NEW YORK — When the prestigious Madison Avenue art gallery Rosenberg & Co. announced its new exhibition of the works of French-Armenian artist Léon Tutundjian, who stands among the pioneers of the 20th century abstract expressionist movement in Europe — the team at AGBU Arts saw a connection.
According to AGBU Arts Director Hayk Arsenyan, the opening of a New York art exhibition dedicated to a survivor of the Armenian Genocide just one week after the ethnic cleansing of Armenians from Artsakh would surely have special meaning to the Armenian community. The next step was enlisting the AGBU New York Special Events Committee, otherwise known as NYSEC.
This dynamic group is well connected to both the New York cultural scene and the AGBU community and, for over a decade, has successfully showcased Armenian talent at some of the most prestigious venues in the city, while raising funds for university level arts scholarships in the process. Current members include: Anita Anserian; Nadine Ariyan; Betty Cherkezian; Nila Festekjian (Chair); Linda Gezdir; Maral Hajjar; Hilda Hartounian; Maral Jebejian; Vesna Markarian; Sossy Setrakian and Vera Setrakian.
However, this year, the committee immediately agreed to help raise funds to support AGBU humanitarian relief efforts, given the crisis in Armenia and recognizing it was time to remind the world of the triumph of the Armenian spirit over adversity and catastrophe, as exemplified by Tutundjian’s own backstory.
On November 8, over 40 guests assembled at the elegantly appointed two-story space that the Rosenbergs moved into in the 1940s. Often described as resembling an aristocratic Parisian apartment, it was a fitting venue in which to honor the late Paris-based Tutundjian, whose genius parallels iconic artists the likes of Calder, Kandinsky, and Klee. His works remain on display through December 22, 2023.