Sonia Balassanian | Untitled | 2016 | Acrylic on canvas | 190 x 145 cm
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Sonia Balassanian

Sonia Balassanian b.1942 (Armenian, Iranian, American) is a multimedia artists based in New York and Armenia. She holds a BFA from the joint program of Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Balassanian has exhibited widely, including MOMA NY and the Armenian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and is perhaps best known for her work focussed on identity and human rights activism. Her works vary from video arts to installations, drawings and paintings. Her videos often present endless chain of suffering, endurance, trauma and anonymity of the human condition and the infinite cycle of casual, impersonal death. Her drawings and paintings, however, demonstrate a more lyrical side of her work, referencing both the vast landscapes of her Iranian birthplace and her practice as a writer and poet. Balassanian describes them as ‘gestures of writing’, a calligraphy of brushwork resembling breeze through fields or streaks of rain, conveying an aura of awe and reverenceThese serene works have a kind of inner rhythmic choreography - of latent motion viewed from a quiet, stand-still place of contemplation.