Paul Tamanian has created a new visual language of metal and paint.
Born in New York, Paul Tamanian has lived in Florida since receiving his degree from Florida State University. He discovered an affinity for clay by attending a pottery class at a local community center. He moved rapidly from basic skills to technical innovation, and then from clay on to aluminum. Aluminum, in turn, led him from vessels to sculpture to paintings.
There are two elements that power Tamanian's work: his relentless experiments with form and his scorched-earth surface treatments. At times, Tamanian is able to make aluminum look as delicate and as fragile as glass; at other times his work exudes the roughness of clay or hewn stone.
Donald Miller, an art critic of the Naples Daily News and retired art and architecture critic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, comments:
'It is unusual for a ceramist to move from clay, a soft medium, to a shaped sheet aluminum. Surprisingly, Tamanian has not only transferred his vessel forms into metal. He has also developed glazes of found pigments resembling enamel. The artist has produced a wide range of asymmetric triangular forms: swells and circular arches, as well as flat surfaces he frames to display outdoors.
“His impressive harmonies recall Jackson Pollock's drip paintings. But Tamanian has his own rhythmic lyricism. Although random, his designs satisfy the eye because of their compositional balance.
“This extends to surfaces displaying the metal's polished sheen. The artist engraves repeating geometric patterns on the aluminum, filling in with black, as the niello artists did. Either way, Tamanian's work is totally seductive.'
The present exhibition of paintings, sculpture and vessels vividly demonstrates Tamanian’s unique combination of muscularity and exquisite sensitivity.
Paul Tamanian standing next to one of two diptychs commissioned for the same space.