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Figure is their forte

Artists depict human form in paint and sculpture for Pasadena Society’s 83rd Annual Exhibition at Brand Library Art Galleries.

March 29, 2008|By Ani Amirkhanian

The human figure is a common theme in the work of two area artists who will be participating in the 83rd Annual Exhibition of the Pasadena Society of Artists at Brand Galleries.

The show, which opens today, will feature about 60 pieces of artwork from different artists including Victor Picou, of Burbank, and Norik Dilanchyan, of Glendale.

The feminine figure is prominent in Picou’s work. His 300-pound carved limestone sculpture is making its debut at the gallery. The sculpture is of two abstract blossoms with a female figure emerging in the middle.

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“I think I’m pretty close to nature and my work is expressed in human form and gesture,” Picou said. “I like to connect with that.”

The sculpture, titled “A Tribute to Georgia O’Keeffe,” pays homage to the artist who was known for her large representations of flowers in her paintings, Picou said.

“She painted them large so people could see them,” he said. “Flowers are a metaphor and they have been a theme in my work.”

For Dilanchyan, a classical Renaissance-style painter, the human figure is also a thematic element in his work.

Dilanchyan’s painting, “Rome” tells the story of Romulus and Remus, the traditional founders of Rome in Roman mythology. The two brothers were said to have been nursed by a wolf.

The oil painting is that of the two children and the wolf. The wolf, which represents their mother, is drawn as a human female, he said.

“There are a lot of human figures involved in the paintings,” Dilanchyan said. “I strongly believe that the greatest creation in the universe is the human form especially the female form.”

Both artists, who are members of the Pasadena Society of Artists, will be displaying their work at Brand for the first time.

Brand Galleries provides the ideal setting for artists to show their work, said Larry Rodgers, president of the Pasadena Society of Artists.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be there,” Rodgers said. “It’s a very good venue and this is the kind of thing we’ve been looking for to help establish the prominence of local artists.”

The juried exhibition will have artwork of a variety of mediums including, graphite, charcoal, etchings, sculptures, photography, oil, acrylics and watercolors.

The Pasadena Society of Artists will be giving three merit awards and three honorable mentions to artists who have been selected for recognition.

Walter Askin, professor emeritus at Cal State Los Angeles and an artist himself, is this year’s juror.

“I look for quality no matter what direction the artist is going,” Askin said.

The opening reception and awards ceremony for the exhibition will be on April 6 with an expected turnout of about 200 people, Rodgers said.

“The main purpose of the show is that we present the work of our members in a gallery situation,” Rodgers said. “These are mostly new and emerging artists so it’s to give the public an opportunity to see the work of these artists.”


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