‘after’ series II
April 2 – May 2, 2005
Opening Reception: Spring Gallery Night
Saturday, April 2, 2-9pm

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After Christo's Gates
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After Leger's Trapeze Artists
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After Miro's Person Throwing
A Stone At A Bird


In art and in life, nothing is as simple as it appears. Sevan Melikyan’s paintings would seem at first glance to be straightforward abstractions. A second look reveals a sophisticated dialogue between the image and the theme that inspired it, whether it be a masterwork by a historically important artist or a resonant photograph of an everyday subject. But for an observer who cares to go beyond the immediately evident, a serious study reveals a communication of ideas and a correspondence of energies. On Saturday, April 2, 2005 from 2-9 pm, William Campbell Contemporary Art will open an exhibition of paintings by Sevan Melikyan. Born in Turkey, raised in Paris, and now making his home in Fort Worth, Melikyan’s background is rich in multidisciplinary esthetic activity. He taught himself music and understood minimalism in harmonies at an early age. When he played or listened to the work of the great composers, he felt that they were somehow near. "The masters have something to tell us," he says. "I have always followed them." He learned the visual possibilities of linear mediums from the textiles and mosaics of Turkey, where his Armenian parents lived for the first nine years of his life before moving to Paris. There, in the City of Lights, he spent many hours in the great museums, developing a personal empathy with the works of Matisse, Picasso, and Modigliani, among others. "When you reach out to their work," he says, "you can get inside it, like you can get inside the music of Schubert. I have relationships with these painters and their paintings – not academic, but instinctive, visceral, like being friends."

Melikyan graduated from college and moved to New York City, where he directed a program devoted to the promotion of artists of Armenian descent, and where he discovered the work of the Abstract Expressionists and their descendants. For the past eight years, he has been the marketing director for the Van Cliburn Foundation. Always, he has kept up a high creative output as an artist, musician, and graphics designer. Like many an artist before him, Melikyan was just having fun one day when a new experience ignited his passion. In this case, the playing field was a graphics program in his computer, and the event was an electronic reduction of a painting, Fernand Leger’s Three Musicians, to a geometric paraphrase. Melikyan immediately translated the concept to canvas, and has produced a radiant series of images. Painting with a sure hand, he makes countless creative decisions such as shifts in color and the selection of details for compositional purposes. As the piece evolves, the literal idea leaves off and the magic takes over, choreographing a measured and stately dance of form and color. In the end, the original subject and the new creation almost cease to mirror each other at all. Instead, they carry on a heart to heart conversation across the centuries.

Previous Gallery Shows

A FOCUSED VISION: February 11 – March 26, 2005

Scottie Parsons: December 3, 2004 – January 8, 2005

BÊTE NOIRE: September 18 – October 23, 2004

surface: June 19 – September 4, 2004

Judy Youngblood: May 1 - June 5, 2004