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American-Armenian Artist Expresses with Energy


The immediate reaction towards Ara Dolarian’s exibition Interior Energy Fields, currently at the Fresno Art Museum, February 13 through March 31, is the power of his scale and the movement he creates. Dolarian leaves the representational attributes to the audience. “People say they look like palm trees or the ocean,” explains the artist, “that’s okay. To me it represents the pushing/pulling tension that exists in life.” Although the artist was educated in art during the era of the abstract expressionism movement he rejects the idea of labeling his art. His pieces are personal, a two year period of his searching and investigating of his own internal energy fields. His pieces are also, he asserts, an expression of his Armenianness.

Dolarian’s paintings accomplish his objective of pushing and pulling, but also within the long sweeping blades of color they also seem to achieve a transient relationship. One vivid hue comes slicing up from the bottom merging with another descending from the top. Many of the pieces work along this convention, creating a completeness within the exhibition. The paintings are, as the artist describes it, the resolution of the situation within the painting. The paintings do not necessarily represent periods or circumstances in his life directly, but rather an extension of life itself.

Dolarian, born and raised in Fresno has memories of childhood and family that have become a strong influence on his contemporary themes. Although his father would probably disparage his choice of careers, he attributes his earliest inspirations to his father. “He would be driving,” recalls Dolarian, “and screech the brakes and say, ‘Look at that view.'” This visualization ability within children to create and express is lost in maturity because of the strain to reproduce what someone else has done.

Dolarian contends it is weakness to set aside individual innate originality and lean upon previous success. He refers to the 5th century as golden era of Armenian art. “Innovation in painting and architecture was beyond anything comparable today.” He asserts, “They attained the space of spirituality, pushing inorganic to the edge of profound faith and beyond.” This is the kind of inspiration he seeks to invoke within his own journey.

As Dolarian recognizes forces within his own life those energies begin to take on a life of their own within the piece. “Each composition is a resolution of the problem within it. Each piece is different because the evolution of color and composition demands an individual response.” Viewers are captured inside of the image, identifying or associating with something from their own personality.

To admire his structures for their communication of the proposition allows an involvement within the medium no less than inclusion into Dolarian himself. Interior Energy Fields transcends abstract art with this awareness and entitles its audience to resolve their own inner forces.