t h e   s c u l p t o r


The Armenian artist Varoujan Mardirian is an architect and civil engineer by profession. It was not until the onset of the civil war in Lebanon that through his sculptures he found a process of simplifying the complexities of his reality, as well as the perfect outlet for the emotions inhabiting his inner world.

The duality of the architect and sculptor in Mardirian is not new to the Armenian cultural heritage. For centuries Armenia was fertile soil for cultural achievements richly expressed in combinations of architecture, painting and sculpture--an expression that was later elaborated in the medieval ornamental arts.

Today, the contemporary applied arts in Armenia are shaped against this very backdrop. Mardirian, having experienced the core of the Armenian culture and intellect during his study years in Armenia, appreciates dearly the specifics of its architecture both in terms of construction principles and form.

The theme of Mardirian's sculptures is the woman. Through feminine figures Mardirian cultivates his definitions of womanhood, while weaving his mental images of beauty. The figures are silent and seem to inhabit a world of their own. Yet, in their silence, they vividly express sensuality, eroticism, maternal love, gaiety and sadness. For Mardirian, woman represents "the subject to search and research."

Art critics have called Mardirian's sculptures "lonesome riddles:" Lonesome, because they are withdrawn into their world and seem to refuse stepping into what is ordinary and banal; Riddles, because, although the femininity of the figures is obvious, their expressions are multifaceted and are endowed with an abstract power--a power that lives in a state of being untouched by the chaos of the modern world.

The vertical line is an essential component of Mardirian's works. Fine lines, flowing curves and a smooth finish are other features. The movements, the shapes and the forms of the figures are all created by a fascinating combination of light and shadow molded by expert hands.

The artist is well aware of the diversity of the medium he uses. He prefers wood to stone, because "wood is softer, more versatile and definitely more vibrant." He works along the unique features of wood. "This does not bother me. On the contrary, each figure becomes a new challenge, a new adventure. An adventure where the players are wood, tools and ultimately creation."

Whether seated, intertwined, dancing, praying, lost in self-contemplation or just standing, Mardirian's figures always embody the ideal picture of eternal unity, expressed in harmony with beauty and passion.

The main value of Mardirian's work lies in the fact that the execution of his monolithic figures is true to the spirit of creation. The equilibrium in volume, medium, form, movement and rhythm is respected. His works are living proof of emotions molded by expert technique and mental power during the moment of creation. Mardirian's sculpture is included in private collections and has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Italy, Austria, Lebanon , Armenia, and most recently in the United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as in Groton and Norwich, Connecticut.


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