CULTURE

Larissa celebrates son with retrospective of his work

For the first time, Greek audiences have the chance to view the works of Greek-American artist Philip Tsiaras in a retrospective of the artist’s work currently on show at the Museum of Modern Art in Larissa, the US-based artist’s ancestral town. The exhibition will display the artist’s multifaceted body of work, including paintings, sculpture, photography and installations which have been produced over the past 20 years. Titled «Transparent Lands» and featuring approximately 125 items, all transferred from the USA, the exhibition will run to April 20 at the Larissa venue before being taken to Thessaloniki’s State Museum of Contemporary Art. Tsiaras, whose work has been exhibited in over 70 solo exhibitions worldwide and approximately 100 group exhibitions, initially began working in photography before his diverse interests led him to other mediums. One of the major highlights in the artist’s career, to date, was his participation in the last Venice Biennale with works in glass and brass. A 3-meter-tall sculpture, «Social Climber,» assigned to Tsiaras by the city’s municipal authorities, which was exhibited at the Canale Grande for five months, now adorns the main square in Larissa. Though he likes to play and experiment with form and material, three fundamental themes – horses, airplanes, and women’s shoe heels – dominate Tsiaras’s work, noted the exhibition’s curator, Syrago Tsiara, at a news conference on the eve of the opening. The artist, whose work is playful in mood, sarcastic, and inspired by his bicultural background, prefers to avoid strict classification of his broad-ranging artistic activity. During his early days, Tsiaras – after studying literature – wrote poetry and also translated work by three major Greek poets, Karyotakis, Ritsos and Cavafy. During that time, the idea of painting hovered in his mind. Tsiaras’s first attempt at the medium was a series titled «Family Album,» which depicts everyday scenes of relatives, as well as self-portraits, all in the USA, in surrealistic style. Work in other fields, such as sculpture, followed.Also on display at the museum, until Saturday, are paintings produced by the Exodos Rehabilitation Center’s painting workshop.