(AP) – A New York man is probably very, very happy he decided to buy a cottage in 2007, because works by an obscure Armenian-American abstract impressionist discovered there have been appraised at $30 million. The new owner found thousands of paintings, drawings, and journals by Arthur Pinajian in a garage and attic. Peter Hastings Falk, who once appraised art from the Andy Warhol estate, valued the works. Some pieces already have sold for $500,000.
The paintings are the work of Arthur Pinajian, a reclusive artist whom the art world had not known much about. Now, 14 years after his death, he has fans who mention him in the same sentence as Gauguin and Cézanne. The art historian William Innes Homer wrote that Mr. Pinajian had pursued art with “the single-minded focus” that those other painters had shown and that “Pinajian was a creative force to be reckoned with.”
With the attention comes the possibility of something Mr. Pinajian never enjoyed in life: serious money for his paintings. Among the 34 works at the gallery are two oil paintings from 1960: No. 638, on the market for $87,000, and No. 3868, for $72,000.