Gallery 125 Bellport Presents Arthur Pinajian

“THE UNLIKELY DISCOVERY THAT ROCKED THE ART WORLD”

Gallery 125 in Bellport, NY presents a selection of the “discovered” work of painter Arthur Pinajian (1914-1999) October 4 through November 10, 2014. Fifteen rarely seen pieces will be exhibited, thereby, providing the public and collectors an opportunity to view and acquire important paintings by a man who died in obscurity but who, through fortuitous circumstances, has been rediscovered and reclaimed by the art world.

In March 2013 in a story heard round the world, hundreds of news outlets reported the extraordinary value experts had placed on the Arthur Pinajian collection. First discovered in a Bellport garage in 2007, this extraordinary cache required years of cleaning, archiving and scholarship to prepare the canvasses for exhibition. ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” featured the story as “the unlikely discovery that rocked the art world;” ABC’s ”20/20” reported that "Art experts decree Pinajian deserved to be called one of the great undiscovered geniuses of the Modern Art Movement” and the New York Times devoted two lengthy articles to Pinajian, including coverage of the first, very successful, exhibits in New York City in 2013.

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"No.412" by Arthur Pinajian, ca.1980's. Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 24 inches.

"No.412" by Arthur Pinajian, ca.1980's. Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 24 inches.

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As a boy growing up in an Armenian community in West Hoboken, N.J., Pinajian was a completely self-trained cartoonist. During the Depression, he became one of the pioneers in a new medium: the comic book. In 1940, he created “Madam Fatal,” the first cross-dressing superhero, for Crack Comics. After World War II, he enrolled at the Art Students League in Woodstock, N.Y. Although he knew a number of the New York Abstract Expressionists, such as Franz Kline and Philip Guston, he was largely reclusive. For 22 years his life revolved around Woodstock, NY while he pursued his painting. Late in life, he moved with his sister to Bellport Village, Long Island. There, in a tiny bedroom-studio he strived to answer questions regarding flatness and color posed by the Abstract Expressionist movement.

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"No.4533' by Arthur Pinajian, 1964. Oil on canvas, 29 x 36.5 inches.

"No.4533' by Arthur Pinajian, 1964. Oil on canvas, 29 x 36.5 inches.

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After his death in 1999, five decades of accumulated artwork were found stacked up in the property’s one-car garage. Eventually, the renowned art historian, Dr. William Innes Homer, examined Pinajian’s lyrical abstract landscapes and figurative paintings.

Dr. Homer wrote: “Even though Pinajian was a creative force to be reckoned with, during his lifetime he rarely exhibited or sold his paintings. Instead, he pursued his goals in isolation with the single-minded focus of a Gauguin or Cézanne, refusing to give up in the face of public indifference. In his later years he could be compared to a lone researcher in a laboratory pursuing knowledge for its own sake. His exhaustive diaries and art notes make it clear that he dedicated all of his days to his art. He was passionate and unequivocally committed.”

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"No.3868" by Arthur Pinajian, 1960. Oil on canvas, 36 x 50 inches.

"No.3868" by Arthur Pinajian, 1960. Oil on canvas, 36 x 50 inches.

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Over the years since the discovery, art historian Peter Hastings Falk has led a project team in the research of the artist’s life and work. Today, as Pinajian Estate Collection Chief Curator, Falk is a guiding presence in the exhibition, collection and published works on the paintings of Pinajian.

Located at 125 South Country Road in Bellport, Long Island, NY, Gallery 125’s fall hours are:  Fridays, 5 pm - 8 pm; Saturdays, 11 am - 8 pm; Sundays, 11 am - 2 pm, or By Appointment. For information, visit www.gallery125.org; phone Gallery 125 at 631-880-2693 or email gallery125@optimum.net.

Continue scrolling to view select images from the exhibition.

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"No.423" by Arthur Pinajian. Oil on canvas, 21.5 x 27.5 inches.

"No.423" by Arthur Pinajian. Oil on canvas, 21.5 x 27.5 inches.

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"No.4684" by Arthur Pinajian, 1963. Oil on canvas, 25 x 31 inches.

"No.4684" by Arthur Pinajian, 1963. Oil on canvas, 25 x 31 inches.

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"No.317" by Arthur Pinajian, 1960. Oil on canvas, 16 x 22 inches.

"No.317" by Arthur Pinajian, 1960. Oil on canvas, 16 x 22 inches.

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BASIC FACTS: The Arthur Pinajian Survey exhibition will be on view from October 4 to -November 10, 2014 at Gallery 125. The gallery is located at 125 S. Country Road, Bellport, NY 11713. www.gallery125.org. For information, email gallery125@optimum.net.

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