CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Transformations of “Girl with the Pearl Earring”

Exhibition: 9 November 2013 - 2 February 2014

Information from the museum, 6 November 2013

The exhibition presents 33 looks of an Armenian painter Narek Avetisyan on “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer van Delft of 1664. The exposition shows not only the artist’s personality but also a large part of European modern art tradition. The display consists of a variety of conventions: from classicism to cubism, fauvism and expressionism. Creating a series of paintings, Avetisyan was inspired by masters of worldwide painting: Hieronymus Bosch, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Kazimierz Malewicz, Joana Miró, as well as Armenian artists: Martiros Saryan, Ahot Hovhannisyan and Ervand Kotchar. In effect, the project gives the possibility of learning the most specific techniques and streams of art history presented in an interesting form, full of humor.

Creating “33 Transformations of Girl with the Pearl Earring”, Narek Avetisyan attempted to show spiritual character of art and physical forms it can take by referring to Plato’s idealism and the simulacrum conception: „I think that art is virtual simulation. Plato determines simulacrum as »an accurate copy of the original which had never existed«. A copy of a copy. I am trying to find out how this thought is reflected in art. On one hand, we can see it as the original, on the other, as realization of the original within the artwork, and even a primary idea turned into copy. In this context the art history may be viewed as one great simulacrum. The 33 pictures of Girl with the Pearl Earring, which are based on artworks by renown painters, are not original in their conception, but in this way I wanted to create a project which, embracing styles and tendencies typical for painting, will match the simulacrum idea, quoting Plato and Glaucon: »[…] we simultaneously see one thing as both unity and indefinite multiplicity«”.

Narek Avetisyan was born in 1969 in Armenia. He graduated from Panos Terlemezian Art College and Fine Art Academy in Yerevan (Faculty of Painting). Avetisyan is one of the most influential artists of post-Soviet Armenia. He represents the first generation of artistic avant-garde. He is co-founder of artistic group „Act”, following the motto: “New State, New Art”. Since 2011 he is a member of the Union of Armenian Artists. He lives and works in Yerevan.