Robert Barsamian



Robert Barsamian's most recent paintings and drawings are allegorical visual representations of the artist’s examinations and reflections of worldwide political conflicts. The works explore the effects of such man made tragedies as the Sudanese child armies, the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan and the war in Afghanistan. The small works use symbolic images of animals and food, along with ornamentation and pattern associated with the various cultures he portrays, to widen experiential awareness for the viewer.

Robert Barsamian was born in a close-knit Armenian community in Whitinsville, Massachusettsin 1947, the son and grandson of survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. A studio art major at Massachusetts College of Art, Barsamian went on to receive his M.A. in 1971 from the State University of New York at Albany. He has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in a variety of museums throughout the country and abroad including: The Bronx Museum, NY, The Tyler Museum of Art, TX, The Dallas Museum of Art, TX, The Asilah Museum, Morocco, Swarthmore College, PA, Colgate College, NY,  The University of Minnesota, MN, Holocaust Museum of Florida, FL, Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills, MI, Project Row House, TX, Baruch College, NY, The Arlington Museum in Arlington, TX, Western New Mexico University, NM, George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, MA, Russell Sage College, NY, and The Oklahoma Art Center, OK. 

"Barsamian's three dimensional installations, complete with drawings, paintings and lighting are about imagination, and fantasy, hope and fear, creating space and giving structural form to psychological states of mind. Barsamian's works create his legacy to history, sometimes with oral recorded narrative and music, to bring the past to a new life. His works are a critique on the human condition as it was during the genocide, and the slipperiness of meaning and understanding in the modern world. His "sacred spaces" - rooms that envelope and seduce the viewer to experience visually and sensually the emotions he wants to share from his world with his audience- provides them the wider experience of eliciting their own memories."

The Armenian Church, 2001

Conduit Gallery Exhibitions

Selected Exhibitions:

  • 2015  Southern Conneticut State University, New Haven, CT
  • 2012  Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX
  • 2011  Rhode Island College, Providence, RI
  • 2011  Holocaust Memorial Center, Farmington Hills, MI
  • 2009  Project Row Houses, Houston, TX
  • 2003  Salina Art Center, Salina, KS
  • 2002  Baruch College, New York, NY 
  • 2001  Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA 
  • 2000  Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, FL
  • 1992  Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, TX

Lecture/Visiting Artist:

  • 2010  Annual Scholars Conference on the Holocaust, Philadelphia, PA 
  • 2006  International Conference on the Arts in Society, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 2005  International Assoc. of Genocide Scholars, Boca Raton, FL
  • 2003  University of Texas Arlingotn, Arlington, TX
  • 2002  Worcester State College, Worcester, MA
  • 2000  Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, FL