“It just so happens that I'm sad sometime, but I'm not pessimistic in nature, on the contrary. But if we dig inside, we will see deep grief in me - that grief is in the heart of the all Armenian people."
Armenian artist Hovhannes Semerjian was born in 1920 in Seuleuze (Asia Minor). He spent his childhood in Salonica, Greece, coming to France at the age of 10 when he began painting and attended evening classes in Montparnasse.
He graduated from the “Ecole des Arts Décoratifs” (School of Decorative Arts) in 1938. During his many periods living in Greece, Spain and Italy, he worked and created life drawings of bullfighting, processions, markets, carnivals and workshop scenes. At the same time, he created lithographs and engravings based on the subjects he painted.
In 1957, his career took off on an international level. He had exhibitions in Italy, Switzerland, England and especially in the United States. In 1969, Mitsukoshi exhibited a portfolio of his work in Tokyo. Since then, his work has been regularly on display in Japan. Two museums are dedicated to him, one in Ginza (Tokyo) and the other in Azumino.
In 2002, he received the Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots from the President of the Republic of Armenia. In 2003, he was awarded the rank of “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur” (Knight of the Legion of Honour).
- 2010 Armenia State Award
- 2003 Order of the Legion of Honor of France
- 2002 Order of St. Mesrop Sashtots of the Republic of Armenia
- 2002 "Vahagn" Pan-Armenian Award
- 1962 Biennale Prize (Bruges)
- 1958 "Comparezone" Award (Mexico)