Armen Eloyan

Armen Eloyan: C.R.P. paintings and related drawings

Tim Van Laere Gallery is pleased to present its fourth solo exhibition of Armen Eloyan; C.R.P. paintings and related drawings. ‘C.R.P.’ stands for cartoon-related painting, which refers to Eloyan’s interest in American and Western European culture, with a particular fascination for cartoons and George Herriman’s daily comic strips, whose playful atmosphere he adopted to his work.

According to Armen Eloyan a good painting is like a good joke, the pieces have to come together. With his characteristic dark humor, colorful paint and thick black contours, Eloyan reveals a dystopian world where things are thrown out of balance, confronting the viewer with existential questions. Combining influences from street art and animated cartoons with references to great pioneers in painting such as Willem De Kooning and Philip Guston, Armen Eloyan depicts a world where familiar figures are stripped from every ounce of innocence. His paintings lead us toward a universe we think we know, only to lose us there. At first sight, his figures feel familiar, like memories from our childhood. But there is something ominous about them, these originally happy figures are overshadowed by the dark side of our dystopian world revealing the darker side of humanity with an underlying sense of existential anxiety and chaos intrinsic to the current moment.

In recent years, Eloyan has also sought more abstraction in his works, where the works represent a lexicon without words, like a numerical system. Like the panoramic paintings of abstract-expressionist painter Joan Mitchell, the syntax of forms in the series expresses an emotional charge and spiritual power independent of language. In this new series of paintings, he combines both his signature figurative satire and abstraction. His gestural approach, driven by great zest, gives off a remarkable energy that generates a strong emotional charge. This new series of paintings attest to this by the way the artist's arm, as if in a state of trance, produces an exciting and frenzied repertoire of Disney characters that merge into the background of the paintings. However, his Disney figures are completely stripped of their innocence, thus Eloyan refers to our dystopian world and our human nature with our more grotesque and animalistic sides as well.

Armen Eloyan (°1966 Yerevan, Armenia) lives and works in Zurich. His work has been exhibited internationally with solo shows at Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou; Kunstparterre, Munich; Passerelle Centra d'Art Contemporain, Brest; Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, St Gallen; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; and Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London. His work is part of public collections such as M HKA, Antwerp; Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou; collection AMC, Amsterdam; The Zhiguan Museum, Beijing; Kunstmuseum, The Hague; Deutsche Bank Collection, London; The Aurora Museum, Shanghai; Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato; Collection University of Maine, USA; KUNSTPARTERRE, Munich; Olbricht Collection, Germany; By Art Matters, Hangzhou, among others.

Artists: Armen Eloyan

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