CULTURE

New publisher offers novel and personal approach to art books

Among the academic publications on art and the catalogs on new exhibitions edited by galleries lies Kyvos (Cube), a relatively new publishing house with a penchant for contemporary Greek art. Having grown sensibly by taking careful steps, Kyvos has already published a small number of art books, each as independent as and entirely different from the next. The unmistakable stamp of a craftsman’s care and personal oversight makes it unremarkable that Kyvos is a question of one woman. With extensive experience in the artistic life of Athenian galleries, Eleni Saroglou decided to move into publishing and devote her efforts to promoting modern Greek art in 2001. Slowly, Kyvos developed from an eccentric personal vision to a recognizable label of high aesthetic and artistic caliber. Among other projects, Saroglou came up with an exciting idea of 16 postcards promoting the works of Greek artists (including Sophia Kosmaoglou, Dimitris Tsoublekas, Alexandros Psychoulis, Maria Papadimitriou and Costis Velonis, among others), generally creating a wave of trust between the artists and the public. At the same time, each one of Kyvos’s editions demonstrates a collaboration between publisher and artist, something that feels like a declaration of principle. Among the various editions already published by Kyvos, Lia Nalbadidou’s photographic edition «To Asfales, Idiotiko Pedio Tou Spitiou Mou» (The Safe, Private Haven of My Home) has drawn considerable praise. Another publication which has also received rave reviews is artist Lizi Kalliga’s «Mosaic.» A very special and particularly sensitive album (a contender for the Kythera Cultural Society’s award for best photo album this year), the book includes parts of neoclassical mosaics on the island of Spetses – whether they serve as memory fragments or enlargements of compositions, every photo is unique. Kyvos thus paves the way, setting new standards in a country which does not enjoy a rich tradition of publications on the visual arts. Saroglou’s British education is evident through her attraction to what’s new and playful, but she rests on a very solid foundation. Essentially, the publishing house’s success so far has been due to an avoidance of standardization, given that each publication is seen as an extension of the artist it represents. For a small market such as the Greek one, initiatives such as the one taken by Kyvos come as a reminder that, in the end, our society is not as conventional as we think.