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Ars Longa

Yiannis Adamakos, Cris Gianakos, Makis Theofylaktopoulos, Alekos Kyrarinis, George Lappas, Nikos Markou
Ars Longa
October 2 - October 17, 2020
Athens

19 Patriarchou Ioakim
4th floor
10675 Athens
Greece

(+30) 210 7235 226

Opening Hours
Tue, Thu, Fr: 11.00-20.00
Wed, Sat: 11.00-16.00

About the exhibition

Citronne gallery Athens presents a selection of artworks by six artists as a preview of its participation in the forthcoming online "Art Athina, 2020".
"Ars Longa", Citronne gallery’s starting point in terms of subject, exhibits and brings together contemporary artworks - painting, sculpture, construction, photography.

The art media used are diverse, the artists come from different eras and backgrounds; however, they form a palimpsest of ideas and creativity which hovers above time and space. What we are trying to demonstrate, to prove, is that Art transcends human limits, and the finite human life.

In our days, humanity is undergoing a great, unforeseen ordeal which is dominated by the fear of the unknown. In parallel or even against this distress, Art raises protective and defensive walls, breaks free from the neurotic rationalism of our days and guarantees the value of continuity, the immortality of Creation.
Yiannis Adamakos and his abstractions, Cris Gianakos of the Diaspora , the transcendental Makis Theofylaktopoulos, Alekos Kyrarinis and his Byzantine obsessions, the post mortem multifaceted George Lappas and photographer Nikos Markou give life to this creative spirit.

Ars Longa is a wakeup call against the current nightmare. Between bloom and wear, between the brevity of life - vita brevis and the longevity of memory, Art had and still has the power to go beyond sensible limits and to withstand time, surpassing human dimension, human state and human boundaries.

Yiannis Adamakos seeks to exhaust the boundaries between the sensible world and the subjective-subconscious reception of reality. He dredges up and explains the traces of memory. He demonstrates that the limits between present and past are forged in Memory. Similarly, the limits between light and darkness, noise and silence, dream and experience, nature and fantasy fuse into colour.

Cris Gianakos, a well known visual artist of the Greek Diaspora. He is interested in architecture, ancient civilisations and human behaviour. He is fascinated by geometrical forms and classical proportions as well as their cultural and spiritual aspect. With the dynamic composition of clear geometric levels, such as the Cross and the Diagonal, it hints at the supremacy of pure emotions.

Makis Theofylaktopoulos, representing Greek expressionism, has created a soaring universe of painting excellence and existential depth, at the centre of which lies the human or human-like form. Given that he constantly reinvents his technique anew, he goes from representation to an almost autobiographical abstraction as it seeks "artistic emission", that is, the power of painting to pulsate irrationally within its viewer With a constantly reinvented technique, he goes from the representation of the form to an almost autobiographical abstraction, in search of the "artistic emission" - that is, the possibility of the painting pulsating horses inside its viewer. The image of a solitary, urban person in such a difficult world, concerns human existence per se.

Alekos Kyrarinis, with a varied visual signature, with personal meanings and collective memories, he continues with his complex, strictly personal quest. Kyrarinis’ painting is a fascinating amalgam of influences that have been so utterly assimilated that they have become difficult to distinguish - from Byzantine semantics to Islamic calligraphy and contemporary visual artists, from Greece or abroad. Space in his works is overwhelmed by varied decorative motifs which stem from a very large time frame ranging from the late antiquity to the byzantine and post-byzantine era moving on to popular marble sculpture and woodcarving. All motifs play an instrumental part in the composition because their use is the result of Kyrarinis’ profound awareness of their symbolism and visual importance.

George Lappas rejects limitations; he is indifferent to "rationality." He is characterised by and expresses the eternal desire of man to exceed limits. His world is composed of metal, plastic fabric, electric lamps. These unexpected materials create a sense of paradox, of the uncanny, which evokes subconscious oneiric connections, and hard-to-apprehend associations. After all, Lappas defies limitations, he is indifferent to rationality. The physical body is abolished; thought, memory and narration work exclusively in their internal rationale. His works are first and foremost a study of the relationship between body and space and time, a reflection on the relations of the past and the future of sculpture, the structural parameters of plastic arts and architecture in relation to location, but also a dive into aspects of the human soul.

Nikos Markou provides a photographic definition of an inner world, an Inner Space. From selected landscapes he shifts to an inner reality. Moreover, from natural rendering he moves to technical mutative treatment. The end result leads the viewer to a “fabricated” reality. These photographs are no longer photographs of landscapes or people, but interior landscapes- namely a transcendent reconstruction whose starting point is assimilated through the photographer’s decisive and subjective interpretation.

Sculptures and Light Installations

George Lappas
Sculptures and Light Installations
October 4, 2019 - November 15, 2019
Athens

19 Patriarchou Ioakim
4th floor
10675 Athens
Greece

(+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

The exhibition "Sculptures and Light Installations" presents ten of George Lappas' best known sculptures and installations. George Lappas' work occupies a special place in Greek art of the second half of the twentieth century. It accomplishes the transition from the pure sculpture of modernism to the critical reflexivity and relationality of contemporary art. His works represent a study of the relationship of the body with space and time, a reflection on the relationships of the past and future of sculpture, and the structural parameters of the plastic arts and of architecture in relation to place.

Large and small-size figures of fabric, plastic, neon lights and steel make up his sculptural world. These figures are 'in motion' or stationary. The natural body is abolished; thought, memory, and narration work according to an inner logic, without perceptible consequences. The unexpected materials create a sense of paradox, of the uncanny, recalling unconscious dream connections and indecipherable associations.

Encapsulation − Mappemonde − The Secret Book

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

19 Patriarchou Ioakim
4th floor
10675 Athens
Greece

(+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

Lighting
Eleftheria Deko

Catalogue Design
Yorgos Rimenidis – Grid Office

Figures and Rucksack with Ears

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

George Lappas’ posthumous one-man show presents thirty four works, sculptures, studies, and drawings covering the period 1977-2016. These works comprise a unity that focusses first and foremost on the human figure, the principal theme of his creation as a whole. The unity is disrupted or even elaborated by seemingly exogenous elements, which however signal a functional peculiarity of the artist: George Lappas’ starting point and idiosyncrasy are those of a traveller, a voyager. His trajectory has no boundaries, geographic, cultural or national; in similar fashion his resulting artistic creations transcend sensory reality. The trademark of this search to the ends of the known or conceivable world is the emblematic ‘rucksack with ears’, an indispensable accessory that enables the traveller to hear the merest sound in the human universe.

Large and small-size figures of bronze, aluminium, fabric, plastic, neon lights, make up the sculptural world of George Lappas. They are framed by the exhibition space, which serves as part of a traditional local house. There the ‘Artist with his Thoughts’ converses with shamans, tightrope walkers, jugglers, magicians, divinities. These figures are ‘in motion’ or stationary at the edges of reality, oblivious of the laws of physics and equilibrium. The natural body is abolished; thought, memory, and narration work according to an inner logic, without perceptible consequences. Unexpected materials create a sense of paradox, of the uncanny, recalling unconscious dream connections, undecipherable associations. The dialogue between the Egyptianised Solon relaxing on the banks of the Nile and the figures of his fellow travellers is unpredictable for the viewer, and is based on thematic references that go back to the multiple recognisable starting points of the artist.

East and West operate artistically with distinct traits, though in an original, archetypal composition. The sculptures fetch to mind Egypt and hieroglyphics, India and Brahman temples; they bring out the paradoxical and hint at magic—indications perhaps of nostalgia for the ‘metaphysical’ past at work in the countries of the East. The West, on the contrary, imposes a rationalist tyranny that causes the artist ‘grief of space’. The only antidote for this is the work of Art, the only way to bridge antitheses, to appropriate the unfamiliar—that is, to bring to completion the ‘foreign world’. Not only the shamans and conjurors, the tightrope walkers and acrobats, but also the one- legged men and the hanging gardeners narrate through performance the perpetual desire of man to surpass each time his frontiers, whether of the physical world surrounding him or of finite intelligence and knowledge. Under the same transcendental attitude a seat or a star may balance over the head of a figure, extending the borders and the resilience of the body and freely reinterpreting the visible symbiosis of human being and object.

This exhibition attempts to give the most complete picture possible of the complex personality of George Lappas and his long and painful search. He was an artist who ‘saw many cities of men and learned their way of thinking’ (Odyssey 1.3). He gained this experience and conveyed it with mastery and insight throughout his entire artistic journey.