Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Theodoros Papayiannis

Theodoros Papayiannis, Facing One's History, at Alimos Art Gallery.

Theodoros Papayiannis was born in Eliniko, Ioannina, Greece, in 1942. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts and the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Appliques et des Metiers d'Art in Paris. He subsequently organised various sculpture symposiums in various cities in Greece and Cyprus, where large sculptures were created in public spaces. In 2006 he won an international sculpture competition sponsored by the City of Chicago for his sculpture 'the Runners' which was installed at the O'Hare International Airport. 

After retiring in 2009 he founded the Theodoros Papayiannis Museum of Contemporary Art in his home town of Elliniko. Every summer students and sculptors are invited to the museum to create sculptures which are placed on the 5 km route from the village to the Monastery of Tsouka.

Papayiannis uses a variety of materials in his work: stone, marble, bronze, wood, steel terracotta, but also synthetic materials and secondary objects.

His work can be grouped into three categories: 1. Tectonic sculptures, groups of figures carved on marble and stone that preserve the memory of the rectangle shapes from which they originated. 2. Sculptures that are inspired by organic forms: stones and pebbles where the sculptor utilises their random shape in order to draw out, with minor but vital interventions, human figures with special expressiveness. 3. Small sculptures, usually made of clay, that are reminiscent of the post-Minoan and Mycenaean periods. 

It is the sculptures of this third category that are presented in this exhibition. The masks are very expressive, and the small sculptures are exquisite. It is quite a coup to exhibit the work of such prolific, creative and talented artist in a small regional gallery, and we were very grateful to have had the opportunity to see his work.

This is a small, regional gallery, basic, no pretense. The space is still set up as it was on the day of the launch of the exhibition.

Looking at some of the individual pieces


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