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The Alphabet – Archaic Palimpsest

Jannis Psychopedis
The Alphabet – Archaic Palimpsest
June 8, 2019 - September 30, 2019

Archaeological Museum of Poros
Korizi Square
18020 Poros Island

(+30) 697 9989 684

Opening Hours
Mon, Wed-Sun:

About the artist

Jannis Psychopedis was born in 1945 in Athens. He studied printmaking at the Athens School of Fine Arts with K. Grammatopoulos (1963-1968). He continued his studies in Academie der Bilden- den Kunste, in Munich (1970-1976) on a DAAD scholarship. Then, he was invited by the Public Artistic Programme of West Berlin, and settled there until 1986. During his stay in Germany he developed considerable artistic activity, by participating in collective schemes as well. Meanwhile, in Greece, he co-founded the art group ‘Young Greek Realists’ (1971-1973. Additionally, he participated in the creation of the Centre for Visual Arts (KET, 1974-1976). In 1986, he moved to Brussels and in 1993 he returned to Greece. In 1994, he was elected professor of painting at ASFA, where he taught until 2012. He has organized dozens of solo exhibitions worldwide, in private and public galleries as well as museums. He has also taken part in many group exhibitions and international exhibitions. Several retrospective exhibitions of his work have been held in Greece (1987-88, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2009). In 2004, he created the large installation for the Eirini Station of the Athens metro. Many albums on his work have been published, as well as monographs and books with his writings and essays on art.

About the exhibition

In the Archaeological Museum of Poros, Jannis Psychopedis depicts time and the traces of history in twenty-four artworks-books of equal size, each corresponding to a letter of the Greek alphabet. This numbering alludes readily to the divisions of Homer's epic poems into 24 rhapsodies. Indeed, Homer is the starting point for the key concepts and timeless dilemmas of humanity: death-life, memory-oblivion, identity-alienation, love-aversion, transcendence-hubris. This dialectic has the primary conceptual role in the overall work of Psychopedis, who creates a 'palimpsest' of testimonies.

The project traces a tradition of millennia, the Greek language and its symbols, its characters. The alphabet books recall the illustrated texts of Byzantine times but also children's speller books. They are open-closed, showing or hinting at fragments and excerpts of History; images of a language under pressure, wondering and seeking its lost unity with the past and its relation to the future.

To this series Psychopedis adds two recent works-copies from the Museum which force upon the viewer an almost violent awareness of contemporary reality. The foot and the female statuette, both exhibits in the Museum, are superimposed and introduce landscapes of a refugee existence: the escape over sea, the confinement behind barbed wire fences. This is an ideological social reading of the present which, in turn, recalls the darkest past and warns of a sinister future.

The task of a synthesis of all these falls upon the viewer.

Encapsulation − Mappemonde − The Secret Book

George Lappas
Encapsulation − Mappemonde − The Secret Book
November 29, 2018 - May 31, 2019

19 Patriarchou Ioakim
4th floor
10675 Athens

(+30) 210 7235 226

Opening Hours
Tue, Thu, Fri: 11.00-15.00 &17.00-20.00
Wed: 11.00-15.00
Sat: 11.00-15.00

About the artist

1950 - 2016. As a Greek of the diaspora, George Lappas makes intensive use of geography and mapping in his work, in which landscapes turn into a map of the world. His life was marked by his countless journeys, starting from his birthplace, Cairo, in Egypt in 1950. In 1958 the family moves to Greece, where he completes his secondary education in Athens. From 1969 to 1973 he studies clinical psychology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, USA, going into research and participating in psychiatric programmes at clinics in Salem, Oregon, as well as San Francisco and San Diego in California. In 1974 he travels to India on a Watson Foundation grant to document Indian sculpture and architecture. He visits Afghanistan and Persia. In 1975 he studies at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and continues with a seminar in Italy. From 1976 to 1981 he studies at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Yannis Pappas and Giorgos Nikolaidis, graduating with distinction. In 1984 he obtains a French state scholarship for the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he studies sculpture. In 1986–87 he works in France and England. In 1991, a Cartier Foundation schol- arship takes him to Jouy-en-Josas. Between 1987 and 2016 he teaches as Professor of sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts, introducing an entire new and groundbreaking method for training young artists. In the meantime he continues to travel to Canada, China, Japan, Russia, USA, Brazil, Korea and all over Europe, not giving up this insatiable curiosity which leads him to his own utopia.

About the exhibition

Citronne Gallery, Athens operates in parallel and complementary to the Poros gallery to propose a different art space. In Poros the emphasis is on the local; in Athens, on the global—the interface of world networks. A flat in a 1960s apartment block is converted to meta-function as an exhibition space. On Thursday, November 29, it opens with the exhibition "Encapsulation – Mappemonde" of George Lappas, re-exhibiting one of the best-known and most important works of Greek post-war sculpture, Mappemonde.

Citronne Gallery aspires to achieve a synthesis between local and global, making use of the networks that link the Greek capital with Diaspora and international art. It will display and re-display works that have stood the test of time and function space; that is, works whose symbolism transcends the boundaries of time and space.

True to this spirit, “Mappemonde,” the Map of the World, comes as a delineated, “encapsulated” memory field which is in turn “encapsulated” into the memory of an urban residence. This as charting, a sculptural narrative that starts from personal experiences but at the same time opens up to a universal scale.

As noted by co-curator Yorgos Tzirtzilakis, it is “a work of a mystical nature…, the model of a world with the question of classification at its core... [making] Lappas a latter-day mythologist-sculptor who, in this case, does not so much carve a material with his scalpel but rather constructs, engraves, cuts and above all assembles…”
The 600-page catalogue by Citronne – Athens incorporates the unpublished Secret Book of George Lappas. This precious, hitherto unknown archive material documents the layout of the composition using photocopied photographs, material from the one hundred and sixty-four "plates-casts” (maps), drawings for the three thousand "elements" as well as handwritten notes, catalogue references, calculations and sketches.

Sculptor Afroditi Liti, the life partner of George Lappas, states that “…This was the word of “mappemonde” which was composed of small objects of metal welded together, and a home which took its form from an imaginary quest of his birthplace…”; she believes that “In a scholarly way, through his sculpture, George succeeded in bridging the gaps and obsessions existing between the public and art.” Also, as co-curator Afroditi Liti mentions “after 31 years, and in the space of a hospitable Athenian flat, we are invited to re-appraise, ‘encapsulated’ George’s ecstatic personal map through the stitching together of strewn images of civilization.”

The new venture of Citronne rekindles and builds on an initiative that began twelve years ago. It aspires to enrich the capital’s artistic life with new ideas and fruitful collaborations.

Co-curators & Catalogue Editors
Afroditi Liti, Tatiana Spinari–Pollalis, Yorgos Tzirtzilakis

Eleftheria Deko

Catalogue Design
Yorgos Rimenidis – Grid Office