LOS ANGELES—It is with great sadness that Tufenkian Fine Arts announces the passing of legendary artist Garo Z. Antreasian at the age of 96 on November 3. His last exhibition, A Retrospective: Garo Z. Antreasian, in October of 2017 was at Tufenkian Fine Arts. In connection with the exhibition a monograph with an essay by Peter Frank was published.
Garo’s passion for lithography and fine art began at the young age of 17, when he was a student at Arsenal Technical High School. During World War II, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard where he worked as a combat artist while onboard an LST covering the Pacific island invasions. Upon his return to Indianapolis in 1946, he studied at the Herron School of Art. After graduating in 1948, he became a faculty member at Herron. In 1948, Antreasian won the Mary Milken Award for Travel and Study. With the monetary prize that came with the award, he traveled to New York, where he studied printmaking at the Art Students’
League. His advisors were Will Barnet and Stanley William Hayter, who were instrumental in advancing Antreasian’s knowledge and skills in printmaking and lithography.
In 1960, he was appointed to Technical Director of the newly formed Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles, a pilot project to revive fine art lithography in America. In 1964, he joined the faculty in the Department of Art at the University of New Mexico and in 1970, became co-director of Tamarind Institute at UNM. He continued to teach in the Department of Art until retirement in 1986.
William Peterson, an Albuquerque-based art critic, wrote, “Garo Z. Antreasian belongs to a maverick generation in American art. He was born in 1922, the same year as Richard Diebenkorn, Grace Hartigan, Beverly Pepper, Leon Golub, Leonard Baskin, and Jules Olitski, and just a year ahead of Ellsworth Kelly, Sam Francis, Roy Lichtenstein, and Larry Rivers. This is a generation of singular artists who occupy a difficult position in the history of 20th-century art.” Peterson has gone on to state, “Although Antreasian has always been a painter of extraordinary versatility, as well as an incisive draftsman of bite and power, he is best known for his contribution to printmaking. In the 1960s and 70s, he did as much as anyone to regenerate and revolutionize the art of lithography in this country, expanding its technical range, training a new generation of master printers, and building an impressive body of brilliant and masterful prints that stand as a benchmark of achievement in the medium.”
Honors include 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 as well as a member of the National Academy of Fine Arts, New York.
Antreasian’s exhibition history spans more than 50 years. His paintings, drawings, and master prints are part of the collections of over 60 museums across the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.