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Vahakn Arslanian

American, contemporary.
Born 1975, Antwerp, Belgium.


The subjects of Arslanian’s art are often still-life objects - a pair of binoculars, a candle, or a lightbulb. He uses found windows, frames, or car windshields to house his drawings. He breaks, cuts, or shatters the glass, producing the effect of peering in at his images, as though through the window of an abandoned building. At times, he lines the edges of the broken glass with lead using stained-glass techniques. Sometimes he intersperses his drawings with sections of oil on canvas, highlighting the theme of fragmentation. Other prevalent themes include birds and airplanes. He has a fascination with explosions and has created works depicting the Pan Am and Swissair disasters.

Though self-taught, Arslanian grew up in Soho in New York City in the family of an avid art collector(his father Ara was a noted collector of Basquiat). How his exposure to contemporary art has affected his own work remains unclear, but he emerged from the most acute symptoms of autism in the early 1990’s and has been exhibiting in New York and around the world since 1995.

- Andrew Edlin


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2015, Portraits, Marc Jancou Contemporary, New York

2013, Wings of Light, Marc Jancou Contemporary, Geneva

2012, Holy Heavenly, Vito Schnabel, Maybach Foundation & Maybach Manufaktur, New York

2011, Ghosts of a Plane, Vito Schnabel, New York

2011, St. Moritz Art Masters, Vito Schnabel & Maybach, St. Moritz

2010, Mr. Big Ben, 20 Hoxton Square Projects, London

2009, Jesus Loves Captain Sully Sullenberger, Maccarone Gallery & Vito Schnabel, New York

2007, Vahakn Arslanian, Scream Gallery & Vito Schnabel, London

2005, Vahakn Arslanian, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

2003, Vahakn Arslanian: A Retrospective, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

2002, It's a Bird, It's a Plane..., Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

2001, Vahakn Arslanian, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

Selected Group Exhibitions

2016, World Made By Hand, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

2013, St. Barthélemy to Southampton, Tripoli Gallery, Southampton (New York)

2012, The Brucennial: Harderer, Betterer, Fasterer, Strongerer, presented by the Bruce High Quality Foundation & Vito Schnabel, New York

2010, The Brucennial: Miseducation, presented by the Bruce High Quality Foundation & Vito Schnabel, New York

2005, The Festival of Dreams (Part 1), Lombard - Fried Fine Arts, New York

2005, Outsider Art Fair, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

2004, Golden Blessings of Old Age; Out of the Mouths of Babes, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore

2003, On the Outskirts: Art Brut, Neuve Invention and Outsider Art, Andrew Edlin Gallery, The Elan, Miami (concurrent with Art Basel)

2001, W, X, Y, Z of Outsider Art, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

1999, Drawings, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York

Selected Bibliography

Vahakn Arslanian: Holy Heavenly, exhibition catalogue with text by Vito Schnabel, Vito Schnabel, Maybach Foundation & Maybach Manufaktur, New York, 2012.

"Interview by Jade Berreau," Purple Magazine, Summer 2011.

"Review of Jesus Loves Captain Sully Sullenberger," Corduroy Magazine, April 9, 2009.

Vahakn Arslanian, exhibition catalogue, Vito Schnabel & Scream Gallery, London, 2007.

Vahakn Arslanian
, exhibition catalogue, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, 2004.

Ramirez, Nicolette, "Vahakn Arslanian: A Retrospective," The New York Art World, November 2003.

Avakian, Florence, "Feature," Ararat Magazine, Summer 2002.

Slesin, Suzanne, "Boho Luxe," House & Garden, October 1996.

"Vahakn's Aerial Art Takes Flight," Passport, February 1994.

Schnabel, Julian, C.V.J. Nicknames of Maitre D's and Excerpts From Life, Random House, New York, 1987.

Filmography

Vahakn: Portrait of an Artist, Sermin Kardestuncer, video documentary narrated by Julian Schnabel (16 minutes), 1991.

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