artist bios

Armand Tatossian

Armand Tatossian was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1948 and has been an artist since 1965. In 1973 he was accepted into the Royal Canadian Academy as the youngest member ever. He later became a Professor of Art at Loyola College in Montreal and Concordia University. He's an artist who painted from life and stayed close to his studio in Old Montreal. I go any place with green stuff he remarked." I don't go far. I carry the painting home wet in my big van." The first thing you encounter in Tatossian's work is the color. He is an artist whose palette does not include black. The result is work with a permanent brilliance, a clarity and almost fierce joyousness in the light and color, of the scene before him.
Tatossian's art is less about the formal evocation of landscape and more about his own encounter with the particular scene. He was named after his grandfather's brother the Armenian landscape painter Yeghiche Tatossian, who was also a painter and curator of the Alexandria Museum of Egypt. Yeghiche later traveled to Paris and became a Post-Impressionist (only to return to Armenia and bring the style home); Tatossian was also influenced by his father, Charles Tatossian, who is still a painter in Canada. Tatossian was introduced to art studies at the age of six or seven by his grandfather who took him to a beach with a sketch pad. Slowly, assisted by this understanding man, the boy started to draw. . This was the way artists made art in the nineteenth century, a world in which Tatossian is connected through his family, a long line of artists,
After he won first prize at a painting exhibition at the Arts Club of Montreal, he attended a show and became enamored with a portrait by the artist Sherriff-Scott.  Sherriff-Scott whose work was in much demand, told him that he needed an assistant. He wanted an artist who would help him restore murals he had created at an earlier date; He told Tatossian, "I'm not going to pay you. I'll teach you instead”. Tatossian was brought up in the world of art, studied abroad, but he thinks his art is quite personal. When asked about the influences on his work, he responds “myself,” He also recalls that he was working in pastel, ( fairly tightly and academically) in his early work, when he traveled to the island of Rhodes in Greece in 1973. These travels influenced his work as well.
Tatossian’s most recent work is about one of the great cities of history: New York, and in it he reveals a city that has changed forever. His passion for the place before him comes through in his paintings: from Times Square to the Empire State Building. Most of all, he notices the taxis, the way they move, and the interaction among people lying in little groups in Central Park. When he paints the Twin Towers, by memory, he uses the shapes of the Towers like a shadow. “YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY MIND,” he titles the work. In 2007 this great artist and “geant de Montreal” suffered a stroke and it is unlikely he will paint again.

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