John Haig Hovnanian (1921-2013) was born in Constantinople, Turkey of Armenian parents that survived the Armenian Genocide. They made their way to America in 1923, and settled in the Boston area. He emerged from a background of everyday experiences and endeavors that surrounded the human condition, and forged into a world that included an abiding love of art. He studied art at the New England School of Art in Boston.
The practical artistic experience of John Haig Hovnanian began in lithography in Boston, MA. He was thus employed prior to going into military service (WW2) with the U.S. Army Combat Engineers which included campaigns in Saipan and Okinawa. At the end of the war, he was transferred to an Army Topographical Unit in the Phillipines. After leaving military service in 1946, he continued his studies for a time at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
From that period on, there was woven into his artistic fabric a diversity of graphic art experiences and the various challenges inclusive to the art field. At one point he served as Art Director with a Massachusetts publications company, from where he moved on to head his own commercial design studio in Boston. While he spent the better part of his life in the field of commercial graphics, he had also devoted considerable time painting several major works including this mural entitled America . . .
He retired from the field of commercial graphics in the early 1990’s, but continued in his pursuit and love of painting. During his 70’s and 80’s, he devoted most of his time and energy in that endeavor. He found himself fascinated by the challenges inherent in the field of classical art in particular, and the experiences he faced were indeed demanding, uplifting and deeply euphoric.
With years of retrospection and study of the works of renowned individuals in the world of fine arts, John Haig Hovnanian had fostered an affinity to the Florentine masters beginning with Giotto, to the strength of a Michelangelo, to the traditional of a Monet, and in the modern mode, to an early Picasso.
As a painter, with a lifetime of professional experience in the art field, with countless activity related to that calling, there emerged a personal style of visualization. Through the force and focus of ideas, with images wandering and parading before the mind’s eye, the development and delineation of serious elements of design and composition were realized on canvas.
(America: 70″x162″ / Oil on Canvas / 1988)
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