Alexander Boghossian

  • Born 1937 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Died 2003 in Washington D.C., USA
The Armenian-Ethiopian artist Alexander Boghossian (aka Skunder) first studied art formally in Europe after he was awarded a scholarship by the Ethiopian government in 1955. He studied for two years in London at St Martin’s School, Central School and the Slade School of Fine Art. He then spent nine years in Paris, where he studied and taught at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. He returned to Ethiopia from 1966 to 1969 and then emigrated to the United States in 1970, where he taught at the historically black college Howard University from 1972 to 2001. Boghossian was involved in the Négritude movement (an extension of Pan-Africanism), and his art brought together European techniques with materials like bark and animal skins. His colorful paintings were inspired by Surrealism, Coptic and West African art. Boghossian depicted prismatic abstract color compositions or dreamlike worlds, often including mythical creatures. He became the first contemporary African artist whose work was purchased by the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (in 1963) and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (in 1965).

Artworks by Alexander Boghossian in the exhibition