Flora Bigai Arte Contemporanea gallery opens an exhibition of works by Armen Agop

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Flora Bigai Arte Contemporanea gallery opens an exhibition of works by Armen Agop
The new body of work readdresses the constant subjects present in Arment Agop’s art, and puts an emphasis on the phenomenon of time - time required to do the work, passing time, but also - time eternal.

PIETRASANTA.- Egyptian artist of Armenian descent, Armen Agop, will showcase his latest works in a solo exhibition at Flora Bigai Arte Contemporanea gallery this summer. Vernissage is on July 3, 2021, and the show will run until August 17, 2021. Titled “Taking Time”, the exhibition will feature his latest spiritually charged sculptures and paintings, curated by Luca Beatrice, a renowned Italian curator.

The new body of work readdresses the constant subjects present in Arment Agop’s art, and puts an emphasis on the phenomenon of time - time required to do the work, passing time, but also - time eternal.

“For me, [the act of creation is] more like sharing my time, or part of my life, with the stone. I hope and try to reach a kind of mutual agreement, where neither the stone nor I impose on the other,” said Armen Agop about his work.

“I think that today the artist tries to rediscover his vocation, and it takes time. For me the process of sanding and polishing is to cancel out the working marks, my traces, my ego, myself until it becomes an independent entity,” he noticed.

Along with his transcendental sculptures, Armen Agop created a series of paintings translating the concept of his three-dimensional works into a flat form. Similar to praying, his creative process remains purely meditative - repetitive, neverending, based on the artist’s instinctive need to create.

“They may seem very different but I think that what unites the latest works of painting and sculpture is the element of time because the time passed during the working process corresponds to the raw material, granite,” the artist said about his paintings.

In an intense conversation with the exhibition curator, Luca Beatrice, the artist recounts his ideas about time, transience, energy, and matter of his chosen material, referring to nature as the starting point. “Coming from Egypt, when I say nature, in my mind I see the vast emptiness of the desert,” he said, and stated, “The desert is a visual point of view for me.”

The curator used this final sentence as the title for the catalog interview text he conducted with Armen Agop, in which he discussed the current perceptions of time, the concept of time in the artistic sense in general, and in particular, in the context of Armen Agop’s work.

The severe lockdown in Italy unlocked the new inspirational plane within Armen Agop. He used this time to explore new depths of the physical, intellectual, and spiritual dimension through his naturally solitary creative process, always adhering to his primal, immortal beliefs.

Curated by Luca Beatrice, prominent Italian curator of contemporary art, the exhibition at Flora Bigai Arte Contemporanea will feature a selection of new Armen Agop’s sculptures and paintings. The show is accompanied by a catalog containing insightful curatorial text and a collection of images.

Armen Agop, (1969) is known for a meditative technique that enriches his creation process. Born in Cairo, Egypt, he apprenticed with painter Simon Shahrigian, before studying sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Helwan University in Cairo. After graduation in 1992, he won a research scholarship at the same university. He exhibited across Egypt and in 1998 he won the Sculpture Prize Autumn Salon. In 2000, he won the Rome Prize, a prestigious international award. After moving to Europe, Agop has been increasingly present on the international art scene, exhibiting across Asia, Middle East countries, and Europe. In 2010 Agop won the Marcello Mastroianni international prize and in 2013 he was awarded the Sulmona Prize, the Presidential Medal of the Italian Republic. Armen Agop currently lives and works in Pietrasanta, Italy. His works are displayed at the Museum of Modern Art (El Cairo), and at the Open Air Museum in Aswan (Egypt), at the Coral Springs Art Museum in Florida (USA), Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, and the Mathaf, Museum of Modern Arabic Art in Doha (Qatar).

Luca Beatrice, (1961) is a renowned Italian art critic, curator, and professor. He is the author of multiple books on art, such as "Nati sotto il Biscione" (Rizzoli 2015), "Robot" (24ore cultura, 2016), "Per i ladri e le puttane sono Gesù Bambino. Vita e opere di Lucio Dalla" (Baldini Castoldi, 2017). He curated multiple significant exhibitions, some which are "Andy Warhol" at Palazzo Ducale in Genova, "Edward Hopper" at Vittoriano in Rome, "Crossroads" at Mauto in Turin, "Dai '60 ai '60" at Museo del Risorgimento in Turin. A professor at Accademia Albertina Belle Arti e IAAD in Turin, he also writes regularly for Il Giornale, Art Tribune, Tuttosport, and Linkiesta.

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