Edward Avedisian (1936-2007), is an American artist who was known for mixing the hot colors of Pop Art with the cool, more analytical qualities of Color Field painting. Avedisian was among the leading figures to emerge in the New York art world in the 1960s. Avedisian was instrumental in the exploration of new abstract methods to explore the primacy of optical experience, breaking from the tactility of Abstract Expressionism.
Avedisian was born in Lowell, Massachusetts and attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Upon moving to New York City, he joined the dynamic art scene in Greenwich Village, joining a new generation of abstract artists who were exploring the limits and possibilities of art by experimenting with new techniques and ways of organizing pictorial space.
By 1963, Avedisian had transitioned to a hard-edge approach, portraying primarily large striped circles that were placed in, and turned in, different directions within the picture plane, creating challenging eye movements for the viewer. In the late 1960s, Avedisian enlarged the scale of his canvases and began to use a verticalized emphasis in paintings consisting of overlapping, irregular swaths of rich color.
After leaving New York City in the mid-1970s for Hudson, New York, he shifted his attention to figurative images, painting his surroundings in an expressionist style, and creating colorful abstract sculptures out of Styrofoam. He also broke out in new directions, painting representational scenes from his immediate environment, such as men at work, billboards, and couples in repose. His later work has been described as having a disarming directness and a furtive sense of narrative.
Avedisian’s work may be found in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Chrysler Art Museum, Norfolk, Virginia; the Denver Art Museum; the Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan; the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas; the Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; the Los Angeles County Museum, California; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Minneapolis Institute of Fine Arts, Michigan; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California; the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York; the Portland Art Museum, Oregon; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Stamford, Connecticut; the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor; The Wadsworth Museum, Hartford, Connecticut; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.