Garo Antreasian Rugs
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Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on February 16, 1922, Garo Antreasian was of Turkish ancestry. His parents came to the USA to escape the Armenian genocide of 1915. A fortuitous relationship with Miss Bard, an art instructor at Arsenal Technical High School, led him to a life-long fascination with the art and technique of lithography, a method of printing. The lack of available material on the subject would have frustrated many, but it compelled Antreasian to seek out every morsel of information he could discover. A German immigrant, who was a professional lithographer in Indianapolis, was a source of information in his quest to learn all he could about the art form. The genesis of his love for lithography is recounted in his autobiography, ”Garo Z. Antreasian: Reflections on Life and Art,” published in 2015.
After high school, Antreasian continued his study of art and earned his BFA from the John Herron School of Art, in Indianapolis, in 1948. He, eventually, returned and served as an instructor for a brief time. During World War II, he served as an artist in the Coast Guard. He was an eyewitness to an attack on the Allied navy by kamikazes and the invasion of Okinawa. After the war, he used the financial award from the Mary Milken Award for Travel and Study to move to New York. He spent two years studying printmaking at the Art Students League under Will Barnett and Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17.
In 1960, he worked with June Wayne and Clinton Adams and established the Tamarind Institute of Lithography, dedicated to the revival of Fine Art Lithography, in Los Angeles CA. He served as the first Technical Director and master printer. In 1970, the Institute relocated to Albuquerque. It was renamed the Tamarind Institute and became part of the University of New Mexico where it continues its work in the advancement of lithography.
Four years later, he became a member of the faculty in the art department at the University of New Mexico where he remained until his retirement in 1986. Throughout his long career, he continued to travel and lecture. In 1971, he collaborated with Clinton Adams and wrote “The Tamarind Book of Lithography: Art and Techniques.” The book was internationally acclaimed and contributed to his growing reputation.
A lifetime of distinguished artistic achievement included an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Indiana / Purdue University, Indianapolis; Visual Artist Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Annual New Mexico Governor’s Award. He was a Fulbright Fellow and Visiting Artist to Brazil and served as a member of the National Academy of Fine Arts in New York. Among his numerous accomplishments, he worked with the president of the Cincinnati based company, Permanent Pigments, to develop Liquitex, a paint he helped develop to meet his unique needs.
Today, his artwork is on display in many of the most prestigious museums across the United States of America including the Albuquerque Museum of Art; University of New Mexico Art Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art in NYC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Smithsonian American Art Museum; Brooklyn Museum; Art Institute of Chicago; Guggenheim Museum; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Library of Congress.
Antreasian remained with the University of New Mexico as professor emeritus where he continued to produce innovative works of art some of which are exhibited at the Garo Antreasian: Systematic Abstraction at Gerald Peters Gallery.
After a full, rich life as a lithographer and painter, Garo Antreasian died, at the age of 96, on November 3, 2018.