Thursday 31 January 2013

The Collector

The Collector, an adaptation of the novel by John Fowles

at 104 in Gazi.

Gazi, the arty, trendy area in Athens is becoming the centre for small theatres that stage innovatory, experimental drama.

104 is one of them. A room on the first floor of an historic building, the room divided into a stage area and an area for the audience which cannot seat more than 80 people. No back stage. Very intimate and being in such close proximity to the actors transformed the experience.

It was an excellent production. A very good script and the performances of Ioannis Papazisis and Eirini Fanarioti were outstanding.

We also enjoyed a drink in the bar

and admired the street art in the small garden, which somehow encapsulates the type of place 104 is. And the price? 2 euros - affordable, high quality art. Art for the masses? I would say so.

Gazi is on a winner these days.  Going there is always exciting with lots of innovatory, avant-garde things going on - definitely the place to be.

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Kostas Koulendianos

Kostas Koulendianos: The last Acrobat of Modernism, at the Benaki Museum, Pireos Street Annex.

Born in Athens in 1915, Koulendianos studied at the Athens School of Fine arts and then in Paris at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere.

'The main material I use is iron, ever harder, heavier, more difficult to work with. At the same time I try to remove some of its crude weight and give it motion. My main concerns are space, form and light.  How can each piece be positioned in space and accept light so that it can gain presence?'

Untitled, 1948, (bronze)

Untitled, 1946-47 (bronze)

Untitled, 1947 (bronze)

Tribune to Henri Laurenz, 1952 (bronze)

Reclining Woman, 1950, (bronze)

Skyros, 1952 (bronze)

Tribute to Henri Laurenz, 1952, (bronze)

'For forty years I have been observing Kostas Koulendianos' work.  I clearly remember when, in the early days, dissatisfied with a female head he was modelling out of clay he began to distort it in an effort to get beyond the familiar academic framework. This event was the beginning of a totally new approach in his practice'. George Kandillis.

Kythera, 1962 (welded bronze, tin and copper on wood)

Untitled, 1962 (welded bronze on iron)

Acrobat, 1957 (iron and bronze)

Seated Woman, 1955-56 (welded iron)

Eleni, 1950 (batik)

Untitled, 1962, (welded bronze, tin and copper on iron)

Untitled, 1949 (welded bronze on iron)

Untitled, 1966, (marble)

Untitled, 1962 (welded brass, tin and copper on wood)

Untitled, 1983, (tapestry using metal thread)

No blinds this time, natural light flooding the gallery, and a glimpse of the courtyard beyond

Reclining Woman, 1960 (welded bronze on iron)

Untitled, 1965, (bronze)

Athlete, 1963 (bronze)

Le Mollard, 1960, (welded lead)

looking out

Sail of Cherbouurg, 1975, (bolted aluminium)

Rythm, 1971, (arc-welded iron)

Parallel Rythm, 1970 (tapestry, woven by Marie-Therese Jacquet)

Relief, 1988 (bolted iron)

Irish Landscape, 1975, (Tapestry woven by Marie-Therese Jacquet)

Rythm IV, 1972, Tapestry

Parallel Rythm, 1978, Tapestry

Tapestry, 1971

Rythm I, 1971 (Tapestry woven by Marie-Therese Jacquet).

Sunday 27 January 2013

Artist's living quarters

This is a follow-up of my previous post on Nikos Hadjikyriakou-Ghikas' house, which is now an annexe of the Benaki Museum. We were able to view the sitting room and the dining rooms on the fifth floor.

The sitting room which leads to the small study

the area which is to the right of the previous photograph

outstanding features are the striking use of concrete for the columns, the ceiling,

the bookcases

and door frames

The walls feature perforated brick elements

a further sitting area in the living room

a closer look at the tapestry which was inspired by one of his paintings

another aspect of the living room

the study

portrait of the artist's father, 1948

a smaller, cosier sitting room

the other end of the same room,

looking closer at the painting that hangs above the fireplace

the landing at the top of the stairs that connects the living room with the dining room

a closer look at portrait of Nikos Hakjikyriakos-Ghikas by Nikos Kessanlis

the dining room

Kifissia, 1951, (egg tempera on wood) dominates the dining room

The Artist and his Wife, 1990, (oil on canvas).

More paintings as we go down the stairs to the fourth floor:

Cosmas Xenakis, Composition, 1955 (oil on canvas)

Yiannis Gaitis, Portrait of a Man, 1945, (oil on canvas)

Yiannnis Gaitis, Windmill, 1945, (oil on canvas)