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Aegean: Identities + Journeys

About the exhibition

The social and historical reality of today is raising questions and creating acute concerns which we do not fully comprehend or do not comprehend at all. The times we are living through as individuals and as citizens force us to examine issues beyond our experience, and frequently our awareness. In this country, the need for answers, for an analysis, is palpable and increasingly urgent. The transcendent intervention of Art is of the greatest importance.

As an agent in cultural management, Citronne Gallery aims to function as a forum for the exchange of artistic ideas and views. With this in mind, this year we chose a theme, always current, recently enlarged and magnified. The Aegean, our sea, has a long history of life and movement, peace and wars, survival and voyage, work and experience. The exhibition “Aegean: Identities + Journeys” brings together artistic viewpoints on this subject, expressed by nine contemporary artists called upon to provide commentary: Yiannis Adamakos, Michalis Katzourakis, Demosthenis Kokkinidis, Alekos Kyrarinis, Tasos Mantzavinos, Emmanouil Bitsakis, Constantin Xenakis, Sotiris Sorogas, and Jannis Psychopedis.

The artistic works exhibited are accompanied by poems, or extracts of texts, chosen by the artists as an additional representation of reality. At the same time, the poems are independent of the artistic work: that is, they are not the inspiration for the art, but the artists’ stream of conscious commentary on their varied memories and responses to the Aegean. The artistic and the poetic function as a diptych which highlights the crucial significance of the Aegean to the history and the definition of the Greek identity.

Works in Two and Three Dimensions

About the artist

Michalis Katzourakis was born in Alexandria in 1933. He studied painting under André Lhote and drawing and poster design under Paul Colin in Paris (1951-1955). Between 1960-1967, he was art advisor to the National Tourist Organization (EOT). In 1962, together with F. Carabott, he established the K&K Athens Advertising Center. In 1979 the historic Denise René gallery organized his first solo exhibition in Paris. In 1997, at the opening of the 47th Biennale of Venice, Kantzourakis’s large sculpture, Incontri, was presented on a floating platform. In 2001, the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and, in 2002, the Athens School of Fine Arts presented retrospective exhibitions of his work (1965-2001), including paintings, sculptures and constructions.

About the exhibition

In Michalis Katzourakis’s «Works in Two and Three Dimensions» there is a dialogue between works in small and large scale, indoor and outdoor environments, paintings and monumental sculptures.

The exhibition has chosen to display pivotal points in the development of the artists’ ideas and his concerns with the figurative and the abstract. His sculptures, dating to the late ’60s, are notable for their dynamic, with full and elliptical geometrical forms, rectangles, squares, circles and lines, as well as for their colour. These works are «imposed upon» and «intervene» in the urban landscape. The minimalist sculptures focus on explorations of the geometrical form and classical analogies; it flows from the artist’s own artistic geometric glossary.

In his recent works, Katzourakis revisits with sensitivity the artistic transposition of the visual stimulus in windows, objects from our everyday environment. The stark geometry of the older works is transformed into an abstract approach to the world.