SAN DIEGO, Calif. — “Echoes,” a retrospective collection of works by world-renowned artist Jean Kazandjian will be on exhibition and available for acquisition at Meyer Fine Art. The exhibition opens on Saturday, November 9 and extends through Saturday, December 28. Two in-gallery receptions with the artist will take place on Saturday, November 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 10, from noon to 4 p.m.
The exhibition will feature 80 pieces of Kazandjian’s works created between 1991 and 2019. Kazandjian’s work can be seen in venerable fine art collections globally, as well as on the walls of the San Diego Intercontinental Hotel.
Kazandjian was born in Beirut, Lebanon, where he lived until his early twenties. He was influenced by a wide array of Mediterranean cultures. Of Armenian heritage, he was also exposed to French and English as a second and third language. His family had fled Turkey in 1915 at the onset of the Armenian genocide; after spending many years in Ethiopia, they settled in Lebanon in 1933. Beirut was a culturally rich and sophisticated city and was often referred to as the “Paris of the Middle East” prior to the civil war, which began in 1975. Jean is the third of five children.
Kazandjian’s origins and education brought him into contact with three different cultures. His roots are in the Armenian tradition, his high school education introduced him to French culture, while his years spent at university opened him to the influence of the English-speaking world. These various influences have combined to foster in his work the qualities of patience and sensibility, knowledge and wisdom.
After his “freshman arts” year in 1960, Kazandjian was unanimously awarded the first prize for his submission in a special competitive exhibition for tapestry, organized by the Sursock Museum of Beirut in 1962. Spurred on by his desire to become familiar with the techniques and the materials peculiar to the cultural world in which he had grown up, he embarked on studies in design. In 1968, he gained a master’s degree from ENSAD in Paris, a well-known publicly funded school for applied arts. In the aftermath of the political and social turbulence of 1968 Paris, Kazandjian came to a clearer sense of his capacities as an artist. The beginning of his career as a painter can thus be located in the year 1969. Recognition of Kazandjian’s talent in the Paris art world was immediate.
The late 1960s and early 1970s were a period during which he met painters as remarkable and as diverse as Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dali, Leonardo Cremonini, Francis Bacon and Alexander Calder. The effect of this exposure to such a diversity of influences and artistic projects was to consolidate his sense of the need to remain faithful to the artistic interrogations proper to him. Kazandjian has exhibited his works in several European countries and also in Canada and the United States.