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Hovsep Pushman    Click Images to Enlarge

Hovsep Pushman
The Redeeming Light

Oil on canvas board
32 x 30 inches

Oscar Adler

(American, 1877-1966)

Hovsep Pushman was one of those rare artists whose work was appreciated by both critics and collectors, and who enjoyed recognition and good fortune. In a 1932 one-man show at New York's Grand Central Art Galleries, the entire display of 16 Pushman paintings was sold before opening day's end. Macbeth Galleries in NYC had similar success with Pushman’s oriental-themed work.

Pushman was born in Armenia in 1877 and became an American citizen. At age 11, he held a scholarship at the Constantinople Academy of Art and took lessons at the Imperial Art School. By 17, he had gone to the United States and started teaching art in Chicago at the Art Institute. After living and studying Chinese art in China for several years, Pushman received his formal education in Paris at the Beaux-Arts Academie and the Academie Julian under Lefebvre, Robert-Fleury and Dechenaud by 1912. He exhibited his work at the Salon des Artistes Francais in Paris, winning a bronze medal in 1914 and a silver medal in 1921. He also was awarded the California Art Club's Ackerman prize in 1918.

Pushman's artistic identity began to take shape after he opened his own studio in 1921. Robert-Fleury, upon seeing one of Pushman's early studio still lives, advised the artist, "That painting is you." Thereafter, Pushman's career was devoted to one subject: oriental mysticism, and one form: the still life. His paintings typically featured oriental idols, pottery, Buddha figures and glassware, all glowing duskily as if illuminated by candlelight. They were symbolic, spiritual paintings, and were sometimes accompanied by readings, which help explain their allegorical significance. Most important, they were exquisitely executed with technical precision. His finest paintings exemplify the stunning beauty, mysterious mood, and impeccable technique that make Pushman's work so highly respected. The artist died in 1966 in New York City.

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)

American Art Association of Paris
California Art Club
Salmagundi Club

Public Collections:
Boston Museum of Fine Arts