Vahan Amadouni Biography

Vahan Amadouni




Vahan Pagrad Amadouni (also known as Prince Vahan Amadouni) was born in Aleppo, Syria on June 21, 1933. He was the son of Vahan & Armenouhi Amadouni, and the family had fled to Aleppo, Syria after the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Both his parents died prior to 1942. He was educated there before venturing abroad. His drawing ability attracted the attention of an uncle in Pennsylvania, so with his sponsorship Amadouni immigrated to the United States. He enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and studied there for the next seven years, during which time he won the Thouron Prize for the best composition in 1955 and the William Emlen Cresson Prize in 1956. He then participated in a large juried show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and won both a Purchase Award and an Honorable Mention.

After his graduation, he moved to Northern California where he had one man shows, “Discovery III” at the Bolles Gallery and, in 1962, at the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco. His paintings are mostly abstractions in broad, shiny, black strokes done with specially built metal knives that plow long, straight, tense, immensely powerful rectilinear shapes on the canvas.

Returning to Europe, Amadouni had an exhibition at the Trastevere Gallery in Rome where a work was purchased by the Gallerie de France in Paris. Again abroad in 1973, his one man show at the Alex Manoogian Art Gallery in Beirut, Lebanon, was both a critical and financial success, selling out on opening night.

Following his return from the Middle East, he won a New York State Change Grant. In 1974 he was commissioned to paint and decorate the main alter of Our Lady of Pompei Church in New York City. In 1979 he devoted his time to a private sponsor and continued preparations for a one man show at the Gregg Juarez Gallery, Los Angeles, in the summer of 1983.

Vahan P. Amadouni died on 28 June 1998 in Los Angeles, California.