Charles Garabedian

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Man Tearing his Heart Out, oil on linen painting by Charles Garabedian, Honolulu Museum of Art

Charles Garabedian (born 1923) is an American artist known for his imaginative paintings and drawings rich in references to Greek and Chinese symbolism. His detailed artwork reveals a deeply personal world that explores the relationship between painting and sculpture.

Garabedian was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Armenian immigrants who had come to the U.S. to escape the Armenian Genocide.[1] Garabedian's mother died when he was two and his father was unable to take care of the three children.[2] Garabedian lived in an orphanage until age nine, when he, his father, and siblings moved to Los Angeles, California.[2][3]

From 1942-1945, Garabedian served as a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force and was an aerial gunner in the European theater during World War II.[4] Under the auspices of the G.I. Bill, Garabedian studied literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 1947 to 1948.[5] He then went on to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he earned a Bachelors degree in history in 1950.[5] He received his Masters degree in 1961 at the University of California Los Angeles. He did not, however, become an artist until later in his life.

When in his forties, Garabedian began to explore the relationships between painting and drawing. His fascination with China is reflected in many of his pieces incorporating dragons and ornate grillwork and pattern. Although his most prolific period was in the late 1960s, he still continues to paint. He gave his first solo exhibition at the Ceeje gallery in Los Angeles (1963) and subsequent one man shows followed at the Fine Arts Gallery at California State University, Northridge (1974), and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1976). His group exhibitions include the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial Exhibition: Contemporary American Art, New York (1975) and others. In 1979, he was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fine Arts.[6] In 2011, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art hosted a retrospective of Garabedian's work.[4] [7]


  1. ^ Knight, Christopher. "Art review: 'Charles Garabedian: A Retrospective,' Santa Barbara Museum of Art". Culture Monster. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Charles Garabedian". Honolulu Museum of Art. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Charles Garabedian". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "The Elusive Creativity of Charles Garabedian Artist Receives Recognition in Retrospective of 50-Year Career". Press Release. Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Roug, Louise. "Under the radar". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Charles Garabedian". Fellows Finder. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ Donelan, Charles. "Charles Garabedian: A Retrospective Massive Show at SBMA Reveals Neglected Modern Master". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 

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