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Ruben Amirian: The Art of Contemplation on Nature

Ruben Amirian has dreamt of becoming a painter since childhood. The reasons for this were the paintings by her mother hanging on the walls at home. However, following his parents’ advice he studied Architecture in Washington and then continued his academic pursuit in Tehran. He has been working in Glendale since 1980. In recent years Ruben Amirian is more actively engaged in painting which gives him new opportunities to develop his art and make new discoveries. The inspiration for the painter is the garden planted by his wife Tamar. Here is where the artist communicates directly with nature.


Ruben Amirian

Ruben Amirian is an artist of form and color transformations interlaced with nature. The forms and schemes developed in result of long contemplation on nature confirm the harmonic liaison between human and the nature. The attempts to represent the nature as a category, as an element and cornerstone narrow down to the smallest particles of nature. Every single leaf and bough makes sense and acquires characteristic significance. Every cell of a leaf undergoes transformation and is deprived of form thus transcending into a symbol of nature – a sign. As a result, a unique system of signs is created by the artist where every particle of nature is the representation of the whole. In his work the artist follows not only the relation of formal and non-formal principles but also symbolic-poetic traditions. In this process he deprives the characters of their original forms and endues them with remotely associative shapes. In his own words, he might paint a single leaf over and over again until it would turn into an absolutely different image with its own language and mind. However, the artist does not continue these attempts of demolition and denial of forms further to the final point and does not rush to abrupt all ties with the primeval forms of nature.

Art is an inner necessity for Ruben Amirian. As W. Kandinsky claimed “the artwork is the external expression of the internal necessity.” The point is in expressing the art as an inner necessity and in the spiritual aspects of human being. In Ruben Amirian’s art the inner necessity drives the artist toward the denial of some visual forms. In this sense contemporary abstraction is a more vivid kind of modernism in terms of a removal of visual form and its relevant character that finds its roots back in works by Aristotle on mimesis. Despite the dominance of abstract thinking Ruben Amirian who never adhered to any art movement and had no such an aim, positions nature and imitation of nature as the most important and in this case not through direct references but via associative allusions. Works of art emerge as abstractions, which, however, in direct and formal sense integrate the world, nature as elements and symbols. Ruben Amirian represents a unique abstract genre.  Allusive landscapes are detected behind abstract forms where irrespective of the artistic manner a wide conception is present, be it a landscape, an associative floral image or a decorative scheme. However, everything is as harmonious as the nature itself. In result, the artist’s special attitude toward form and color and sense of measure come afore.

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There are two crucial problems: the line which delineates the inner form and structure of the scheme and the color tones which are always reserved, balanced and do not pressure the viewer and only have the function of completing the emotive-poetic image. The color tones are unchangeable as a rule with frequently met different hues of green, yellow and their mixture. All this is completed with a unique sense of rhythm. Architect by specialization, Ruben Amirian balances his paintings and vests them with special linear rhythm, creating similar modules and units of measure peculiar only to him. Very often similar and repetitive forms are found on the canvas which in dense order cover the entire space. And very often there is a lonely figure on the pure color background which enchants immediately with its decorative impact and clearness of form. The abstract floral shapes intervene and flow on the canvas intersecting and creating parallel rhythms. In their linear and plastic color-solutions they seem to be real life natural spaces, a unique land-art on the canvas.

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In terms of the schemes Ruben Amirian’s works are diverse. In some of them the artist reached the desired result thanks to simple and clear forms while other works stand out with the richness of their schemes as if they bring together and intensify the simple artistic solutions represented in other works. The interplay of lines, rhythm and subtle diversity of colors convey a special vitality to the paintings and they seem to breathe and live; the spirit and flavor of nature extends from them. The vital force of nature, rhythm and forms intrude into his art organically as if what is painted on the canvas grows out from the artist’s own depths and as if it is the human being – an inseparable particle of Nature. To every architect and to Ruben Amirian as well the concept of the work is what matters – the whole idea as a solid system where every element has its place and meaning. However, in contrast to architecture, the painting provides only two-dimensional outlet for the artist which Ruben Amirian successfully serves to the benefit of his artwork. An artist of profound imagination, Ruben Amirian transforms the visible natural world and takes it to a two-dimensional level and creates new relations, underlining or changing the forms and qualities and creating new characters. Ruben-Amirian-015Often he highlights the linear-plastic quality and artistic peculiarities of the work and often he stresses the saturation of texture and the dynamic interrelations of forms. All these features are implemented with ease and again organically and naturally as nature itself. The artist’s hand movements are often visible on the canvas; sometimes they are negligent and hasty and often the artistic manner is careful and exact with strict lines and clearly separated color fields.  The parallelism of all these brings to light various spaces in different combinations. They confirm how perfect the nature is and how imperfect is the human in imitating the nature but also to confirm the unnatural power of art which can express the inner world of the painter, his relations and attitude toward nature. Ruben Amirian’s art is an art of contemplation on nature, an observation of nature which seeks to explicate nature and its “biological” peculiarities, highlighting details and attaching importance to them. It is an unhurried, observant, loving and careful view cast on the world around us.

Translation from Armenian into English by Arthur Mesropian

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