Curated by Peter Hastings Falk
OPENING RECEPTION Thursday, February 1 at 7 pm
February 1 – March 17, 2018
Gallery Hours: Tues/Wed/Fri 12-5 pm, Thurs 12-7 pm, Sat/Sun 2-5 pm (Closed Mondays, 3/2-4 and 3/11)
At one time destined for destruction in the town dump at the direction of its creator is a body of work that has enjoyed international attention since its salvation—from articles in the New York Times and The Telegraph to a segment on Good Morning America—and will now be shown in OSilas Gallery at Concordia College. Although the artist died in obscurity and found little commercial success in his lifetime, works by Arthur Pinajian (1914-1999) are now highly valued by collectors as evidenced by sales in recent years.
In 1999 Arthur Pinajian died an unknown artist whose obsession with art—creating it, thinking about it, writing about it—consumed his life. He devoted himself to art and created thousands of works on canvas, paper and any other surface on which he could paint or draw. When he died, he left behind stacks of canvases in a dirt-floor garage and the attic of his sister’s home in Bellport, Long Island. The artist had left instructions for his collection to be discarded in the town dump, but, fortunately, Lawrence E. Joseph, the best-selling author of Apocalypse 2012, bought the Bellport cottage 2006 after Pinajian’s sister died and rescued the collection just in time.
Ten years ago, Professor William Innes Homer (1929-2012), a former Dean of the Association of Historians of American Art, was asked by Mr. Joseph to examine a large collection of abstract landscape and figurative paintings by the highly gifted hermit artist who was completely unknown in his lifetime. Soon a team of art historians was conducting research into the life and art of Arthur Pinajian.
Homer stated, “When Pinajian hits the mark, especially in his abstractions, he can be ranked among the best artists of his era.” The Pinajian Discovery: An Artist’s Life Revealed features over 30 of Pinajian’s abstract landscapes from both Woodstock and Bellport, New York, the two primary locations where he painted, and covers the period from 1958 to 1994.
Homer concluded, “When all is said and done, this oeuvre is important both because it represents an artist’s life in its totality and because within it is found a prize legacy that will endure for posterity.”
This exhibition will feature over 30 of Pinajian’s abstract expressionist landscapes, as well as materials illustrating a life dedicated to art. The works on show cover the period from 1958 to 1994.