Through depicting a mass of parallel and intersecting lines in his well-known works, including the present one, Sirak Melkonian is emphasizing more than anything the visual significance of line, making the audience confront with its incredible, powerful quality. He is well aware of the connection of line, surface, and color, thus bringing absolute peace in his formal balance. It is similar to point zero of creation where everything that is in the process conception is in a state of equilibrium.
The work in view, which is a noted example of an abstract composition, illustrates Melkonian’s Minimalist-Modernist approach. After a few decades of experimenting with a figurative style close to Cubism, and with subsequent circular abstraction, Melkonian established his individual method of producing interconnected networks. They are networks of line and color, sometimes called skeletal spaces, a space the consistency and balance of which is a result of the artist’s vast knowledge of space, line and color. Such works usually combine a geometric rhythm with a spiritual, divine and meditative quality, hence demonstrating a new achievement of Iranian Modernism.
Obvious feature of Melkonian’s work is that rather than exhibiting motifs indebted to indigenous traditions, he represents an atmosphere far from direct allusion, containing his personal interpretation of the nature. We can consider his work an extension of Iranian landscape painting, whereas no single branch, leaf or landscape of Iran is included in the painting. Representation of place in his work is far from an objectified expression. Yet territorial epistemology of his work is replete with a passionate, restless oriental spirit. This territorial epistemology is perhaps a result of migration and diverse local experiences of the artist; from Sistan to Toronto, from vast plains of Iran to cold, snow-clad territories in Canada, from a land where geographic faults and mounds of earth produce a strong contrast in a distant view to another place where traces of earth reveal from beneath the snow after months.
Painting of Sirak Melkonian is not just the abstract picture in front of the audience; rather, it is the image hidden beyond the painting and behind the cracked layers of paint. It is similar to what Argentinian painter and sculptor, Lucio Fontana, challenges; the concept of surface and visible expanse that are portrayed on canvas through numerous cracks. Sirak is hiding colors within his lines so that we may succeed in discovering them with some visual effort. His work, however, presents a colorful image of an abstract landscape that is considered among the greatest works of Iranian modern art.