Out of the Green
Hagop Hagopian was born in Egypt in1923 in the city of Alexandira. He is the third child of Armenian parents and belongs to a generation of Armenians who, as an aftermath of the 1915 genocide, grew up and matured away from their homeland. Hagopian spent his childhood years attending the Melkonian School in Cyprus. This was a school specializing in the education of children of ex-patriot Armenians, and there he was required to study both Armenian history and studio art.
Hagopian continued his studies in art at the Institute of Fine Arts Cairo. Later, he received scholarships to study in Paris at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. During this time, he had the opportunity to study with French Cubist painter André Lhote as well as other compatriot painters.
After the time spent in Europe, Hagopian returned to Egypt with an ever increasing aspiration to live in Armenia. Finally, in 1962, at the age of forty, Hagopian and his family moved to Armenia and eventually settled in the capital city of Yerevan. Hagop’s artistic recognition continued to flourish in Yerevan and continued in 1977, he was awarded the State Prize of Armenian and given the title of People’s Artist of Armenian. In 1986, he received the coveted State Prize of USSR and was elected a member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR.
Hagopian paints with a unique style that is often praised for its pursuit of perfection. It can be said that Hagopian has a linear approach to composition, often vertical accented with serene and subdued colors. His works have a very contemporary feel and they exude nostalgia, silence, and displacement which are particularly evident in his portraits. In his landscapes one can witness Hagopians deep devotion to the Armenian countryside and this affection translates into careful brushstrokes and graceful treatment of each natural element. In more recent works, Hagopian has embraced drawing animate mannequins to shed light on the diversity of human emotion within relationships. Being devoid of cultural and individual detail, these mannequins embody universality and pave a new course in understanding essential human experiences.
I had always been conscious of my spiritual links with Armenia, and I had always wanted to make them tangible, as it were—to settle in Armenia so as to be in close contact with my country and her people.
1944 Cairo: Exhibition of Armenian artists in Egypt
1963 Yerevan, Leninakan, Kirovagan: One-man show
1967 Yerevan: Exhibition of Armenian artists (1st prize)
1970 Paris: Exhibition of Armenian Art
1971 Paris and Prague: Russian and Soviet Art
1974 Beirut: Contemporary Armenian Artists (with Minas Avetisisan)
1975 Bologna and Bari: Saryan and 13 Contemporary Armenian Artists
1976 Marseille and Paris: Contemporary Armenian Painters
1977 Tallin, Tartu, Riga, Lvov, Copenhagen, Cologne
1978 Kiev and Tbilisi
1979 Moscow and Paris
1980 Novosibirsk: One-man show
1981 Nicosia and Cyprus
1983 Vilnius, Odessa, Rostov-on-Don, Stavropol
1984 FDR, Paris
1985 London, Basmadjian Gallery
1986 Tbilisi 1st Transcaucasian Biennale
1987 Helsinki, Padua, Venice, Volgograd,…
1988 Tomsk: Armenian Artists
1990 Moscow: Retrospective Exhibition
1993-1994 Yerevan: One-man show in honour of Hagopian’s 70th birthday
1994 Beirut, Lebanon
1995 Bochum, Germany: Armenian art, from early period to present
1998 Egypt-Cairo Egyptian-Armenian Cultural Year
2003 Yerevan, Armenia
2006 LA, Craft and Folk Art Museum
2007 Marseille France
2007 Leonardo Galleries, Toronto
2008 Agora Gallery New York
2009 Yerevan, Armenia
2009 New Jersey
Between 2002 and 2010, Hagopian’s daughter has organized additional exhibitions in Toronto, Montreal and Detroit in Armenian Cultural Centers.