Zarouhie Abdalian

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Zarouhie Abdalian
Born1982 (age 36–37)
Known forSite-specific art
AwardsSECA Art Award

Zarouhie Abdalian (born 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana)[1] is an American artist of Armenian descent. She creates site-specific sculptures and installations.[2] She is a 2012 recipient of the SECA Art Award.[3]

Abdalian's first solo exhibition in New York, at Clifton Benevento, presents a constellation of subtly altered found objects that echo the features of the gallery and of each other. Abdalian's works have consistently explored liminal zones, from her simulation of broken glass on the windows of her graduate school building to reflect the dilapidated surrounding neighborhood, to her timed light installation in an abandoned storefront for the 2013 Shanghai Biennial. Born and raised in New Orleans, Abdalian is particularly attentive to the ways in which historical processes are embedded in physical transformations of spaces.[4]


Abdalian obtained a bachelor of arts from Tulane University in 2003 and graduated with a master of fine arts from the California College of the Arts in 2010.[5]


Abdalian produces site-specific sculptural works and interventions. Prior to focusing on her site-specific work, Abdalian worked in printmaking and painting. She became more interested in working directly with the elements of space after a 2004 exhibition in a non-traditional venue.[6] Her works respond directly to architectural and outdoor spaces, using sound, light, and other natural forces to create subtle experiences that are open to multiple interpretations.[7]

She had a 2013 show called "Zarouhie Abdalian / MATRIX 249" at the Berkeley Art Museum, with sculptures that are sensitive to the exhibition space. The sculptures were set up to use the out-of-the-way location of the gallery and aspects of the walls and space as part of the effect of the art.[8] In 2013 she also installed a sound sculpture, "Occasional Music", in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, with brass bells that occasionally ring together out of sight.[9][10]


Her work has been included in the following group exhibitions:

She has had solo exhibitions of her work at the following venues:

  • "Zarouhie Abdalian: A History," Altman Siegel, San Francisco, 2017[11]
  • "Work," LAXART, Los Angeles, 2017[12]
  • "A Betrayal," Clifton Benevento, New York, 2016[13]
  • "An Overture," Altman Siegel, San Francisco, 2014[14]
  • "Zarouhie Abdalian / MATRIX 249," Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2013[15]


  1. ^ "Zarouhie Abdalian". Exploratorium. 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
  2. ^ "Zarouhie Abdalian". Clifton Benevento. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
  3. ^ "2012 SECA Art Award". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  4. ^ Pocock, Antonia (May 2016). "Zarouhie Abdalian: First Look". Art in America.
  5. ^ "A Site to Behold: Works by Zarouhie Abdalian". California College of the Arts. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  6. ^ Glass, Liz. "When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes: Will Rogan, Amalia Pica, and Zarouhie Abdalian" (PDF). San Francisco Arts Quarterly.
  7. ^ Tatum, Charlie (March 8, 2018). "Altering the Everyday: An Interview with Zarouhie Abdalian". Pelican Bomb.
  8. ^ Brown, A. Will (October 23, 2013). "Zarouhie Abdalian / MATRIX 249". Art Practical. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  9. ^ Seikaly, Roula (August 11, 2013). "Until I Die There Will Be Sounds: Zarouhie Abdalian at Berkeley Art Museum". KQED. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  10. ^ Baker, Kenneth (September 13, 2013). "SFMOMA displays artworks in diverse settings". SFGate. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  11. ^ "Zarouhie Abdalian: To History". Minnesota Street Project. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  12. ^ "Zarouhie Abdalian: Work". LAXART. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  13. ^ "Zarouhie Abdalian: A Betrayal". Clifton Benevento. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  14. ^ "Trio of Artists Finds Innovative Home in New Mills College Residency". Business Wire. 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  15. ^ "Zarouhie Abdalian / MATRIX 249". Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Retrieved 2018-03-18.