CULTURE

Artist’s sculptures get new home in own museum

During her career, sculptor Alex Mylonas did not exhibit her work publicly on a regular basis. Now in her 80s, she has amassed a large number of works that represent the development of her work from the 1950s to the present. Instead of hiding them away in some storeroom, Mylonas decided to open a museum in Athens to focus exclusively on her own work. The museum, which has only just opened to the public, is located in an elegant building designed in 1920 in the eclectic style of the time by architect B. Tsangris. The two-story building is located in the heart of the city’s historic center, just a few blocks away from the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and a short walk away from the Kerameikos archaeological site. One of the reasons, Mylonas says, that led her to buy a building in Athens and use it to exhibit her work is the fact that her work is heavily inspired by Greece. Titles such as «Cyclades,» «Aegean,» «Columns,» «Birth of Apollo» or «Kouros,» associated with several marble sculptures, suggest the connection the artist feels with Greece, particularly its ancient past. Apart from marble, Mylonas also uses aluminium and slate, iron or reinforced concrete. Her works consist of simple geometric shapes that, in some cases, seem inspired by ancient Cycladic art infused with a modern starkness and angularity. Most of Mylonas’s sculptures are either frontal views or consist of shapes arranged in horizontal planes. Mylonas says she used frontality because she wanted the viewer to be able enjoy a sculpture in its entirety when standing before it, without having to walk all around it. The concept of space is still very important to her and the voids between the planar arrangements of her forms are as much a part of each sculpture as the solid parts. Although this is a museum that highlights the artist’s sculptures, a small section includes Mylonas’s recent colorful paintings, mostly on the theme of the female figure. Seen against the black and white, stark works spread about the museum’s floor, this part offers an interesting contrast, bursting with the vivacity of strong colors. Mylonas says that she would like her museum to also organize exhibitions on young artists. For the time being, it is a museum where one can become acquainted with the work of this prolific, but little-exhibited, Greek artist. Museum Alex Mylona (5 Agion Assomaton Square, Thiseion). Contact: 210.321.5717 or www.mam.org.gr.