From a Garage in Long Island to the Walls of the Wyland Center
Most people keep sports equipment, seasonal decorations, and office and school supplies in their garage. Not Arthur Pinajian. In the one-car garage and attic of the Bellport, Long Island, cottage, he shared with his sister, the reclusive artist hid five decades of work.
After Pinajian’s death in 1999 when his family was preparing to sell the tiny house, they found stacks and stacks of his oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings. They could have been nothing, just the obscure works of a former comic-book illustrator.
But the late art historian William Innes Homer recognized something in the collection. “[Pinajian] was passionate and unequivocally committed, a true philosopher of art, a rarity in his era and well worth our attention,” Homer wrote in a 2010 monograph, Pinajian: Master of Abstraction Discovered. “Ultimately, Pinajian’s work reflects the soul of a flawed yet brilliant artistic genius. When he hits the mark, especially in his abstractions, he can be ranked among the best artists of his era.”
Heralded by Good Morning America as “the unlikely discovery that has rocked the art world,” the collection includes extraordinary abstract landscape and figurative paintings and has collectors mentioning Pinajian in the same breath as Gauguin and Cézanne.
Stephanie’s Art Gallery in La Canada Flintridge, California, has been representing the Pinajian Estate Collection since 2010 and will be showcasing some of Pinajian’s paintings at Art San Diego.
“The discovery of a high-quality artist’s nearly complete oeuvre is rare and exceptional, particularly when it includes significant ephemera,” says Linda Stepanian, the gallery’s CEO. “Pinajian is destined to take an honored place in the pantheon of art history.”