Yervand Kochar (1899-1979) was a painter, master of sculpture, painting and graphics, a representative of symbolism and the avant-garde.
He was born in Tiflis (now Tbilisi, Georgia) on 14 (26) July in 1899 in the family of an official. He is Armenian by nationality. He took a great interest in drawing during the years of study in Nersesyanovsk seminary. He studied in the School of Painting and Sculpture (1915-1918) under the leadership of E. Tatevosyan. In 1918 Kochar reached Moscow and entered the Free artistic workshops (future Vkhutemas), where he studied under the leadership of Pyotr Konchalovsky. He returned to Tiflis (1919) and then went to Constantinople (1921), lived in Venice (1922-1923), where he taught drawing at the school in the Armenian Monastery of St. Lazarus. Since 1923 he lived in Paris. In 1936 he moved to Yerevan.
Already in his early works, as well as in the works of the period when he lived in Paris his symbolist addictions became apparent in enlarged- monumental, muted and mysterious in tone figure compositions and still lifes, expressing “eternal themes” of human existence (De profundis, 1919; Family – generation, 1925; both works are in the Picture Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan; Girl with an apple, 1926, Private collection, Yerevan). Returning to the historical homeland Ervand created his main graphical masterpiece, the cycle of illustrations for the heroic epic Sasuntsi David (1939, National Gallery of Armenia, the latest edition – 1982), with monochrome gouache, mimicking the ancient reliefs of Assyrian-Babylonian type beaten with time. He created a lot of memorial sculptural portraits of the official type (of composer T. Chukhajyan made of plaster, 1946, Musical Comedy Theatre, Yerevan and others). Over the years Kochar more actively acted as a sculptor-monumental (Eagle of Zvartnots –a symbolic pointer to the ancient temple, made of bronze, 1955). His best works in this area are considered to be the monuments of David of Sasun (1959) and of Vardan Mamikonyan (the leader of Armenians in the battle with Persians at Avarayr’s field, 5., 1964; both are made of copper, coinage, they are established in Yerevan).
During the thaw- stagnation period he firmly returned back to the avant-garde searches of his youth, developing them in even more unconventional and boldly- experimental manner. Combining features of Futurism and Surrealism, he created a dynamically-“baroque” pictoral and graphic compositions (Horrors of War, 1962), as well as a special kind of “space paintings”, three-dimensional, but at the same time rich in bright color accents (Girl in the balcony, 1960).
Kochar died in Yerevan on August 21 in 1979.
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