Contemporary Arts

Chant Avedissian

(b 1951),


An Egyptian contemporary visual artist born in Cairo. He is the son of an Armenian refugees who fled the Turkish incursions in 1915-16. After studying Fine Art at the School of Art and Design in Montreal and applied Arts at the National Higher School of Decorative Arts in Paris during the 1970s, Avedissian returned to Egypt. He fused the techniques, concepts and cosmopolitan experiences acquired abroad with the heritage of his Armenian-Egyptian background to produce striking commentaries on the world around him. His artistry ranges from photography to costume and textile design to the painted stencils seen here. His relationship with Hassan Fathy, a well-known Egyptian architect who advocated the use of local materials and craftsmanship, challenged Avedissian to reconsider local traditions of artistry and to appreciate the properties of common materials.


Exhibited widely, Avedissian’s artwork is held by the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution; the British Museum, London; the Tropen Museum, Amsterdam; the National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh; and the National Gallery of Jordan.


Avedissian plays with words and symbols to recall the immediacy of advertisements and the multilingualism of life in urban Egypt. His use of Arabic and Roman script, as both text and image, celebrates an Islamic artistic heritage that honors script as design. His manipulation of text and image further alludes to the immediacy of form and content found in modern day billboards and magazine advertisements and to their generous use of text in multiple languages to convey their messages..

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