Eozen Agopian has been creating art for over twenty years. In this time, Agopian has seen a tremendous amount of change in the art world. Although Agopian currently resides in Greece, she has dual citizenship there and here in the U.S After completing an MFA from the Pratt Institute in 1993, Agopian remained in the U.S. full time for fourteen years. After this period she split her time abroad and in the U.S.
In 2014, Apogian found herself back in New York City to take part in a six month residency at the prestigious Triangle Arts Foundation located in DUMBO. However, Eozen is no stranger to their program and is a 2012 alumni of the Triangle Workshop. That same year she was also part of the group show Three Colorists at the Lesley Heller Workspace in the Lower East Side. Agopian thrived in the residency and presented her work and gave talks in a variety of venues during her time here. In December she gave a talk at the Immigrant Center at the Queens Museum of Art. Most recently a piece of her work was featured in the Smack Mellon group show RESPOND which has received a lot of press given it’s subject matter. On February 12th Agopian’s solo show Transverse opened at the Eleftheria Tseliou Gallery in Athens.
I first came across Eozen’s work at DUMBO Open Studios in 2014. When I entered her studio I was instantly intrigued. The walls were filled with canvases whose surfaces were covered with thread, paint and other materials. In the center of the space a large fabric sculpture was displayed suspended from the ceiling. Upon closer examination of the piece, it became obvious that it had been sewn together by hand with pieces of fabric that Agopian had collected. I was fascinated by the process and the labor intensive aspects of this sculpture and the other pieces in her studio.
The other work in Agopian’s space featured the same hand sewn characteristics in addition to paint, fabric and other elements. Through her collage like process, Eozen transforms the canvases by layering, adding and taking away elements to create complex landscapes. The textured plains and patterns seek to draw the viewer in another way and are mesmerizing to view.They are intimate, elegant and call attention to both Agopian’s process and the finished product.
Agopian described her relationship to using thread in her work in in the following way “ I liked the practical properties of the material, thread’s use to put things together, to mantle, to unify, but also the aesthetic ones.” While the use of thread has been a dominate material in her work within the last six years, Eozen traces her interest in thread and embroidery/needle work back to her childhood.
Agopian said “As a young girl growing up in Greece needle work was an activity that kept us busy in the late afternoons.” What served as an activity to keep her busy as a child ended up being the basis of a body of work which Agopian has continued to revisit in other pieces.
Within the past two years Apogian’s work has begun to shift in a new direction. Eozen has been gathering and collecting fabric that she finds outside of clothing manufactures. She said “Sometimes they come from factories, discarded and considered unworthy of shipment. I take them to the studio to work along with their historical reality in the many hands that have touched the fabric before me.” Agopian’s collecting of fabrics and putting them together to create a new story is interesting and complex. In many ways she is seeking to resurrect the material’s previous life and helping to usher it into a new existence within her own work. It is Apogian’s work ethic, creative vision and process which make her an art force to be reckoned with for years to come.