Ara was born in 1902, in a family of Mihran and Qatarine Sargsyan, he was the first head of the Union of Armenian Artists and became the founder of the first Armenian artistic high school. He was hardly thirteen years old when the great tragedy of the enocide burst in the head of his own people. However, the motive for sculpture, creation, which had awakened in the years of childhood, gradually evolved, gained a professional form and content during the four-year course of the Istanbul Fine Arts College, which he completed in two years (1919-1921).
And as anticipated, the first composite sketches of the years of study in college were the testimony of suffering and sorrow that they saw and lived. The ardent desire to master the great, true art secrets and to become a creative personality led Ara Sargsyan to Europe. In 1921, he left for Vienna and was admitted to the Local Arts Academy «Meister-schule», where the graduates of the Academy were nourished.
In 1920’s, in European art, especially in the artistic educational institutions, the academic realism motivated his creative career, largely by itself to cede the place to impressionism. This is also outlined in the art of young sculptor. In his masking genre impressionism lasts not long. Ara Sargsyan’s sculpture portraits, whose number is about two dozen, receive the attention and praise of the press.
The glorious summary of the Viennese region is, in effect, the author’s diploma work, «The Slow ourning» (1924). The sculpture from all sides is always one of the most difficult sculpture problems, and Ara Sargsyan has overcome it with a high degreeof skill. And the young man who is on the path to success, leaving opportunities for carelessness and free creativity in Europe, is full of deep patriotism, makes a final decision, moving to the homeland, finding that Armenia is not only his asset, but also his homeland.
After graduating from the College of Fine Arts in 1921, he decided to go to Rome. Isaiah College sponsors Ara’s studies abroad. Arriving in Rome, on the advice of his party friends in Constantinople, especially Arshavir Shirakyan, Ara Sargsyan introduced himself to Mikayel Varandyan of the Armenian representation in Italy. Varandyan is hiring a smart young man who speaks six languages and has experience working underground. He became an active participant in the “Nemesis” operation in Rome and Berlin in 1921-1922.
It took its way to the heights only after 1925. The first works of Ara Sargsyan in the homeland are mainly sculpture portraits, in which it is readily apparent that further development of the characteristic embodiments and plastic forms inherent in the works of the same genre of the Viennese period are read. The sculpture portraits of A. Myasnikyan, V. Totovets, M. Aslamazyan, H. Gyulichevyan, M. Abeghyan, H. Acharyan, Shirvanzade, T. Toramanyan, S. Spandaryan and others created by Ara Sargsyan are among the bestones in his works, as to each of them the sculptor has given a charming description of deep psychological penetration in a simple, plastic expressive ways.
The works of Ara Sarkisian’s sculpture portrait genre seem endless. Subsequently, one after the other real-life portrairs were made representing «Heroes of the Armenian People» and «Famous People of the Armenian». In the first row, one can distinguish the bust of the Soviet Union hero Nelson Stepanyan (1943) as a typical and complete character of a hero. In the second phase it gradually gets richer with the new scratches as a vivid evidence of the new level of sculptor’s skill. Those are, for example,sculpture portraits V. Vagharshyan (1943), N. Zaryan (1944), A. Jielegov (1944), H. Zardaryan (1943).
A comprehensive study of Ara Sargsyan’s art shows that almost no genre of sculptural art is left out within his creative preferences. He was also very attracted by the peculiarities of the decorative sculpture connected to nature, architecture, and merging with them as a complete sculptural manifestation.
Among his works are the monument «Heroes of the May Revolt» in Leninakan, now Gyumri (1931). Dynamic rhythm of this monument, common simplicity of formulas, and mastery of the graphic gives the monument, emotional, pathetic breath and content.
Despite the fact that the most important means of artistic expression in architecture are compositions, architectonics, proportion, size, they are also very important for their inward decoration, characteristic content and essence.
In 1957, Presidency of the Academy (now presidency of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences) assigned sculptor Ara Sargsyan to decorate the hall of the new building of the academy. It was a great and complex idea that was partly implemented.
Ara Sargsyan & Hakob Kojoyan House-Museum © 2019. All Rights Reserved