Petros Malayan Պետրոս Մալայան Петрос Малаян (1927-1997 ✞)
Petros Malayan was born on the 4th of January, 1927 to a family of Armenian refugees from Kars (in present-day Turkey). He studied in the Faculty of Painting in Art Academy in St.Petersburg in Russia, 1945-47 under B. Fogel, L. Ostrov, L. Ovsiannikov. In the third year of his studies, he requested a transfer to the Yerevan State Institute of Fine Arts (studying under B. Kolozian, G. Gurjian, A. Bekarian, V. Shakarian), from which he graduated with a Diploma of Excellence in 1951. He was subsequently invited to stay and teach drawing.
Three generations of students enjoyed his teaching talent. He believed in a combination of strong drawing skills and creativity. Just as a musician must know the basic notes and theory before he masters his instrument - Malayan believed that an artist must possess a firm understanding of basic geometry, plastic anatomy and the laws of nature, light and shape before allowing creativity to soar. He viewed the teaching process as contingent upon self-discipline and strong determination - and to his credit, some of his students are themselves teaching art and preserving his legacy in present day.
Since 1970, Petros Malayan was a member of the Soviet Artist Association's "Commission on Watercolor" (Chudsovet),
in which he represented Armenia. He also curated the Plain-Airs of Water-color in Siktivkar, Russia in 1978 and in Yerevan, Armenia in 1987. Throughout the years Petros Malayan's paintings were exhibited, along with the works of fellow Armenian artists, in the former Czechoslovakia, Austria, Cuba, Canada, Poland, Belgium, Syria, Egypt, Bulgaria, the United States and the Annual Exhibition of Armenian Artists in Yerevan, Armenia. He presented a number of personal exhibits in Poland, Bulgaria, Russia, Canada and Armenia, and his paintings today can be found in a variety of private collections and various museums across Europe.
In 1983 he received the title of "Honored Artist of the Armenian Republic", and in 1990 was awarded a Professorship as the Chair of Drawing at the Yerevan Art Institute of Armenia.
In the Spring of 1993 and after a long illness, he and his family were forced to leave Armenia - where he was unable
to receive proper medical treatment - and move to Tel Aviv, Israel. Despite his illness, he never abandoned his craft and continued working until his last moments.
† Petros Malayan died of a stroke on the 17th of March, 1997, and is buried in Kibuttz Einat cemetery, near Rosh-Ha-Ayin, Israel.