Gregory Lima. Elina Melikyan

Gregory Lima

A New Yorker, Gregory Lima went to Tehran in 1958 to start Kayhan International, which became, in its heyday, the leading English-­language news­paper in the Middle East. He remained with Kayhan, first as editor, then as special correspondent and critic, through its demise in the revolution of 1978–79. He is the author of The Costumes of Armenian Women (Tehran, 1974) and other titles. He holds a master's degree from the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science at the New School for Social Research. He shares his time between Patterson, New York, and Yerevan.

Author's articles

Dale Chihouly's Persians installation in Gallery One of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. Mkhitar Khachatryan

Light and enlightenment at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts

Dec 04, 2009: Jaroslava Brychtová in our conversation volunteered that her sculpture seemed to love the light in Armenia, taking on hues and expression with a distinct personality it had not had elsewhere. She included in this observation pieces that are in Armenia but not yet on exhibit. This is an observation that only she could offer and I,was fascinated by it, Gregory Lima reports.  more...

No one does mountains like Martiros Saryan - unless they are copying Saryan. He gives to the Armenian landscape a beautiful lyric quality that is more attitude than actuality, and more precious because of it. We live inside our own feelings, Saryan is telling us, and what these feelings are can be the essence of shared art.

Martiros Saryan’s illustrations are a “front door to art”

Nov 27, 2009: When the great artist Martiros Saryan returned to Armenia from Paris in 1928, all his new Parisian work mysteriously disappeared in a fire in transit. The great writer Yeghishe Charents advised him that in the social climate in Armenia at the time, it would be best for now to leave what passes as modern art to Paris. Instead, he called on Saryan to illustrate books that Charents, as head of the state publishing firm, would publish. Gregory Lima looks at the artwork that Saryan created.  more...

Michael Kimmelman, author of The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa, speaking at Khanjyan Hall, Cafesjian Center for the Arts, Nov. 8, 2009. Mkhitar Khachatryan

“Madison Avenue” on an escalator

Nov 14, 2009: It seems what Gerard Cafesjian sought in Yerevan was Madison Avenue on an escalator, a traffic-busy, elegant avenue of top-notch art galleries, Gregory Lima writes. He discusses a talk at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts by Michael Kimmelman, the chief art critic of the New York Times, who suggested that art is where you find it, and you as spectator become participant, helping to define and create it.  more...

Jaroslava Brychtová with Gerard L. Cafesjian by Dale Chihouly's installation, Persian. Chihouly was among the students of Stanislav Libenský, Ms. Brychtová's husband. Mkhitar Khachatryan

When glass has a mind of its own

Nov 14, 2009: "The light in Yerevan is not normal," the sculptor of glass Jaroslava Brychtová, exclaimed. Some of the work she and her late husband Stanislav Libenský did collaboratively is on display at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts in Yerevan, and she is fascinated by the new colors emerging in the work in Yerevan's light. Maria Titizian and Gregory Lima spoke to the artist.  more...

Middle Panel "Vardanank"
Mural/Triptych at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts in Yerevan. First conceived by Khanjyan as a set of giant tapestries to be woven in France for the Catholicos's residence at Etchmiadzin, the work was received with popular acclaim when the original tapestries were completed and hung in place in 1985. Khanjyan was determined, however, to bring his murals to a more accessible public forum. In his travels he had been profoundly influenced by visiting Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and by the revolutionary murals in public spaces of the Mexican artists Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros - particularly Siqueiros. In the last years of his life, in failing health and with dimming eyesight, he climbed the scaffolding at the Cascade, painting alfresco a new version of his famous Vardanank (center panel), the battle in 451 where Prince Vardan Mamikonian fought the Zoroastrian Persians to retain Armenian Christianity. Khanjyan conceived of the struggle as ongoing to the present day. In the right panel, he incorporated the emergence of independent Armenia.

Grigor Khanjyan’s mural tells the story of Armenia

Nov 09, 2009: Grigor Khanjyan spent a large part of the last eight years of his life on a scaffold with his color box and brushes in a broad hall allotted to him in Yerevan's Cascade. Here he painted al fresco the vast triptych that is his final masterwork.  more...

Armenian carpets serve as a major source of inspiration for the design of the formal gardens at the Cascade. Vincent Lima

The flower garden at the Cascade

Oct 30, 2009: The flowerbed arrangements at the Cafesjian Sculpture Garden at Tamanyan Park are works of art in themselves. Gregory Lima talks to the chief gardener.  more...

“Fernando Botero’s Roman Warrior has quickly become a favorite for naughty young girls to stand beside him and have a picture taken” (1985–86, bronze). Vincent Lima

A walk in the park

Oct 30, 2009: Felicity is what has happened to urban architect Alexander Tamanyan's park at Yerevan's soaring Cascade when it embraced the Cafesjian Sculpture Garden, Gregory Lima writes. High culture, the Cafesjian collection in the park seems to tell us, can also speak softly and be fun for the young – and also for the not too old.  more...

Hakob Hakobyan, in contrast to Minas Avetisyan, whom he admired, living and painting through the same Soviet period, sees bareness, confusion in the cultivation of the land, and an emptiness of meaningful work and life. Elina Melikyan / Armenian Reporter.

The walls have tongues

Oct 16, 2009: There is the old adage, Be careful what you say, "the walls have ears." But at Yerevan's Museum of Modern Art, the reverse appears to be true. To this visitor, the walls seemed to talk as if they had tongues.  more...

Untitled, 1931, pencil on paper, 33 x 27 cm. An embryonic figure holding a package seems to be emerging from Gorky's pencil, mundane and yet mysterious. Gorky would often make dozens of exploratory sketches in developing an idea . Arshile Gorky / Gerard L. Cafesjian Collection

The Arshile Gorky exhibit in Yerevan

Oct 01, 2009: Part of the visible legacy of Arshile Gorky, born Manoog Adoian, came back to Yerevan this week in 23 carefully wrapped packages, Gregory Lima writes.  more...

Untitled (to Andre Breton), 1945, black, yellow, red ink and tempera on paper, 36 x 26 cm. This is a mature surrealist work of Gorky at the height of his power in the mid-1940s. It is a tribute to Andre Breton, the intellectual father of surrealism, who had become his close friend and who hailed Gorky as the most important American artist of the time. Arshile Gorky / Gerard L. Cafesjian Collection

Five clues to Arshile Gorky’s work

Oct 01, 2009: Arshile Gorky was to become one of the four pillars of Armenian modern art, standing with Martiros Saryan, Hakob Hakobyan, and Ervand Kochar, Gregory Lima writes. Of the four, he is the least understood, cut off by tragedy at the moment he had finally achieved the breakthrough into a wholly original style of international importance.  more...

Nectar Munro’s second-grade class at St. Gregory Armenian School. Gregory Lima

The ten classes of Armenian

Apr 09, 2009: The St. Gregory Armenian School in White Plains brings the Armenian language and culture to life while students forge lifelong friendships, Gregory Lima reports.  more...

A landscape by Natalia Koncharova. She was among the leading innovative artists of the period, part of the groups that called themselves the Jack of Diamonds and later Donkey’s Tail. Some of her most memorable work was in her period as a cubo-futurist and later as a set and costume designer with the Russian ballet in Paris. Elina Melikyan

The early decades of the Russian avant-garde are on display in Yerevan

Feb 25, 2009: The Russian Art Museum at the foot of the Cascades in Yerevan is a major resource in the study of late-19th-century and 20th-century Russian painting. Beyond that, it has a quirky interest all its own, Gregory Lima writes.  more...

The story of Aryuts Mher is depicted in this still-to-be-named painting by Hakob Hakobyan. Grigor Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

A signature perspective

Feb 25, 2009: Gregory Lima is grateful for Maria Titizian's interview with the distinguished artist Hakob Hakobyan.  more...

An interruption by Mkrtich Nazaryan, taken at Yerevan’s Cascade. The well-barbered hedge serves as a stage where both a camera and a cell phone intrudes. Mkrtich Nazaryan

Table Talk and Photographs

Jan 09, 2009: Gregory Lima visits an exhibition at the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art. There he looks at the recent work of a wide selection of Armenia’s current crop of young artists, and finds much of the work fresh, feels deeply engaged the entire time, and comes out pensive and smiling.  more...

Fr. Karekin Kasparian shows elements of St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church in White Plains, N.Y., to Abp. Torkom Manoogian, former Primate (now Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem) and Abp. Khajag Barsamian, Primate.

“God’s greatest gift”: White Plains parish celebrates the tenth anniversary of its church

Dec 01, 2008: On this December 6, St. Gregory the Enlightener Church at White Plains in suburban Westchester, N.Y., celebrates the tenth anniversary of its consecration. Its strength, its freshness, and perhaps its mission lies in the fact that it was a true community of Christians, even when at times it had no place else to meet but in a synagogue, Gregory Lima writes.  more...

An artist exhibiting at the Yerevan Vernissage is delivering a framed canvas to the buyer’s taxicab. Elina Melikyan

Yerevan's weekend art bazaar

Nov 25, 2008: Gregory Lima explores the Vernissage, an outdoor weekend fine arts display and sale that is a feature of Yerevan’s cultural life. You may bump into a freshly painted Goya. You will also find views of Mount Ararat to your heart’s content. There also are noteworthy artistically original contemporary paintings that may delight you, all at generally affordable prices.  more...

Martiros Saryan, Self-portrait: Three Stages of Life, 1942. Oil on canvas, 97 x 146 cm .

Martiros Saryan: The poet of Armenian sunshine

Feb 09, 2008: "Should you be in Yerevan on a gloomy day, a day when for you, troubled, the sun has remained behind clouds and perhaps much is not as it should be, I recommend you go see Saryan’s paintings over at his house," Gregory Lima writes. "If you respond to his work the way I do, you might come out with a suntan."  more...

This is a TO map drawn with the north at the left. The lower – southern – hemisphere is shown as being devoid of life but the northern – left – hemisphere is shown divided into the three continents of Asia (top), Europe (bottom left), and Africa (bottom right) in the manner of a TO map. Armenia is shown in northeast Asia. From Isidore’s (560–636 C.E.) Ethymologiae, originally written during the seventh century.

An inch from paradise

Nov 17, 2007: Gregory Lima reviews "an adventure in history that is Rouben Galichian's sober, scholarly, readable 'Historic Maps of Armenia'" along with Galichian's "Countries South of the Caucasus in Medieval Maps."  more...

The late Marcos Grigorian shown at the hall housing his paintings, Earthworks, installations, and extensive collection of regional cultural artifacts. Hovik Malians for the Armenian Reporter

Marcos Grigorian: Back to the earth

Oct 20, 2007: Travel with Gregory Lima in the quirky world of Marcos Grigorian.  more...






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