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September 2011

Vista Studios in Columbia, SC, Offers Works by David Yaghijan

Vista Studios in Columbia, SC, is presenting the exhibit, Everyman Turns Six, featuring works by David Yaghijan, on view in Gallery 80808 through Sept. 6, 2011. The exhibit is sponsored by if ART Gallery, also in Columbia.

Six years ago, Columbia artist David Yaghjian painted a guy in underwear resembling himself, twice, for a fundraiser around the theme “Fool for Art” for the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum. The two paintings triggered a new body of work, dubbed the “Everyman” series, which Yaghjian has pursued ever since. The often loosely rendered paintings are a dramatic change from the usually precise paintings of urban landscapes and architectural structures that Yaghjian was known for, although not a total break, as the catalogue essay by if ART Gallery owner Wim Roefs argues.

The 40-page catalogue is in full color. The catalogue contains an essay, an extensive chronology of Yaghjian’s career, 57 color images of his work of the past 40 years and the checklist of the exhibition.

Going with the flow of his imagination, emotions, free associations and hand and brush, Yaghjian has created a figure whose trials and tribulations he catches in symbolic and metaphorical, psychologically pregnant scenes that excel in ambiguity. Some of the paintings express joy, humor and elation, others are contemplative, angst-ridden, dark and disturbing, and many combine opposite emotions.

The “Everyman” paintings might indicate Yaghjian’s arrival as a mature artist, producing the most inspired, sophisticated, distinctive and unique work of his 40-year career. The work also has taken him beyond the canvas, creating sculptures from cutout cardboard or wood. “Everyman” gives Yaghjian both conceptually and artistically the most productive vehicle to date to engage himself and the world.

Yaghjian has never painted with as much fun or ease, he says. He likes to think of the work as semi-narratives. “They are scenes of a midpoint in a situation,” he says, “a point of indeterminate distance from beginning to end. These paintings are personal but not necessarily from personal experiences. Sometimes it’s just a sense of something. Sometimes they don’t have the lifespan of an experience. It’s more like a tangent or a premonition or afterthought without knowing where it came from. A lot of it is standing on the earth and feeling there is something huge underneath it that shoots up through you.”

Vista Studios provides studio space to 13 artists and gallery space to community artists. An early project in revitalization efforts of the Congaree Vista, Vista Studios began as a joint venture of the Columbia Development Corporation and the South Carolina Arts Commission. It has matured along with the Vista into a unique and needed outlet for Columbia’s visual arts.

For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listings, call the Studios at 803/252-6134 or visit (


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