Charles Garabedian was born in Detroit in 1923, and moved to California at age nine. During World War II, he was a gunner on the B24 Bomber in the US Army Air Force stationed in England. Following the war, Garabedian studied literature and philosophy at UC Santa Barbara on the GI Bill. He went on to study history at the University of Southern California, and earned his BA in 1950. Thereafter, Garabedian pursued several occupations that included working for Union Pacific Railroad. Encouraged by his friend Ed Moses, he studied painting with Howard Warshaw, and at age 34 entered the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1961, he graduated from UCLA with an MA in art.
Garabedian’s work has been seen internationally, with his inclusion in important group museum exhibitions including the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial, 1975 and 1985; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA, 1976; the Venice Biennale, 1976 (also 1982, ’84 and ’85); the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1984; Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY, 1989; the Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan, 1991; and the Corcoran Biennial, 1993.
Garabedian has been honored with several solo museum exhibitions: The La Jolla Museum of Contemporary, 1981; the Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, Massachusetts, 1983; and the Luckman Gallery, California State University, Los Angeles (traveled to the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah), 2003/2004. In 2011, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art held a retrospective of his work.
He received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1977, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1979, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters award in 2000. Garabedian lives and works in Los Angeles, and continues to paint. He is represented by L.A. Louver in Venice, CA.