By the time Hovsep Pushman opened his own studio in New York in 1921 he was devoted to one subject, oriental mysticism. These paintings typically featured oriental idols, pottery and glassware and were imbued with symbolism and spirituality. Often times they were accompanied by readings, which helped to explain their allegorical significance. It has been stated that “always there is age-old wisdom and symbolism of oriental culture in his pictures. Each object in the composition has its own inevitable place, its own special meaning which, blended with the whole, creates one single impression of great spiritual quality and of eternal beauty. Nothing could possibly be subtracted from any of his paintings; nothing added.” Pushman was not an artist who looked to others for inspiration, with the exception of Chardin. Like Chardin’s paintings there is a musical quality in Pushman’s harmonious use of color, form, composition and brushwork.
Pushman, who was born in Armenia, later became a naturalized American citizen. He began his artistic career at an early age when he went to the Constantinople Academy of Art on a scholarship at the age of 11. He also studied in Paris with Lefebvre, Robert-Fleury and Dechenaud. He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris, winning a bronze medal in 1914 and silver in 1921. He was also awarded the California Art Club’s Ackerman Prize in 1918. Pushman had annual exhibitions at Grand Central Art Galleries beginning in the late 1920’s and continuing until his death in 1966. His exhibitions always proved to be a significant event and gained him great notoriety with the public, in fact at his 1932 solo exhibition, his sixteen paintings were sold by the end of opening day, one of which was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
American Art Association of Paris
California Art Club
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Annuals, 1913, 1942-44
Paris Salon, 1914 (medal), 1921 (medal)
California Art Club, 1918 (prize)
Corcoran Gallery Biennials, 1921-39 (4 times)
LACMA, 1916, 1918, 1921 (solo)
Grand Central Art Gallery, 1930 (prize), 1932 (solo)
Detroit Institute of Arts
Houston Art Museum
Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin
Minneapolis Art Museum, Minnesota
Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
New Britain Institute, Connecticut
Norfolk Art Association, Virginia
Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa
Rockford Art Guild, Illinois
San Diego Fine Art Society
Seattle Art Museum
 Excerpt from April 15, 1941 Chicago Sunday Tribune article “Pushman’s 1941 Exhibit to Open Tuesday” by Edith Weigle.
ARTWORK: Hovsep Pushman
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