Hrant Karakhanyan



1952 - Born in Yerevan, Armenia.
1982 - Graduated from the Yerevan Fine Arts and Theatre Institute.
1986 - Became  a member of the Artist's Union of the USSR.
1995 - Became a member of Artist’s International Federation.


18th October, 2005 - Hrant Karahanyan has died.





1982 - Exhibition Yerevan, Armenia
1983 - International exhibition, Moscow, Russia
1985 - All-Union exhibition of a water color. Brest, Belarus
1989 - Exhibition in Tallinn, Estonia
1990 - Exhibition in Brugge, Belgium
1992 - Exhibition in Moscow, Russia
1993 - Exhibition in Iglava, Czech
1995 - Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain
1996 - Solo exhibition in Yerevan, Armenia
1997 - Solo exhibition in Moscow, Russia
2001 - Exhibition in Milan, Italy
2001 - Exhibition devoted to the 1700 anniversary of acceptance of Christianity in Armenia
2001 - Exhibition to Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2003 - Exhibition in Paris, France
2003 - Exhibitions in Rome and Florence, Italy
2004 - the Exhibition in Moscow, Russia


Keenly feeling the inexhaustible inscrutability of the routine life Hrant Karahanyan was inevitably to become creative personality. We, the mere mortals, now and then rush past the reality with dissipated attitude towards the ambient life which, if scrutinize, is more fairy and subtle than the most exotic impression. As to Hrant, he was endowed by nature with a perceptiveness to notice something unique and magical in ordinary life and that ability gave him the reason not to hesitate over his future choice. During his school years he was interested in those subjects which helped him to reveal the secrets of visible and imaginary world. After school when Hrant got to learn painting, he began to think over the interconnection of earthly, physically visible phenomenon with its inner essence. Life variety spelled him and, no doubt,
he would never fall short of material for continuous work of mind and heart. While a student, Hrant showed tendency in fixing extremely his attention on the chosen subject and treated it according to various emotional human perceptions. The basis of his treatment was centuries-old, already established national traditions where the rational and emotional
principles harmoniously countervailed each other. And now, looking at his artworks, we see how unalterable art principles of Armenian painting school were sublimated in him, assuring us that they haven’t been disappearing within the ages but proving their tenacity and ability to multiply artist’s resource and potentials. As soon as he noticed something interesting and essential for him, he needed to trust in it, plunge into it trying to understand and feel the nature’s
Irresistible spell. And the expectance of something exciting, essential, unknown, promising happy moments defined his creative work from the first to the last day of his life.
His first works convinced at once those fond of painting that he was a unique personality. He rendered the thrill of life. His life was full of intensive work, not idealistic day-dreams. He wanted to wring out from the life stream just a tad which he would be able to treat in such a way as to make happy both himself and those who feel alike.
   After graduating from the institute, Hrant could have been lured by vast expanses of freedom with some poetic excitement or challenging innovations as it should happen to any young man with artistic taste. But he quickly, soberly and firmly circled the field of his aesthetic propensities without thinking whether it was out of fashion or contemporary. He kept himself away from the contradictory searches which could have been forgiven considering his age and tense
caused by extremely hard of those days’ moral state. His artistic tastes bent towards truth and naturalness. Without abrupt rush Hrant immediately defined the objective reality as undoubtedly existing one, available to perception and demanding treatment from the artist. The cause of his choice is the complicity of the big world, spelling by its mysteries each having its own numerous answers. The artists who served him as a source of inspiration appealed him with the rich and deep coloring, fanatic devotion to their cause and firmness in carrying out their ideals. He pronounced names of Alexander Bazhbeuk-Melikyan, Raphael Shishmanyan, Vahram Gayphejyan, Sedrak Rashmajyan, Albert Parsamyan, Edward Artsrunyan with great regard.
One of the artist’s first work presented at the exhibition was his self-portrait. Remembering that work I must mention the force and confidence of its painting. In the oval of that face one can notice the artist’s effort to hold the thought which comes up through the features formed with the help of complicated touch laying, very accurate touches, refined hues rendering the blend of sliding over the face shadows. Depicting his face, he wants to make it equivalent to its owner’s inner world. In one of his serious initial creative experience he came across with that which made the essence of his profession – to penetrate into the very inmost depth of feeling and thoughts. Style and plastic of the artist’s hand had been changing depending on the human type, especially, while treating woman portrayals. He depicts them with tender care and solicitude, paints preventing his own individual ideal of female charm - fragile, kind, full of mystery. In his wife’s portrait Hrant has chosen such a coloring combination which incites to the sense of happiness and hope - as if there are not any problems in the world or they are secondary and trifling. The same is depicted on the smooth young face which harmonic nobleness of features expresses benevolence and natural attitude towards surrounding people.
   Hrant Karakhanyan is considered one of those artists who never descends lower his already chosen high bar. Appealing to the motives of Armenian village, seemed to be conventional to our painting, he is able to reveal concealed from the eyes beauty which uncovers only to the true artists. Depicting the overt nature, the artist doesn’t merely fix all elements in the space but he dissolves them in the surroundings and in motion. The objects are hiding in some mobile and vague air of twilight, semi-darkness. The painter keenly feels the drop of lighting. When a beam of the sun suddenly shines through the thick clouds there is such a treatment of heavy light and shade on the ground that the light and shadow become tangible. Hrant enjoys painting prethunderstorm when thunder changes the lighting and alongside with it the whole scene is changed - everything gets dark around and suddenly lightened. In the background of gloomy faraway mountain hillsides the walls of the houses and churches, bridges and roads get dazzling light. And when the violet, purple and dark green hues are applied to the shadows, the lightened objects seem to become the source of light, radiating dim luminescence. The furtive states of the nature seem to be released, the prayerful stupor spreads affecting the viewer like music.


Hran Karakhanyan's works