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Bazhbeuk-Melikyan Alexander

A painter and graphic artist, participant of the the Tbilisi avant-garde life in the 1910-1920s, Alexander Bazhbeuk-Melikian was born in Tbilisi in an Armenian family and spent  all his life there.

In 1910 he graduated from the Tbilisi Nikolai Sklifosovsky school of painting and drawing and continued his studies in Moscow at the  Meshkov Studio and later at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg.

In 1910-20s Bazhbeuk-Melikian took active part in  the  Tbilisi avant-garde life. He worked together with the Futurist poet Kara-Darvish, modernist painters David Kakabadze, Elene Akhvlediani, Lado Gudiashvili, as well as  Blue-horn-order poets -Titsian Tabidze and Paolo Iashvili. At that time he was prolific in graphic design and illustrations collaborating with many journals.

 In 1917 he returned to Tbilisi from Petersburg  and started teaching  at the workshop of Mose Toidze (1911-29), and  the Tbilisi Academy of Arts.

The main area of his art is painting, created by impulsive, dynamic brush-strokes that reveal the style of a sophisticated colorist. His motifs and characters – acrobats, circus performers and nudes – reflect the physical fitness and bodily perfection  of the material world. The artists was influenced by   the outstanding colorists of the 18th-19th centuries, French romantic artists and impressionists.  Alexander Bazhbeuk-Melikyan was extremely modest; He rarely took part in exhibitions; In 1936, he was accused of formalism and refusal to paint a portrait of Stalin and was consequently expelled from the Union of Artists. Although he was reinstated as a member in 1938, he had  already sought to  stay apart from public life. He  was man of principle: once he destroyed his paintings because they  were praised by a person  unacceptable to him. He even burned his works  when he couldn’t find a proper place to store them.  All the time he  kept only 111 pictures.

He died in 1966 in Tbilisi.


Alexander Bazhbeuk-Melikyan
Date of Birth1891Date of Death1966Share