the Art of Martin Barooshian:
Works of the 1950s
of the Print World, Summer 2001
Born in 1929 in Chelsea, Massachusetts, Martin
Barooshian has distinguished himself as an artist whose great vitality
and willingness to explore is matched only by his technical finesse.
He is a superb and accomplished printmaker having innovatively
produced in every graphics medium including woodcuts, etchings,
engravings, lithographs, and silkscreens. A comprehensive collection of his early paintings, prints,
monotypes, and drawings will be exhibited at the Julie Heller Gallery
beginning on June 22nd.
Created between 1947 and 1962, these works chronicle the
artist’s development as he devoured wildly diverse concepts and
techniques toward the development of his own mature style that can best
be described as biomorphic surrealism.
Many of these works, from the artists private collection, have
not been available publicly for over 40 years.
graduated with highest honors from the School of the Museum of Fine
Arts, having also completed a BS in Education from Tufts University, and
an MS from Boston University in Art History.
Early awards included the Albert H. Whitin Traveling Fellowship
by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and First Prize at the Boit Family
Barooshian also studied throughout Europe, including a period of
lithography study with Gaston Dorfinant in Paris.
Barooshian’s first major artistic and personal breakthroughs,
however, occurred when surrounded by the boldly risk taking members, of
the Atelier 17 while studying etching and engraving techniques with S.W.
Hayter in Paris.
First “discovered” by John Taylor Arms, Barooshian has had
numerous international exhibitions, and his works are included in such
major collections as MoMA, the Metropolitan, Boston, and the Library of
He has also served as a past president of SAGA and the vice
president of the U.S. Committee to International Association of Art
He was also Swann’s works on paper expert for a number of
|The influences on Barooshian’s development
throughout the 1950s are as diverse as his resulting work.
Gauguin inspired symbolism mingles with Renaissance Italian
mysticism and 20th century surrealism to produce a whirlwind
of creative and complex output. Consistent
throughout, however, is Barooshian’s exploration of natural forces
(creation and destruction) as well as his fascination with the
universality of the human form. He
realizes on paper and canvas a glorious world of great storms,
mythological heroes, and Faustian love affairs.
Barooshian approaches his subjects with a sense of immediacy,
sensitivity, and sophistication, and despite (and often because of) the
myriad of influences, the effect is universal and unique.
His calligraphic line and impeccably bold color sense serve to
tie together a decade of work which begs the viewer to take pause and
explore. It is an invitation to acquire a contemplative spirit and
peer into an unpredictable world filled with life affirming surrealist
fantasies and joyous abstract design.
period reflects what Barooshian feels every great artist must face, that
“an artist’s personal identity and independence from the past can
only be gained after he has saturated himself with the best elements
that art history can offer.” Only
then can breakthroughs like Picasso’s and Kandinsky’s that defy
conventional categorization be achieved.