araxie kutchukian,  modern art

Beyond By Araxie Kutchukian with Mark M. Whelan

Araxie’s body of work questions the boundaries of reality, exploring notions of space, the surreal and the potential of the found image, evoking a sense of disquiet and nostalgia.

After studying painting at Wimbledon College of Art, Araxie’s first commission took her to Armenia. Inspired by her experience as the Costume and Set Designer of ‘Sayat Nova’ opera in Yerevan, her work has been influenced by the functions of the stage and the contrived environment that it creates, as well as the visual signature of Eastern European theatrical folk characters and traditional costumes. Within her work, contemporary interiors contrast with the rich and dramatic Armenian landscape of her cultural heritage.

Araxie appropriates lost forgotten photographs and redundant images, adapting and re-contextualising them to a perceived environment. With a great fascination for the found image, she collects a changing display of foraged postcards, old photographs, images from contemporary design magazines and from the internet, and refers to this image bank in order to source the various constructs of the painting. She also refers back to the compositions of the Northern and Italian Renaissance in order to maintain a traditional pictorial coherence, whilst simultaneously subverting it, with the intent of rejecting a logical reality.

Selecting aspects that strike her within the images she has collected, these are often not the main subject but a banal object within the image, which becomes integral to the construction of her painting. She extracts these areas, displacing them from their original time and geographical context, and transforms their functions through the manipulation of the painting process.

The work intermingles landscapes and interiors, which act as a platform, much like the stage in theatre, for experimentation with space, colour, structure, reality and abstraction. Subjects and objects ranging from interior spaces, childlike figures, toys, furniture, wheels, balls and animals, are used as props within the landscape to facilitate an alternate and unexpected reality. The “real” is under constant construction and deconstruction. Rather than being concerned with creating a formal narrative, the painting acts as a tool to hinge flows of ambiguous states.

Within her work she reveals the history of the development of the painting, and through this explicit multi-layering, she adds a sense of time and weight to the painting process.

Araxie Kutchukian (b. London, 1983) trained in Fine Art: Painting at Wimbledon College of Art, London, graduating in 2008, and now lives and works in London. Since graduating, projects and commissions include Head Set and Costume Designer for the opera ‘Sayat Nova’ at the Yerevan State Opera House, Armenia and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in association with the Southwark Playhouse. She has exhibited in both London and Armenia.

01 Aug. 2012 6.00PM – 10.00PM

02 Aug. 2012 10:30AM – 10.00PM

t: +44 (0)208 980 0556 Press Play House Admission: Free m: +44 (0)7501 828 484 10 Vyner Street, London E2 9DG

Thanks to Mark M. Whelan

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