nora chavooshian: WOMEN’S WORK- Sculpture & Trama Textiles, Mayan Women Weavers Collaboration

February 13 - March 14, 2020



Denise Bibro Fine Art, 529 West 20th Street, Chelsea, NYC, is pleased to announce Nora Chavooshian’s fourth major exhibition with the gallery.

Chavooshian continues her life’s journey exploring her identity and universal truths through the lens of her Armenian heritage. What differentiates this exhibition from others is her focus on the work of women and their tenacious efforts to keep their cultural identity regardless of the atrocities that they have experienced. It is a repetitive damning part of history that abominations like the genocide that occurred in 1915 against the Armenian people are present today. Unfortunately, we have witnessed this in Burma, Yugoslavia, Syria, Africa, and Guatemala, to name only a few.

Chavooshian’s sculpture reflects her keen interests and empathetic concern for human global struggles. The preservation of the human spirit is paramount to her. Her sculptures are visual metaphors and symbols of her own personal identity. Her exploration parallels that of others and confirms that the needs and desires of human beings are universal; even if they are on different platforms. She is a woman at work, and like others, women continue to do work that is life affirming.

Her piece, Tidal, is a bold structured composition comprised of cast forton and beads. Tidal has a strong skeletal structured outline. The crevices and textures within its girth have nestled beads, evoking a story of women at work. This piece elicits a feeling of doing and making. Enveloping beads appear to suggest the continuum of greatness through dexterity. In Lace, she incorporates the beautiful and very personal work of her Grandmother, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide.

The piece literally flows from its structure like a river. By replicating her Grandmother’s lace work and repurposing it you can feel the weight of emotion both then and now as if you could see her Grandmother’s fingers working as she perseveres in her journey of survival. Grandmother and granddaughter are of one mind. The downward pouring emotions evoke the feeling of release.

It is often the women from traumatized societies who are the ones tasked with resurrecting their culture, igniting the will to survive and inspiring the determination to move forward in a progressive and life-affirming direction.

Chavooshian takes a very courageous step to include works, not only of her own, but in collaboration with others. She witnessed how the Guatemalan Mayan women, who have survived the Genocide of the 1970s-1980s worked and weaved, asserting their culture and identity; evoking the same sensibilities as the works of her female Armenian family. Subsequently she created the collaborative piece, Trama, by incorporating Mayan Women’s weaving into a single larger work. Although each framed part reflects one artist’s aesthetic, the combination of them all evoke a sense of unified solidarity. Nora’s sculptured grid frames and complements each artist’s contribution which creates the flux and glue that gives the work full meaning. Together they have created a work that reveals their compelling stories and history.

This collaborative work is available to collectors with proceeds going to the 100% Women’s Worker Owned Weaving Cooperative, Trama Textiles that exists in Guatemala.

Finally, this exhibition, not only illustrates the breadth of Chavooshian’s journeys and heightened awareness, but it is a prevailing reminder of women’s universal role of moving society in a life affirming direction.

Chavooshian’s sculpture commands the viewers to reckon and take note.

Nora Chavooshian has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and is in private and public collections in both the U.S. and Europe. Her exhibitions include Max Hutchinson Gallery, NY; Denise Bibro Fine Art, NY; The Los Angeles Women’s Building; Trenton City Museum, NJ; Monmouth Museum, NJ; and Salem State College, MA. She has received numerous awards, and commissions including a California Arts Council Grant to curate a show of San Francisco women’s artwork at the Los Angeles Women’s Building.

Among various public parks and buildings, Chavooshian’s public artwork includes an exterior sculpture commissioned for the University of Minnesota’s state of the art Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center in which she collaborated with a beekeeper to incorporate bees and their honeycomb formed into her bronze sculpture. She was also commissioned for a major permanent bronze sculpture in the Montclair New Jersey’s children park.

Widening her discipline and arena as a sculptor, she has designed award-winning sculptural stage sets, as well as film production design. She has designed several films for director John Sayles, sculptural set pieces for director Martin Scorsese, videos for Bruce Springsteen and Madonna, as well as many others.