The gallery is open Thursday – Sunday, Noon – 5:00 pm, during exhibitions. Admission is free to the public.
Divergent Figures: Artworks of Nagui Achamallah, Zarmine Aghazarian, and Bhavna Misra
February 24 – March 25, 2017
Opening Reception: February 24, 2017, 7-9 pm
The human figure is among the most captivating subjects in art, having been interpreted in various ways throughout history. Recreating the human figure involves the study and appreciation of body shape and postures. The resulting form and style of this practice have evolved over time, influenced by the cultures and experiences of the individuals who create them.
In the Prehistoric age, carvings were used to somewhat resemble a human figure, but this process was refined during the time of Egyptian civilization, when parts of the body became more proportionate to the whole. While the Greeks introduced “contrapposto” – an asymmetrical arrangement of the human figure with unequal weight distribution on both legs, the Romans rendered it realistic with “perspective” and “mannerism,” making accurate and truthful representations of humans in real-life settings. With the advent of Modernism came the experimentation with and abstraction of the human form. Regardless of its expression, the human figure has intrigued artists for thousands of years.
Reinforcing this timeless theme in visual arts, Fremont’s Olive Hyde Art Gallery brings its new exhibit Divergent Figures: Artworks of Nagui Achamallah, Zarmine Aghazarian, and Bhavna Misra, which opens with an Artists’ Reception on February 24th, 2017 from 7:00-9:00 p.m., and will run through March 25th, 2017.
Nagui Achamallah was born in Alexandria, Egypt. His interest in painting developed in college. While at medical school, he enrolled himself in an independent fine arts program at the University of Alexandria Atelier. As a student, he participated in numerous university group shows and won several collegiate awards. Nagui had his first show at the University Physicians Club in 1973, followed by another at the Centre Culturel Francais in Alexandria in 1975. He immigrated to California in 1981, where he currently resides and practices psychiatry in the San Francisco Bay area. Although Nagui has a full-time medical practice, he manages to create more than twenty-five paintings each year.
He prefers to paint with oils. His painting style is unique and intricate, causing him to spend tremendous amounts of time and effort on each piece. Although he continued to paint all along, he did not start showing his work again until 1996. Over the years, he has participated in many group shows and a few solo shows in California.
Nagui’s style has evolved over the last 40 years. It reflects Egyptian, Middle Eastern and South Mediterranean influences. Many of his paintings depict human figures. Nagui says his “characters are captives of time, instincts, fears and the reasons of their existence.”
Zarmine Aghazarian, born in Yerevan, Armenia, developed her interest in art at an early age. She moved to America in 1970 and lives in Orinda with her family. With no formal education in art, Zarmine has developed her own style through several art classes that she took at local community colleges. She started focusing on painting only after she retired from her job in 2001. Her inspiration comes from her family, travels, environment, and the people she has met in her life.
Being a naturally reserved person, Zarmine uses art as her medium of expression. When an image or idea comes to mind, it remains there until she can sketch or paint it. However, once the process gets started, she allows the image to evolve per her aesthetic interests and influences. She is often inspired by colors and vibrancy in the art-making of her Armenian heritage.
Zarmine enjoys experimenting with different medias: watercolor, mixed media and acrylics. The vibrant energy of color and brush stroke is a common thread throughout all her paintings, which she achieves by applying multiple layers of hues with differing levels of saturation. Often, she includes layers of mixed media such as handmade papers and newspaper. Zarmine believes each painting has its story and character, and she enjoys the process of searching for balance between color, texture, composition and context. Many of Zarmine’s paintings have captured the beauty of human figures, depicted in soft and fluid motion.
Currently Zarmine is a member of the Lamorinda Arts Alliance and Valley Art Gallery. Her work has been displayed at many exhibitions including Peju Winery Art Gallery in Napa, Hamazkayin Art Exhibition in Union Square San Francisco, California State Fair, Sacramento, and Museum of San Ramon.
Bhavna Misra has been painting since she was a little girl. She grew up in the beautiful region of Himachal in India. Being surrounded by tall pine trees, snowy mountains, lush valleys, clear-water lakes, and diverse wildlife had a lasting impact on her artistic endeavors. Her passion for art was further reinforced by continued encouragement from her parents. She never doubted that she’d be a painter one day!
As she graduated with a MS degree in Electrical Engineering from SJSU, Bhavna continued to paint on the side. In her mind science and art were never separate – “Science is the art of accuracy, and the technique of art is certainly a science of creativity,” and she was equally good at both. Bhavna says she applies the knowledge of light and its effect to all her pieces. She routinely tries to explore ways to break down the entire process of painting and color mixing just like solving algorithms and theorems.
Bhavna believes that not studying art formally gave her a chance to develop her own style, and to live in the spirit of a lifelong student. She learns every day by practicing and experimenting. Bhavna has a special interest in doing portraits. She feels that a portrait bonds the artist and the subject in a way such as to give a sense of ownership to both.
About eight years ago, Bhavna quit her 9 to 5 job, and returned to doing art full time. She has been displaying her work ever since at various exhibitions. She is an art contractor for the Alameda County Library System, and she owns and operates Bhavna Misra Art Studio. Bhavna is also professionally affiliated with Fremont Art Association.
You are invited to come meet the artists and enjoy the diversity of their artwork.
Members Juried Show
June 30 – July 29, 2017