Der Haroutunian, Arto
Born in Syria in 1940, Arto Der Haroutunian was a celebrated polymath who notably earned critical recognition for his prowess in a range of diverse specialisms, including architecture, writing and painting. Above all, it is his painting which continues to stand as testimony to a unique individual whose artistic practice transcended painterly convention. As a result, his work is recognised for its originality and the development of a distinctive personal style which acknowledges the cultural influences of both East and West, neither sublimating the other. Having resettled in the North West of England, Arto’s work looks back to his roots whilst acknowledging contemporaneous contexts. His work is associated with a strong use of line and colour and is notable for a vitality and freshness which exudes a modern resonance.
A respected figure amongst his artistic peers in the North, the lack of a conventional Art school background meant that he was able to avoid any stylistic constraints, thus allowing him the freedom to create his own singular and distinguishing modus operandi. A debut show in Manchester was followed by a successful series of exhibitions at home and abroad. His works are now held in important private collections in Britain whilst it is also represented in galleries across Africa and the Middle East. A new generation of collectors are continuing to stimulate interest in, and engagement with, an extraordinary figure whose art continues to be relevant, pertinent and challenging.