Through the modern glass doors of Glendale’s Brand Art Gallery lies a hallway lined with contemporary artworks. To the right, is a patio with a large black and white photograph display. To the left is an even larger gallery space filled with artworks by established Armenian masters.
The visitor can take his or her pick – begin with the contemporary art up ahead, or opt for the renowned works to the left. This separation is deliberate.
In honor of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the organizing committee, along with the City of Glendale’s Library, Arts and Culture Department and the United Armenian Council for the Commemoration of the Genocide, has presented works that demonstrate the creative talent that emerged after the 1915 massacres.
Artists included in the exhibition hail from diverse biographical and artistic backgrounds, but are united by their Armenian heritage. And all featured artists, both masters and contemporaries, have influenced the art world in some way.
Gathered from private collections and galleries, the exhibition showcased artworks by Arshile Gorky (in collaboration with Hans Burkhardt), former Venice Beach resident John Altoon, author William Saroyan, prominent Soviet-era sculptor Yervand Kochar and others. Life100 afforded a rare opportunity to see the predominantly privately owned work all under one roof.
The exhibition not only presents a 100-year survey of Armenian culture through art, but shows the power that art holds in cultural revitalization after tragedies.
Life100 Art Exhibition runs through May 1 at the Brand Library and Arts Center.
Programming for the exhibition includes a film screening, genocide panel discussion, artist talks and a concert.