Although interest toward Leon Tutunjian’s painting started growing in France since his death, his legacy has not been given full and fair assessment.
Tutundjian was born in Amasia in Turkey. In 1915 he was sent to Greece with thousands of other orphans. In 1923 he left Greece for Paris, where only two years later had a very well-received one-man show in the Gale’rie Ney.
In 1929, strongly drawn to Surrealism, Tutundjian became part of a group with Carslund, Doesburg, and Helion, and a year later started exhibiting with Arp, Herbin, Gleizes, Delaunay and Giacometti. “The most introversive, the most mysterious, the most surrealistic,” wrote about him Helion.
Perhaps the “ve’rite’s inouies” in the art of Tutundjian are perceived by some simply as invention, but to him they were the real, heart-rending pictures of the childhood of which he never spoke.