George Zongolopoulos

Zongolopoulos George
© George Zongolopoulos Foundation Archives

He was born in Athens in 1903, where he also died in 2004. He studied Sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Thomas Thomopoulos (1924-1930). In the years 1949 and 1950 he worked with the sculptor Marcel Gimond in Paris on a French government scholarship. From 1952 to 1953, after having been granted a scholarship by the Greek State Scholarships Foundation, he went to Italy where he studied bronze-casting techniques (Fonderia Nicci, Rome and Fonderia Domeniccini, Pistoia). He was an active member of the art groups Techni, the Greek Artists Association, Stathmi, Tomi, and the Group for Communication and Education in Art. Many of his works belong to private collections and foundations in Greece and all over the world, also adorning numerous public spaces and buildings. He received several distinctions throughout his life and had many award winning competition entries and commissions. In February 2004 he established the George Zongolopoulos Foundation, located in his home-studio.


Solo Exhibitions


Interminable Plenitude in the Vastness of Abstraction Museum of Contemporary Art – Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation Andros


Zoumboulakis Galleries Athens


G. Karydis Cultural Center Psychiko


Honourary Event on the Work of Sculptor George Zongolopoulos Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" Spata


Retrospective Megaron – The Athens Concert Hall Athens (curated by Efi Andreadi)


Retrospective Astrolavos Art Galleries Athens


Zongolopoulos Wittenberg Platz Berlin


Kappatos Gallery Venice


Venice Biennale 1993 Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art (MOMus – Museum of Contemporary Art) Thessaloniki


Venice Biennale 1993 Venice


Jean Bernier Gallery (Bernier / Eliades Gallery) Basel


Jean Bernier Gallery (Bernier / Eliades Gallery) Basel


Goethe Institute Athens


Europalia '82 Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels


Zoumboulakis Galleries Athens


Zita-Mi Art Gallery Thessaloniki


Budayari Palota National Museum Budapest Budapest


Warsaw Museum Zacheta


Campo Pisani Venice


Hellenic American Union Athens


Venice Biennale Venice


Doxiadis Schools Athens Technological Institute Athens


"Techni" Macedonian Art Society Thessaloniki


São Paulo Biennale São Paulo


Venice Biennale Venice


Zachariou Gallery Athens


The sculptor’s creative language is now freed of any kind of reference to earlier academic forms; it creates and is created through the self-definition of the materials. Space, water, energy, movement are the fundamental building blocks that transform and transfigure an order of things, liberating the momentum of visible and invisible materials. The static nature and solid masses of the sculptures of the 1950s and 1960s now give way to transparent, ‘immaterial’ masses. The magnifying lens in works such as “The Presents” (1975), “Lens with Nest” (1987) is employed by the artist as a new fantastical space, to establish a parallel relationship between the real and the non-real. The lens, for Zongopoulos, “is a very simple tool, if you like: I mean, I remember, as a kid, we used to pick it up and look through it out of curiosity”, a tool that reveals that magical world that the naked eye cannot see: any given detail. It would be fair to say that through his game with the lens, Zongopoulos has placed us in a prime position for viewing any type of image, which vision passes by, either because it is bombarded by it, or because, as it wonders aimlessly, it loses its way. The super-magnification of the space through the lens, along with the space in its natural dimensions, the recording of one within the other, the void and the space that defines the sculptural object itself, represent, for the artist, the point where architecture and sculpture meet.


Dorothea Konteletzidou
* Excerpt from the album “George Zongolopoulos: The Sculptor of Water”, Contemporary Greek Visual Artists series, “Ta Nea” newspaper, 2009.