Modern Greek art travels abroad

The Greek presidency of the EU has been an opportunity for multiple cultural activities, some of which have been held abroad, thus helping to give Greek art coveted international exposure. Three major exhibitions on three separate established Greek artists are among the most important events. The large retrospective on the work of the late Alexis Akrithakis which opened in late March at Berlin’s National Gallery and will be open for a few more days, is the first presentation of a Greek artist’s work to be held at the museum. Akrithakis moved to Berlin in the late 1960s and spent a large part of his life there. The exhibition has focused on his «Berlin period» and includes some of the artist’s most typical works – recognizable by the use of strong colors, heavy contours and recurring motifs, such as the arrow, boat and suitcase. Another important exhibition is Vlassis Caniaris’s show at the New York branch of the Foundation of Greek Culture which opens next week. This is the first exhibition in the US of the work of Caniaris, one of the most important Greek artists of the 1960s generation who brought Greek art into synchronization with international postwar currents in modern art. His work is mostly known for its installations of political content and for addressing the political and social situation in Greece, particularly during the resistance and the rule of the junta. Caniaris is also one of the first artists to repeatedly delve into the social and political issues of migration and refugees.The New York exhibition shows a representative sample of the artist’s style: It includes «Hélas-Hellas» from the 1980s and «Where’s the North, Where’s the South» which was shown at the Venice Biennale in 1988. Painter Panayiotis Tetsis is also the subject of a big show at the Instituto Degli Innocenti in Florence, beginning Monday. The exhibition consists of the artist’s portraits; his well-known landscape paintings, mostly of Sifnos and Hydra (where the artist spends much of his time), and his series on Athens’s «Open-Air Market.» The show will run through the end of June.

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