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Sirak Melkonian

b. 1930 Iranian-Canadian

Born in 1930 in Tehran, Melkonian had held solo shows in Tehran, Paris, New York and Los Angeles, and has participated in a great number of group exhibitions of international stature since 1950, including the Venice Biennale, 1958; the Paris Biennale 1959; the Contemporary Iranian Artists Exhibition, New York 1971; the Basel International Art Fair, 1975; the International Exhibition at the Grand Palais, Paris 1976; the Exhibition of Contemporary Artists at the Salon de Montrouge, Paris, 1977; Wash Art 77 (the Washington International Art Fair, 1977) FIAC ’77 International Contemporary Art Exhibition at Grand Palais, Paris, 1977; Group Exhibition (a Collection of Art Works by Canadian Armenian Artists), Montreal & Ottawa, Canada, 1990; Iranian Artists Group Exhibition, Paris, 1990; a group exhibition at the Armenian Community Centre, Willowdale, Ontario, 1995; Contemporary Iranian Artists Exhibition at the Saad Abad Palace, Tehran, 1995. Since 1992 he has lived in Toronto, Canada.

Biography

Sirak Melkonian is considered to be one of the founders of the Iranian-Armenian modern art movement, and is a true pioneer of Iranian modernism.
Melkonian is well known for his abstract paintings, often of a topographical nature, but began his career, like many other painters, using figuration as his primary stylistic trait in his drawings, prints and paintings. He then began experimenting with other Iranian modernists, as a reaction to the older generation of Iranian artists.
His figurative works drew attention to his art and brought him the Imperial Court Prize at the Tehran Biennale in 1958 for his works, including his linocuts. His figurative works were appreciated and found at the Paris Biennale (1959), Venice Biennale (1958), after he had previously won the Contemporary Iranian Artist Exhibition of the Iran American Society (1957).
In the early 1960’s Melkonian began focusing more specifically towards abstraction in his work, and became a leading figure in the Iranian art scene, due to his successes at home and internationally. In 1961, Melkonian was part of the exhibition hosted at Saderat Bank in Tehran (alongside, Marcos Grigorian, Bijan Saffari, Sohrab Sepehri, Manucher Sheybani and Parviz Tanavoli) which drew the support and attention of Iranian arts patron Abby Grey.
Melkonian founded the Azad Art Group in the early 1970’s, with some other important artists living and working in Iran at the time. They were introduced formally at the Tehran International Art Fair in 1974, pushing the boundaries and understanding of conceptual art and installation works in Iran.
Sirak Melkonian has exhibited his work in over 140 exhibitions worldwide, from Tehran to Paris, New York to Yerevan. His works can be found in major public and private international collections; such as the Niavaran Palace, TMoCA, and LACMA.

Exhibitions
    1950Group annual show, Iran-USSR Society, Tehran
    1954Group show, "Contemporary Artists Show", Mehregan Club, Tehran
    1956Group show, "Contemporary Iranian Artists Show", Abiaz Palace, Tehran
    1957Group show, "Contemporary Iranian Artists Show", Iran-America Society, Tehran
    1957Solo show, Estetic Gallery, Tehran
    1958Group show, Venice Biennial, Iranian Artists Section, Italy
    1958Group show, "Contemporary Artists Show", Abiaz Palace, Tehran
    1959Group show, Paris Biennial, Iranian Artists Section, Paris
    1961Group show, "Contemporary Artists of Iran", Headquarter of Saderat Bank, Tehran
    1962Solo show, Iran-India Culture Relation Society, Tehran
    1965Group show, "The 50th Anniversary of the April 24", Saba Gallery, Tehran
    1966Travelling show, "Contemporary Iranian Artists",
    1967Group Show, "Contemporary Iranian Artists Show", New York
    1971Group Show, "Contemporary Iranian Artists Show", Pakistan
    1973Group Show, "Contemporary Iranian Artists Show", West Germany
    1973Solo Show, "Zarvan Gallery", Tehran
    1974Selected works show of "Contemporary Iranian Artists for the Occasion of F. Pahlavi's Birthday", Seihoon Gallery, Tehran
    1974Group show, Azad Artists Group, International show of Iran-France, Tehran
    1974Group show, "Contemporary Iranian Artists Show", The 3rd Art and Culture Gallery, Tehran
    1974Group show, "Contemporary Artists Show for the Occasion of Asian Games 1974", Art Culture Gallery, Tehran
    1974Group show, "Annual Show of Contemporary Iranian Artists", Ministry of Art & Culture, Tehran
    1975"Retrospective Show" of Iranian Artists, Iran-America Society, Tehran
    1975Group show, "International Show", Basel
    1975Second show of Azad Group, Art and Culture Gallery, Tehran
    1975Selected works of Iranian and international artists, Saman Gallery, Tehran
    1976Solo show, Odermatt Gallery, Paris
    Solo show, Odermatt Gallery, Paris
    1976Group show, The 5th Show of Azad Group, Saman Gallery, Tehran
    1976Group show, Selected works of Iranian and international artists, Saman Gallery, Tehran
    1977International show, Wash Art 77 Contemporary, Washington
    1977FIAC 77 Art Contemporain, Grand Palais, Paris
    1977Show of "Contemporary Artists", De Montrouge Hall, Paris
    1977Show of "Contemporary Artists", Zand Gallery, Tehran
    1978Solo show, Zand Gallery, Tehran
    1981Solo show, Athen
    1983Solo show, Gorky Gallery, New York
    1986Solo show, PM Collection, Los Angeles
    1987Solo show, Studio Café, New Port
    1990Group show, "Iranian Artists", Paris
    1990Group show, "A Collection of Artworks by Canadian-Armenian Artists", Montreal & Ottawa
    1995Group show, "Contemporary American Artists Show", Baghoomian Gallery, New York
    1995Show of "Canadian Artists", AGBU Centre, Toronto
    1997"Arvest 97" Contemporary Armenian Artists Show, Central Library, Los Angles
    1997Solo show, AMV Graphic Organisation, Toronto
    1999Group show, "Nature in Iran's Contemporary Painting", Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran
    2000Show of "Contemporary Iranian Artists", Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran
    2000Show of "Canadian-Armenian Artists", Canada & USA
    2001Solo show, Bay Side Gallery, USA
    2003Show of "Canadian Contemporary Artists", Arta Gallery, Toronto
    2004"A Selection of Iranian Contemporary Art over Three Generations", Armenian National Gallery, Yerevan
    2004Solo show, Arshel Gorky Art Gallery, Toronto
    2004Group show, Lazar Gallery, Tehran
    2004Group show, Arta Gallery, Toronto
    2006Group show, "To the Memory of Momayez", University of Tehran, Tehran
    2006Solo show, Mah Art Gallery, Tehran
    2006Show of Iranian Contemporary Painters, "East of Imagination", Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
    2007Show of contemporary Iranian artists , Tehran
    2009Group painting show, Mah Art Gallery, Tehran
    2010Group painting show, Mah Art Gallery, Tehran
    2011Group show, Mah Art Gallery, Tehran
    2013Group painting show, Mah Art Gallery, Tehran
    2015Solo Show, "Sirak Melkonian’s Seven Decades of Painting", Ab-Anbar Gallery, Tehran
    2015Solo show, "Sirak Melkonian’s Seven Decades of Painting", Aria Art Gallery, Tehran
    2015Group show, "Show by Pioneers of Visual Arts ", Art Centre Gallery, Tehran
    2016Group show, Sohrab Art Gallery, Tehran
    2016Group show, "Group Show by Iranian Masters", E1 Art Gallery, Tehran
    2017Group show, "Special Sale of Shams Art Gallery Collection & Iranian Contemporary Artist's Works",
    2017Group show, "Fifty-Year: Works by 50+5 Artists", Seyhoun Art Gallery, Tehran
    2018Group show, "Free Sale", Tarahane Azad Gallery, Tehran
    2018Group show, "100 works 100 artists", Golestan Gallery, Tehran
    2018Group show, "Painting Show", White Line Gallery, Tehran
    2018Group show, "Shabtab 4", Azad Gallery, Tehran
    2019Group show, "Summer Show ", Mah Art Gallery, Tehran
    2019Group show, "Iran Print", Meem Gallery, Dubai
    2019Group show, "2018 Collection Selling", Haan Gallery, Shiraz
    2019Group show, "10 - 20 - 30", Azad Art Gallery, Tehran
    2019Group show, "Negar Masterpieces", Negar Gallery, Tehran
    2020Group show, "Connoisseur's Look", Negar Gallery, Tehran

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