September 28, 2023 - December 22, 2023
Rosenberg & Co. is pleased to present Léon Tutundjian, the first American solo exhibition in nearly forty years of the artist’s remarkable work. Tutundjian was an Armenian artist who fled genocide and ultimately became a prominent member of the Parisian avant-garde. The exhibition brings together forty-eight works that span the artist’s diverse oeuvre—ranging from his earliest Cubist collages and Bauhaus-inspired watercolors to his Art Concret reliefs and paintings. Together with the Fondation Léon Tutundjian, we are pleased to present the cerebral and cosmic work of this pioneering artist.
Léon Tutundjian was a consummate artist of the European inter-war period. Born in Amasya, in what was then the Ottoman Empire, Tutundjian arrived in Paris in the early 1920s. Like many artistic émigrés in the French capital, Tutundjian studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, participated in annual exhibitions, such as the Salon des Indépendants, and immersed himself in a social circle of fellow artists. Tutundjian’s early works are well represented in the exhibition, with abstract works on paper, biomorphic paintings, Cubist collages, and austere, monochrome relief sculptures, all of which carry a clear artistic sensibility.
In the 1930s, he was notably a founding member of both Art Concret and, later, Abstraction-Création, with whom he exhibited his works of geometric and lyrical abstraction to much acclaim from his peers. Tutundjian resigned from Abstraction-Création by 1933, however, in order to explore a figurative, Surrealist style. While he explored this style wholeheartedly through the 1950s, he also retreated from the public sphere and exhibited these works infrequently. Included in the exhibition is a Surrealist canvas from 1950, which adeptly highlights Tutundjian’s exacting and enigmatic style of this period.
Tutundjian returned to abstraction in the 1960s, revisiting his previous style with a renewed interest in the universe and scientific research. Together in this exhibition, Tutundjian’s paintings, works on paper, and reliefs are testaments to the artist’s prescient understanding of the 20th century avant-garde, as well as his deep and universal knowledge of the cosmic world in which he inhabited.