March 27, 2010

Galerie Anais Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90404

T. 310.449.4433 Hours tues-sat 11am-6pm

Jean Kazandjian

Exploring the Depths of Perception: the Revealed and the Unseen

April 17, 2010 – May 19, 2010

Opening Reception and Artist Lecture: Saturday April 17, 2010, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Santa Monica, CA - Galerie Anais is pleased to present: Exploring the Depths of Perception: the Revealed and the Unseen, a solo exhibition by Jean Kazandjian.The selection of works in this two-part exhibition emphasizes the multiple layers of Kazandjian’s work, ranging from the three-dimensional screen paintings to playful interpretations of American popular culture. Not tied to a single form of expression or a dominant art movement, Jean Kazandjian embraced the freedom of his own visual journey while living in Paris. Since moving to Southern California, the interplay of surrealism and popular culture has become an ongoing part of his work.

In Venus dancing with M., the largest painting in the first show at Galerie Anais, Kazandjian mixes the classical sensuality of the European reclining nude with silhouettes of Mickey Mouse, the ultimate image of American popular culture. With a playful expression, a modern Olympia beholds the consumer kitsch of the new world. As Kazandjian once said, “My work constantly rouses and goads the demons of illusion and absurdity.”

In his screen paintings, Kazandjian creates an intriguing depth through the interaction of shadows and silhouettes. Since the early nineties, the artist has been placing an almost imperceptible screen about an inch and a half away from the painted canvas. If we look closely, we notice that the screen carries its own painted image, and as we move our gaze across the dual-imaged surface, we are slowly able to perceive the one image through, with, and in the other. From this sudden, subtle depth perception, a 3rd and 4th dimension appear to emerge, creating a marvelous illusion and the possibility of seeing in new ways. Kazandjian describes the evolution of the process: “Things don’t have to appear immediately. I want to show a part of it so someone can discover the rest.”

Jean Kazandjian moved to Paris in 1963 during the height of the artistic revolution of the 20th century. As a consequence of the Diaspora brought on by the Armenian genocide in Turkey, Kazandjian’s family of Armenian descent lived in Beirut, the city often referred to as the “Paris of the Middle East.” Discovering his creative voice in the real Paris, Kazandjian’s paintings evolved in an ongoing engagement to transcend the boundaries of perception. This evolution has continued in a multitude of dimensions since the artist moved to California in 2000.

Kazandjian’s collectors span the globe and his work has been shown widely in Europe U.S., Canada and Japan both in public institutions such as The Brooklyn Museum, New-York, Musée de l’Athénée, Geneva, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Musée du Surréalisme, Melun, Sursock Museum, Beirut and private galleries such as Galerie Jeanne, Munich, Galerie d’Orsay, Boston and Galerie Furstenberg, Paris. The artist currently lives and works in Venice.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 320–page, fully illustrated, hard cover book containing his body of work from the last ten years.