Myth-inspired work by Ghika

Artist Nikos Hadzikyriakos-Ghika was fascinated by the art of different civilizations and often used it as inspiration for his own work. In the late 1940s, themes from Greek mythology are repeatedly represented in his sculptures, which, although less known than the artist’s paintings, form an important part of his work and show the varied quality of Ghika’s artistic output. Fifty sculptures on ancient Greek themes are exhibited in «Reincarnated Painting: Sculpture by Ghika» which are on show for a few more days at the American College of Greece (ACG) art center. Curated by Megaklis Rogakos, curator of the ACG collection, the exhibition includes high reliefs, free-standing sculptures and medallions – all from the ACG collection – and is meant to show the painterly qualities of his sculpture, particularly of his high reliefs. The masks of the Medusa and Proteus stand out among the works. Ghika made the Medusa masks in 1948 during his stay at Kimon Friar’s summer house on Poros and they were actually inspired by Friar’s love for the ancient myth. (Thirteen of the works included in the exhibition come from Kimon Friar’s bequest to the college in 1993.) The Gorgon Medusa, the first in the series, is a surreal combination of found objects and, according to Rogakos, may have been inspired by the Perseus metope on the Selinus Temple in Sicily. More classical in style, another Gorgon mask, inspired by the 4th century BC relief of «Medusa Rondanini,» is a work presented to the public for the first time. The exhibition also includes masks that Ghika designed for the theater. These come from the collection of the stage designer Dionysis Fotopoulos. A bust of Homer from 1950, a small sculpture inspired by the Tanagra figurines and numerous medallions on varied mythological themes (among them Theseus and Ariadne, Jason and Medea, Pluto and Persephone) show the painter’s study of Greek mythology and his parallel search of the properties of sculpture. At the American College of Greece (6 Gravias, Aghia Paraskevi, tel 210.600.9800) to May 30.