CULTURE

A tribute to the visual arts of the 1980s

What separates the present from the 1980s? Not just in terms of the three decades that have elapsed, but on a qualitative, esthetic and social level? Conceived by Gerasimos Kappatos, an original exhibition titled ?Homage a Galerie Artio,? suggests a journey back in time that goes some way in answering this question.

At his namesake gallery in Athens, Kappatos pays tribute to Artio, an art space originally established in 1982, which subsequently closed down in 2004. The artists featured at Artio represented the more subversive element of the 1980s generation, as well as later artists who were influenced by them. Some of the more notable names to hang their work on Artio?s walls were: Giorgos Harvalias, Tassos Pavlopoulos, Giorgos Lappas, Paris Haviaras, Dimitris Sakellion, Panos Charalambous, Nikos Tranos and Marios Spiliopoulos, among others.

Many have gone on to teach and are now professors at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Kappatos, however, brought most of them together for this show, in which they are presenting old and new works that help visitors reconstruct the period?s atmosphere, but also make comparisons between the younger and the more mature versions of themselves.

?I decided to organize this show because I know all the artists personally and I have been a close observer of their work. I felt that this particular crop of artists wished, more than anything else, to examine the element of ?Greekness? from a different angle,?noted Kappatos. ?Established by France?s Martine Sardon, the Artio Gallery gave artists the opportunity to present their works in ways which went well beyond the usual and the established. The gallery went against the tide, operating according to its esthetic criteria, as opposed to following a commercial route.?

Running to March 12, the exhibition?s aim is not to provide a historical account, but rather to highlight significant developments in the recent past of the visual arts in Greece.

Kappatos Gallery, 12 Athinas, Monastiraki, tel 210.321.7931.