Petros Hovhannes Malayan was born in 1927 in Baku to the family of Armenian refugees from Kars (Western Armenia), he studied at Leningrad Art Academy (1945-1947) and graduated Yerevan State Art Institute (1947-1951) with honors. He was invited to stay and teach drawing. His first solo exhibit took place in 1966 at the halls of Artist Union of Armenia, the artist’s works were exhibited in Latvia, Chechoslovakia, Poland, Mongolia, Cuba, Russia as well as in Belgium and Italy (Rome, 1963). In 1971 he represented Armenia at the Szczecin-71 Art Biennale and took part in International Symposium “Copernicus Road” organized by Olshtyn’s Union of Artists (Poland). He was presented with a honorary medal for his participation. Petros Malayan was awarded for his participation in aquarelle exhibitions by a diploma from Artist Union of USSR.
Working mainly in the spectrum of portrait and compositional works, he also devoted some of his time to illustrative and printed graphics. He illustrated an impressive collection of books by Armenian as well as foreign writers. His art works are defined by precise drawing technique, a tasteful color palette and great taste in aesthetics. Whatever the subject, his works show refreshing excitement about contemporary life and his love for depicting the average ‘working-class’ man. He crossed many roads and byways, from Kadjaran on the Arpa-Sevan construction project, to the shores of Enisey and Siberia. Travel gave the Artist new perspectives and impressions – with every new meeting and at every new point of arrival.
Petros Malayan's watercolors were a unique phenomenon in the art scene of Soviet Armenia of the second half of the 20 century, when most painters chose oil colors as the medium of expression. The geography of his aquarelles is astounding - stretching from Armenian highlands to Russian Siberia, Yenisey river and reaching the cathedrals of Krakow and the streets of Bucharest. Frequent participant of the annual aquarelle exhibitions organized by Soviet Union of Artists in Moscow, Petros Malayan was a member of the "Commission on Aquarelle", where he represented Armenia.
Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts was founded in 1945, with Petros Malayan being among it's first graduates. His alma mater becomes his temple of knowledge, exchanged daily with the eager to learn students. Being one of the eldest members of the teaching staff (1951-1993) at Yerevan State Art Institute, Petros Malayan have taught three generations of aspiring art students. The golden years of the 60th, 70th and 80th gave the chance for the school to mature, creating inspiring environment for art studies. However the cold winters of dark 90th forced the Institute to shut its doors thus ending the brightest period of studies of art in the Soviet Armenia. The legacy of his teaching lives on in best of his students among which are Tigran Asatryan, Vardan Voskanyan amd Tigran Akopian. His contemporaries testify to his commitment to fundamental approach toward art studies, in particular to academic drawing. Having himself passed the superb drawing school of Repin Academy of Art in Leningrad, he demanded nothing less of his students, teaching them to treat drawing as an analytic tool, a tool to visually 'dissect' the object. He would not pass an opportunity to draw alongside his students, to let them learn from direct example.
Petros Malayan’s works are exhibited in the National Art Gallery of Armenia, various museums in Russia, Bulgaria, Poland and can be found in some private collections. Artist’s collection counts over 300 aquarelles, portraits and graphic works. His first post-mortum retrospective exhibition opened in Yerevan, Armenia in 2001.
† Petros Malayan died of a stroke on the 17th of March, 1997, and is buried in Kibuttz Einat cemetery, near Rosh-Ha-Ayin, Israel.
Artworks by Petros Malayan can be found at www.15levels.com/PetrosMalayan
December 1967. An Exhibition of Pedros Malayan’s works - Organized in the House of Armenian Artists.
Pedros Malayan was born in 1927 in Baku. From an early age, he developed a love for art. In 1941, he started his education in Art School, in which he studied until 1945. For the next two years, he continued studying in the Leningrad Academy of Fine Arts, and in 1947 moved to Yerevan, Armenia. He continued his study there until graduation in 1951.
Since 1951, Pedros Malayan was a member of the Armenian Union of Artists. Since then he was exhibited frequently at home and abroad. In 1957, his works were exhibited at an International Festival of Youth in Moscow, and in 1963 at an international exhibition in Rome, Italy. In 1965, his works were shown in Mongolia.
Throughout the 1950s, Pedros Malayan successfully combined his own creative work with teaching at the Yerevan State Institute of Arts. He gave lectures to young students on methods of teaching drawing, and on the importance of drawing as the base component of any art.
Working mainly in the spectrum of portrait and compositional works, he also devoted some of his time to illustrative and printed graphics. He illustrated an impressive collection of books by Armenian as well as foreign writers.
What is exceptional about Pedros Malayan’s work is what it shows about his sharp eye and natural talent, combined with his exceptional determination and persistence. His art works are defined by precise drawing technique, a tasteful color palette and great taste in aesthetics. Whatever the subject, his works show refreshing excitement about contemporary life and his love for depicting the average ‘working-class’ man.
He crossed many roads and byways, from Kadjaran on the Arpa-Sevan construction project, to the shores of Enisey and Siberia. Travel gave the Artist new perspectives and impressions – with every new meeting and at every new point of arrival.
In this exhibition, the works presented encompass portraits, landscapes, and compositions - largely from the "My Homeland" series, executed in watercolor, tempera, and pastels, as well as charcoal, sangina and lithographic pencil.
The Artist’s currently illustrates the Armenian folk epic "David of Sassun", from which several works are presented. The present exhibition shows the tremendous potential of the Artist, and will certainly be a stimulating endeavor for his future works and successes.
Return of Noa... G. Shimon. "Vesti". 31.01.1996 *Translated from Russian.
Temper in painting is usually the result (or the cause) of temper in life. Pedros Malayan does not ask questions, he simply lives and works in his rhythm of life. The search for impressions always stimulated the artist to travel, carrying heavy canvases, files with drawings and water-colors, he traveled most of Russia, from Kavkasus to Karelia, from Baltic sea to remote Tuva. His personal exhibitions opened in Armenia and Russia, Bulgaria and Poland, his art has been widely recognized by critics and art lovers, his students in Yerevan Art Institute followed every word of their beloved teacher.
And then, leaving the "warm nest", he and his family again went on the road, this time, from the footsteps of Ararat, where Noa first stepped down from the Ark, to the promised land, coming alive after the flood. Not long ago, a resident of Yerevan, today he lives in Bat Yam (city near by Tel Aviv, Israel), still full of creative and inspiring energy, he strives to to reflect the new surroundings, the beautiful land. In his paintings and drawings we recognize streets of Tel Aviv, charm of old Jaffa, quiet corners of ancient Jerusalem, meet the vibrant Arab market. Master of portrait, Pedros carefully chooses his models, it is the human character which fascinates him so much.
Not any artist is capable of everything, but Pedros Malayan can do a lot. He paints and draws landscapes, city or nature, still-lifes, portraits, figurative compositions and book illustrations. However his works have at least 2 qualities. First, his active stand as an artist, his very personal attitude, the temper which we spoke off.
Secondly- it is the professionalism. Malayan has an incredible drawing technique and not less impressive taste in color, many years of serious learning and training in the art schools of Yerevan and Leningrad. Someone might think we are talking about regular stuff, but the academic school, which was the base for all innovations during centuries, in our time is almost lost, moreover, the supporters of post-modernism mostly dismiss it as unnecessary and even "dangerous". But it's not easy to confuse Pedros. Despite all the arguments against traditional realism in art, he maintains his view: an artist must know his craft, have strong knowledge of the laws of nature, plastic anatomy, but above all: be a thinker.
To work, Pedros doesn't need anything, but canvases, paint, paper and brushes. However as for any artist he needs to be shown, needs to know that there is a demand for an incredible amount of knowledge and great artistic taste he carefully collected during his long life. As any artist who was forced to immigrate he needs our care and support.
The Artist , 1976, Moskow File:Http://15levels.com/pm/photographs/1976Moskow.jpg
- http://www.15levels.com/PetrosMalayan - Artworks by Petros Malayan