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Temporary exhibition



Autoportrait

Jansem
Hovhannes Semerdjian (Born in 1920)


Jansem is one of the most outstanding figures in modern French art.

Hovhannes Semerdjian was born in Selez near Brusa in the family of silk spinner. His family migrated to Greece from fear of the executions in 1922. In 1931 after his husband’s death his mother left for France to cure his son’s broken leg and settled in Paris in the suburb, called Issy-les-Moulineaux.

The first professional schools for him became free academies of Montparnasse (1934-1936). He graduated from the ornament making high school in Paris in 1938. His teachers were Brianshon, Legjon, and Udon. Afterwards he was improved in the Sabatie studio for a year.

His picture “The violinist” began to be displayed in the saloon of “Independent artists”. In the first period of his creative life he painted pictures that touched merely upon national themes such as “Armenian woman”, “Armenian wedding”, “Funeral” and the like. A part of those works is exhibited in the Armenian art museum of Paris.

Jansem’s creative theme originates from his childhood memories, the great misfortune of his nation.

The French science of light characterized Jansem as a miserablist, an artist of unfortunate people.

He was elected the president of the young artists’ saloon in 1956. He won the Comparison prize in Mexico in 1958. Jansem had individual exhibitions in Paris, New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo, Rome, Brussels, Lausanne, Beirut and elsewhere. His works were also exhibited in Moscow with French art exhibition. Many canvases by Jansem were placed in the museums of Europe, USA and in individual collections.

For the first time Jansem visited Armenia in 1973.

In 2001 Jansem again visited Armenia by the invitation of Kocharian the president of the Republic of Armenia. He donated his 34 canvases entitled “Genocide” to the Armenian Genocide Museum and Institute.

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