Opening of the large scale retrospective exhibition “Shadows of Time. The Photographic Art of Gagik Harutyunyan 1970-1995“ of the Armenian photographer Gagik Harutyunyan at the Artists’ Union of Armenia in Yerevan, on August 25th, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Foundation KulturDialog Armenien in cooperation with Lusadaran Armenian Photography Foundation presents the first comprehensive retrospective “Shadows of Time. The Photographic Art of Gagik Harutyunyan 1970-1995“ of Gagik Harutyunyan (b. 1946) at the Artists’ Union of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia. The official opening of the exhibition and presentation of the catalogue will take place at the Artists’ Union of Armenia on August 25th, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Being one of the most important photographers during the 70s and 80s in Soviet-Armenia and during the 90s in Armenia, Gagik Harutyunyan marked the development of modern Armenian photography like no other photographer of those times. His most individual approach and pioneer use of photography contributed significantly to the development of Armenian photography and helped it become an independent art form in Armenia. This way, he strongly influenced more than two generations of photographers.
Since the early 70s and thus for more than 25 years, Harutyunyan’s works were published by Soviet, Soviet-Armenian and Armenian press and reached not only passionate photographers but also a large national and international audience.
Already at the beginning of his career, Harutyunyan proved to be a master of documentary photography. He was the only Soviet-Armenian photographer to travel to Africa, Estonia, Latvia, and to several European countries such as France, Belgium and Austria, assembling his impressions in series of investigative documentary series which he then was able to present to the audience in Armenia. The way he pictured the world behind the Iron Curtain but also the following documentaries of the 70ss and 80s series portraying his homeland Armenia lived on in the memory of all readers for a long time.
Harutyunyan did not solely capture and create a long lasting image of Armenia and its people, but he also accompanied its history and development, upheavals and changes in society on the country’s way to independence with an objective and analytic eye, focusing on the essential elements and – most importantly – on the human aspect of the motive. Nevertheless, many of his works were never shown to the public, mostly series displaying an overt critical approach or those of experimental character, which Harutyunyan preferred keeping in his archives.
Reaching a point of disillusionment in the late 1990s, Harutyunyan destroyed most of his printed photographs while keeping the negatives intact. In close cooperation with Gagik Harutyunyan and after almost six years of preparation, a selection of about 200 works comprising a period of 25 years was digitally restored and newly printed specially for this first retrospective exhibition. It will therefore present well known works by Harutyunyan but also photographs which had never been exhibited before.
With this large scale retrospective exhibition “Shadows of Time. The Photographic Art of Gagik Harutyunyan 1970-1995“, Foundation KulturDialog Armenien in cooperation with Lusadaran Armenian Photography Foundation gives Gagik Harutyunyan and his oeuvre the long due recognition:
The retrospective exhibition “Shadows of Time. The Photographic Art of Gagik Harutyunyan 1970-1995“ presents a comprehensive panorama of Harutyunyan’s work at the Artists’ Union of Armenia with a total of 183 exhibits covering 25 years of Harutyunyan’s career.
It shall enable the Armenian audience to gain an insight into the complex Oeuvre of one the country’s major photographers, but also into its history and the way the country sees itself, reflected in Harutyunyan’s photographs. On the basis of his early documentary series, his often poetical documentaries of Armenia, but also series portraying significant historical events and the late experimental series, the exhibition illustrates the impressive development of the artist, of his visions and of his critical point of view as well as of his always implicit, unsettling philosophical questions and problems Harutyunyan addresses in his works.
Thanks to the numerous aspects of Harutyunyan’s creativity presented in the exhibition’s context, the visitor of this exhibition will be able to comprehend the major importance of the oeuvre of Gagik Harutyunyan for the history and the development of modern and contemporary Armenian photography.
Foundation KulturDialog Armenien in cooperation with Lusadaran Armenian Photography Foundation has published an illustrated, bilingual catalogue (Armenian/English) to accompany the retrospective exhibition.
The catalogue (200 pages; published in Gera, Germany) will be presented during the official opening of the exhibition “Shadows of Time. The Photographic Art of Gagik Harutyunyan 1970-1995” at the Artists’ Union of Armenia in Yerevan on August 25th, 2017 at 6 p.m.
The exhibition project is realized in the context of the ‘Regional Art and Culture Project in the South Caucasus’, which is managed by the Culture and Management Lab with financial support of the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus (SCO).
“Shadows of Time. The Photographic Art of Gagik Harutyunyan 1970-1995“
25.08. – 09.09.2017
Artists‘ Union of Armenia
16 Abovyan St
Mon – Fri: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
August 25th, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Sona Harutyunyan (Foundation KulturDialog Armenien)
Vigen Galstyan (Lusadaran Armenian Photography Foundation)