Studied under Michael Grimaldi, Tom Torak and Dan Thompson

2013- 2015

National Academy of New York

Studied under Phil Michelson

Focus on anatomy, life drawing from the figure.

2009-2013

Autodidactic Study

Heavily influenced by De Kooning and Kandinsky

Studied color theory and Kandinsky’s theory on design


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2015-2017

Focused on anatomy and figure drawing from life with Michael Grimaldi. Portrait painting with Tom Torak. Figure painting with a focus on color and optical approach with Dan Thompson.

Self study: Began copying old master drawings (Leonardo, Raphael, Del Sarto, Pontormo, Tintoretto) as well as portrait work. Continued studies after Seurat drawings, Van Gogh, and Cezanne. Continued studying anatomy, perspective and effects of light.

Output: Continued interest in post impressionism and abstract expressionism. Refined and continued developing the post divisionist technique. working on Landscapes as well as reworking (at times completely) past unsuccessful works. Continued working on the Ink Drawings refining the technique working mostly on portraits. Began developing a gestural approach to figure, thinking to merge the smoky abstract atmosphere with the divisionist idea. The idea would be to juxtapose complimentary colors over each other, however the gestures would be more filament like, intertwined to create a continuous mesh of a fabric where the figure would be almost lost.

In regards to abstract paintings moved towards less of a painterly and more of an atmospheric approach trying to move from focus on the process, to being more aware of design, balance of composition/line, influenced by Gorky and De Kooning.

Moreover attempting to incorporate a “storyline” or a path that the eye would take through the painting, not so much in a sense of a narrative but bits and pieces of thoughts or emotions/memories, at times accidental , at times directed consciously, unified in one mood or an atmosphere providing a kind of epilogue that’s open to interpretation.

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2013-2015

Figure painting from life under Phil Michelson.

Other life drawing classes with focus on anatomy.

Self Study: Continued to make studies of Post impressionist masters. Studied art history as a whole, focusing on high renaissance, baroque, romanticism, realism and impressionism. Attempting to connect and understand the influences of modern masters and movements, such as Cubism, Futurism, Abstract expressionism. Continued study of color theory as well as refining the actual process of grinding own colors. Output: Almost completely repainted the first 2 years of abstract works. Began developing the post divisionist works in to a series, attempting to see the work as a whole. Began the women series. Continued working on the ink drawing, with more symbolic or surrealistic mind set.

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2009-2013

At first a completely naive approach almost completely abstract. Most of it was just experimenting with paint application etc, basically just getting the feel of paint and canvas.

Slowly began being interested in Kandinsky and De Kooning, began emulating De Kooning’s works. Started grinding own colors in oil early on to save on cost and to be able to have the necessary amount of paint to be able to work in the painterly approach. Studied color theory in order to use my limited palette more effectively.

After some time decided that more serious study was necessary, so began studying art history, discovering masters throughout history (began with modern masters working back in time) that connected to without any outside influence or opinions, going to museums buying the monographs of the particular master, studying the work and connecting the dots in the overall timeline of art history. Output: After the first 2 years of almost manic, naive and non stop painting went through another breakdown.

At about the third year began emulating, in order to understand: Cubist works by Picasso, Divisionist works by Seurat and Post impressionist works by Cezanne and Van Gogh. About same time began juxtaposing lines/ hatch marks to paint the figure, decided to develop the idea and understood it as continuation of divisionism. At about the same time honed in on an approach in the abstract works that had a unifying stylistic quality.


99-52 66th Road Apt 5R
Rego Park, NY 11374

3D exhibitions

  • Atom Hovhanesyan

    MISCELLANEOUS

  • Atom Hovhanesyan

    TRADITIONAL

  • Atom Hovhanesyan

    DIVISIONISM

  • Atom Hovhanesyan

    INK ON PAPER DRAWINGS

  • Atom Hovhanesyan

    ABSTRACTS

    02 Nov 2018 – 31 Dec 2019

    AJAR, OIL ON CANVAS, 48X48X1.5 inch

    latest works

    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Grace, 2018
      18.0 x 20.0 x 1.0 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      At the foot of Mount Ararat, 2010
      36.0 x 24.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Elephants, 2012
      36.0 x 24.0 x 1.0 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Study after Giorgione's self portrait, 2017
      14.0 x 18.0 x 1.0 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled 14, 2014
      16.0 x 20.0 x 1.0 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled 11, 2013
      24.0 x 30.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled 10, 2017
      24.0 x 30.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled 9, 2015
      24.0 x 30.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled 8, 2016
      36.0 x 24.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled 7, 2017
      24.0 x 36.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled 4, 2013
      36.0 x 48.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled 3, 2013
      36.0 x 48.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled 2, 2014
      30.0 x 40.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled 1, 2016
      36.0 x 48.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on canvas
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Woman 3, 2014
      24.0 x 48.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on Canvas (divisionism)
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled, 2015
      24.0 x 32.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on Canvas (divisionism)
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Untitled, 2016
      22.0 x 28.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on Canvas (divisionism)
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Woman 4, 2013
      30.0 x 48.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on Canvas (divisionism)
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Portrait of Annie Clark, 2017
      24.0 x 36.0 x 1.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on Canvas (divisionism)
    • Atom Hovhanesyan

      Landscape, 2017
      24.0 x 33.0 x 0.5 inch (w x h x d)
      Oil on Canvas (divisionism)
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