Narine Isajanyan

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Earth Tones

Works of Two Abstract Expressionists

LOS ANGELES--Recent works by two Armenian artists living in Los Angeles, Lucy Hagopian and Narine Isajanyan, are currently on exhibition at the Don O'Melveny Gallery. "Earth Tones" showcases the works of two abstract expressionists who were raised on different continents (Narine from Yerevan and Lucy from Caracas), yet their work reflects on the Earth as environment and universe; their images resonate with the dissonances of modern consciousness struggling against the eternity of nature. Both have painted with soil, sand, rock, metal, wood and tar, mixed in acrylics with a bent toward deep terrestrial and oceanic colors.

Narine Isajanyan returns to Don O'Melveny Gallery for a fourth time with work that is expressionist, minimalist, and conceptual by turns. Whether on canvas, paper, board, wood, or actually made of metal, her pieces become abstract landscapes that are as fluid within as they are consistent and organic as a whole.

Her most recent large scale canvases are painted with acrylic mixed with sand, earth, metal shavings (even kitty litter). Reminiscent of Pollock's free use of space, they create bold unified fields energized by swirling movements of muted color under multiple layers of grays and blacks. Like the universe expanding in every direction without a center, her elements are nevertheless so harmonic as to create a single 'minimalist' impression.

Many of Narine's very latest pieces almost recreate the feeling of lunar landscapes. Yet without intending to represent the natural world, without 'rational interference' in the spontaneous building of form on form, her images reflect the processes of nature responding within her. She is not imagining scenes from the some parallel world--she is creating that world.

Included in "Earth Tones" will be two of Narine's works made exclusively from metal. On one piece, a spiraling steel cylinder crawls across an iron grid like a silver snake. Another shining rectangle of sheer steel, scraped in abstract patterns as if worn down by nature, is focused on a centerpiece of nails, their nail heads projecting out in a rectangle of their own. Thus hard industrial force and its sense of violence are transformed into a still life of beautiful, even serene balance.

Located in the heart of the Avenues of Art Design on Melrose Ave in West Hollywood, CA, the Don O'Melveny Gallery features original modern, contemporary work with a lean to the abstract. From cutting edge to blue-chip, emerging to internationally recognized, the Gallery posses a wonderfully eclectic mix of fine art.