John Hovannes (American, 1900-1973)
Stone sculpture, signed and dated "1962"
Height: 17.5" (with base)
(There are traces of red paint on the sides, perhaps a flaw in the stone)
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Hovannes, an Armenian, was born in Smyrna (now Izmir), Turkey and initially educated there, probably escaping at the beginning of the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922). He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design with Albert Atkins, the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design with John Flanagan, and the Copley Society in Boston with John Wilson.
Hovannes was a member of a number of Art societies including the Sculptor’s Guild and the Audubon Artists.
Above all, Hovannes was noted as a teacher and mentor to numerous sculptors at the Cooper Union Art School (1945-65) and the Art Student’s League, NYC (1945-73). He was greatly admired by his students. According to Alan D. Bulcher in "Unlikely Paradise: the Life of Frances Gage," “. . . Hovannes (was) a sculptor of striking originality and imagination. . . .Hovannes’ strength lay in his ability to stretch one’s thinking. He challenges his students by giving them tasks that exceeded their abilities. He demanded new thinking, individuality, experimentation.”
Hovannes’ work has been exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Chicago Art Institute, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and others.
Falk, Peter, ed. "Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975"
New School for Social Research. United American Sculptors, First Annual Exhibition. Exhibition catalog, New York, 1939, illus.
Art Students League of New York. John Hovannes: A Memorial Exhibition of Sculpture. Exhibition catalog, New York, 1973, illus.
Budny, Virginia. "Musical Themes in Sculpture: A Forceful Appeal to the "Imaginative Reason.'" Sculpture Review 4, (Winter 2008): 24-29, illus.