GABO (GABRIEL MANOUKIAN)
1957 Born in Yerevan, Armenia
1974-1978 Studied at the Panos Terlemezian Arts College, Yerevan
1987 Graduated from Yerevan State Institute of Fine Arts Theatre
Since 2015 Gabo holds the title of Honorable Artist of Republic of Armenia
1989 Moscow, Russia
1999 Damask, Syria
1999 Sophia, Bulgaria
2000 London, England
2003 Los Angeles, USA
2003 Moscow, Russia
2004 Zurich, Switzerland
2006 Paris, France
2007 Rome, Italy
2010 Beirut, Lebanon
2010 Yerevan, Armenia
2011 UNESCO Palace, Beirut, Lebanon
2011 Contemporary Art, Istanbul, Turkey
2012 Grand Opening of a New Art Center of Arame Art Gallery, Yerevan, Armenia
2012 “Symphony of Colors”, Beirut, Lebanon
2013 10th Anniversary of Arame Art Gallery, Yerevan, Armenia
2013 Selected Art Works, Beirut, Lebanon
2013 “Sensual Revelations”, Beirut, Lebanon
2014 Selected Art Works 2014, Vienna, Austria
2014 “Beauty in the Palm”, Beirut, Lebanon
1980 Yerevan, Armenia
1984 Moscow, Russia
1993 New York, USA
1998 Yerevan, Armenia
1999 Sophia, Bulgaria
2004 Los Angeles, USA
2005 Yerevan, Armenia
2009 Los Angeles, USA
2013 National Center of Aesthetics, Yerevan, Armenia.
What I remember from geometry is; “Every straight line is shorter than a curve one”. Creativity is the hardest yet the only dignified path in art to follow. Any turns to the left or to the right are equally unacceptable. The background has changed, the decoration and the cast but it has remained unchanged in its essence.Still there is a bunch of gifted young people of art currently working in Armenia. It makes no sense speaking about their welfare as it doesn’t exist at all. Today, an artist has to rely on his own fate. But there are two sides of the coin…
Lives of the new generation artists have quite a lot in common. Fortunately, this is not true for their works. The training period is usually considered as a preparatory, preliminary stage.
Gabriel Manoukian has gone through numerous trials and attempts up to surrealism and abstraction. His paintings suggest an impressive intellect of a man who is well informed about the latest tendencies in Modern Art. His shortened name, Gabo, is quite known both in Armenia and abroad. The first impression from his works is a kind of a sudden shock. Are they illustration for some unknown fairy-tales or fantastic stories? However, they are neither. Although, the paintings do sound incredible and fantastic. It is easy to perceive Gabriel’s creations also because he has no forefathers in the national art, and it looks like there won’t be followers either.
Gabriel is a joyful man and a confirmed optimist. No surprise, one of his series that never halts like a perpetual engine, is entitled “Ha-ha,hee-hee!”. He lives with that very instant, and this is what makes his art so attractive. I have never been present at this instant of creation in his studio. But I have a feeling that when he is left alone to create his images, he is chatting and laughing with them. In other words, he is never alone in his solitude.
Gabriel’s imagination has no boundaries. The volcanic style of his everlasting creativity is just amazing. His kingdom is inhabited by fancy creatures, but these are not some strangers from other planets. They are familiar people of the Earth presented in a strange , unusually exaggerated interpretation. Easily and freely runs Gabriel’s non-verbal dialogue with representatives of flora and fauna.
The only thing one might scorn Gabriel for, is his excessive insatiability for dreams, which are never compatible with his possibilities. And this holds true for whatever he does. He constantly reconstructs and re-designs his small apartment on the eight floor. He is just unwilling to accept the reality that whatever “extension” is made the space will never be increased.
In one single painting he tries to solve all the problems of his imaginative creatures who are no less greedy than himself. He resembles them, he loves them, and they love him as well. This is a positive greed. Irving Stone gives this concept a precise and well-grounded definition , a “Quest for Life”