The world of C.P. Cavafy at the Megaron

The Athens Concert Hall, in cooperation with the Cultural Olympiad, recently unveiled an exhibition on the late poet C.P. Cavafy in the hall’s foyer exhibition area. The show, titled «Cavafy: His World and the Artistic Forms of his Time,» runs until January 31, and promises to offer insight into the spiritual world of the renowned poet. «Cavafy’s name is synonymous with Greek poetry, and the sense of a global society of Greeks,» said Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos in a recent press conference. «It was our obligation to put this show together,» he added. Displays at the Megaron exhibition include several personal items of the Alexandria-born poet – many of which are being shown in Athens for the first time – such as his desk, approximately 20 books from his personal library, photographs, notes and portraits (from the Cavafy Archive of the Hellenic Literary and History Archive [ELIA]). The second leg of the exhibition includes 84 paintings, on loan from the Greek National Gallery, the Corfu Portrait Gallery and 16 private collections, by artists who were contemporaries of Cavafy. «All the artists (Parthenis, Savvidis, Rallis, Maleas, Skarvellis, Karavias, Tsirgiotis, and others) had either a brief or long-term relationship with Alexandria,» explains art critic Effi Andreadi, who curated the display. «There are those who were attracted to the barren landscape of the desert, the perfect immobility of the Nile. On the other hand, there are those (closer to Cavafy) who had succumbed to a particular air of the East, to the shadowy enclosed chambers, the dark rooms of the temples, the decorative aspects of the folklore, the detail of Arabic art. The exhibition is made especially interesting by the private collectors’ contributions of paintings that are normally hidden away in the homes of art lovers.»