CULTURE

Landscapes and starry skies

When Manolis Haros visited Rhodes in 1982, the island enchanted him with the beauty of its flowers. First, the hibiscus, the chosen blossom of the Knights of Rhodes, stood out. Then came the oleander, whose bold colors captured the attention of the viewer. Fields were painted crimson by poppies, while lemon blossoms glowed among the dark leaves that encircled them. Now, in 2009, the artist returns to Rhodes with an exhibition filled with its flowers, landscapes and star-filled skies, to show his appreciation to the island that inspired him. Titled «R,» the recently opened exhibition is housed in the Spanish Language Center, a beautiful medieval building in the center of the Old City of Rhodes. Heritage Just as 2007’s joint exhibition with Manolis Zaharioudakis, «Attempts in Applied Metaphysics,» capitalized on the architectural advantages of the Church of Aghios Giorgos in Corfu Castle, so the space in Rhodes is used to complement and not simply stand as a backdrop for the exhibition. With nary a nail placed in the walls, Haros found innovative ways to display his works. The newly renovated center, built in the 15th century, is one of the most important buildings constructed during the rule of the Knights of St John on Rhodes. Utilizing archaeologically important buildings with respect, as Haros does, is a significant way of keeping and building on the archaeological heritage already there; an art exhibition such as this one is ideal example to be followed. The title «R» is symbolic and brings to mind words such as recycle, rethink, reconstruct and, of course, Rhodes. In fact, recycling plays a large role in the exhibition. The huge cardboard cutouts used to divide the room into two were taken from an exhibition organized by the Averoff Foundation at the Benaki Museum. His work, «The Vase as a Field,» which is made up of five independent pieces, changes depending on where the viewer is standing. From one point of view, it looks like a vase, while from another it turns into a green field filled with flowers. Juxtapositions Haros likes to juxtapose landscapes with still lives, so the rocky crevices of the high-ceilinged building match with the fluttering blossoms that look like butterflies in the light of the painted shining moon. Haros uses both paint and digital technology in his pieces. He first sketches or paints a canvas, and then scans it in order to alter it using digital means. He then prints the new work out. The exhibition runs to the end of August, and is organized by the Rhodes Museum of Neohellenic Art in collaboration with the 4th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities. Spanish Language Center, Rhodes, tel 22410.36646.