CULTURE

A panorama of Greek art

Following the landmark opening of the National Glyptotheque in 2004, the Greek National Gallery is focusing on its other branches around the country. Hence, the opening of the permanent collection of Greek paintings that took place at Kato Korakiana on Corfu recently. The works illustrate modern Greek history, from the post-Byzantine years to today, with a strong emphasis on the artists of the Ionian School. All paintings stem from the National Gallery’s collection as well as from the Euripides Koutlidis Foundation collection. The journey through contemporary Greek art starts off with a painting from the workshop of Domenicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) and moves on to the early works of the Ionian School. It continues with the blossoming Munich School and works by Nikiforos Lytras, Nikolaos Gyzis and Georgios Iakovidis. These artists represent the painting style at the end of the 19th century. The early 20th century is represented in works by Ioannis Altamouras, Constantinos Volanakis and Symeon Savvidis, who cast an impressionist look upon the natural world. The depiction of Greek light and the turn toward Greek modernism is seen in the paintings of Constantinos Parthenis, Constantinos Maleas, Michalis Economou and Dimitris Galanis, while the 1930s generation is represented by Fotis Kontoglou, Aginoras Asteriadis and Spyros Vassileiou. The exhibition continues with the postwar period and works by Yiannis Moralis, Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas and Nikos Nikolaou, but also with the crucial decade of the 1950s and abstract works by Vlassis Kaniaris, Costas Tsoclis and others. The period from the 60s up to today is recorded in works of sculptor Thodoros and artists Opy Zouni, Pavlos, Giorgos Lazongas, Panayiotis Tetsis, Giorgos Rorris, Stathis Logothetis, Nikos Alexiou, Christos Bokoros and Pantelis Handris. National Gallery Director Marina Lambraki-Plaka is the general curator of the exhibition, while curator Alexandra Apostolidou is responsible for the works of the Ionian School up to WWII and Zina Kaloudi for the postwar works. Apart from its permanent collections, the National Gallery will continue running temporary displays at the second building of its Corfu branch, which is housed in the Mibelli Mansion, as soon as circumstances allow it. The historical mansion was built after the restoration of a medieval tower, which is believed to have been built around 1600 by Italian baron Lucca Mibelli in the region today called Kato Korakiana. The National Gallery branch has been housed there since 1994.