2015 is a busy year for Sarkis. Under the curatorship of Defne Ayas, director of Witte de With (Rotterdam, Netherlands), at the 56th Venice Biennale Sarkis created an installation titled “Respiro” for the Turkish Pavilion.
Also with the framework of the Venice Biennale, this time under the curatorship of Adelina Cüberyan von Fürstenberg, he was included in the exhibition Armenity which brought together the most talented artists from the Armenian diaspora in the Armenian Republic. The Pavilion was the winner of the Golden Lion this year.
Until 1 November, Sarkis is also a guest at the 14th Istanbul Biennale under exhibition curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, who directed the last Documenta.
As from 24 September, the Fondation Boghosian is hosting the work of two major artists from contemporary Armenian culture to exhibit at Villa Empain in Brussels: Sarkis, who was born in Istanbul in 1938 and the filmmaker Sergueï Paradjanov, who died in Erevan in 1990.
As a tribute to Sergueï Paradjanov, Sarkis has elaborated an installation that he intended should closely resemble the atmosphere of Paradjanov’s films. The exhibition, he says, “should create links between our respective works”. “If [visitors] know my artistic language, my use of rugs and kilims, they will look at Paradjanov’s work through my voice […] the atmosphere of the exhibition should have a nomadic or vagabond feel like the camp of a caravanserai, like in Paradjanov’s films*”.
In January 2016, the Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Brussels will take over from the Fondation Boghossian by presenting a solo exhibition by Sarkis for the first time in Belgium for twenty years**.
For that occasion, the artist will exhibit a new series of works linked to Edvard Munch’s The Scream. He will also present new Kintsugi, in which Sarkis revisits the Japanese technique of restoration that appeared in the fifteenth century, which consists of repairing damaged porcelain pieces using lacquer dusted with powdered gold.
Lastly, on the third floor of the gallery he will present the follow-up to his “Vitraux des Innocents”. This is of particular importance to Sarkis as it introduces his conception of “easel stained glass”, small compositions made from stained glass that render the technique independent of architecture for the first time. It should be remembered that in 2001 Sarkis created large stained glass works for Silvacane Abbey and in 2004 for the priory of Saint-Jean-du-Grais.
These works, highly praised by critics, established Sarkis as one of the most important artists to work with stained glass in the twenty-first century, reinstating it as a medium of importance.
Sarkis avec Paradjanov
24 September – 24 January 2016
VILLA EMPAIN – Fondation Boghossian
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 67, 1050 Brussels
Sarkis, IK. 141 4.3.2003 (à Paradjanov), 2003. Watercolor on glass on photo stained glass frame, Alsace late XIX.