George Rorris. Women: Works from the Sotiris Felios Collection
The Municipal Gallery of Corfu’s 2022 season of periodical exhibitions opens with George Rorris, one of our most important Greek painters.
As a cultural organisation, it is the Gallery’s duty to serve its role in promoting Art, which is a means of bringing together people and nations, especially during these dark times for the countries of Europe and the subsequent difficulties affecting the cultural landscape.
This is the context which inspired George Rorris’ exhibition Women, with works from the Sotiris Felios Collection, which will be held at the Peristyle Department of Periodical Exhibitions, from April 8 until May 31, 2022.
In the works presented in the exhibition, the female figure prevails in various stages of life, positions and moments, always in organic and unbroken harmony with the vital space of the artist’s studio. “I paint mostly women because I am interested in otherness, the unknown world of the other known as woman,” confesses the painter. His tender gaze strives to understand the female nature, to delve into the depths of its existence and, ultimately, to exalt it, capturing the majesty of its simplicity in an effort to describe its psyche. The nostalgic and, at times, melancholy atmosphere of the works brings out the poetic aura that surrounds them, and intensifies the dramatic quality of the composition.
At a time of widespread crisis, with multiple victims of gender violence, the need for an art that respects and elevates the female nature emerges as almost an imperative. On the opposite end of the prevalent aesthetic, the contrived and flawless image, the art of George Rorris insists on showing the contemporary woman as she truly is, without idealising or beautifying her. His aim is to capture the contemporary Greek woman, the simple, everyday woman of our day, who is fighting for and living her own life. “I am not interested in imitators of life, with whom our time is riddled,” he points out. The painter depicts women with love, with respect for the traces of time, the wear, the imperfections, the fragility, the strength, with the pure gaze of an honest artist who recognises, primarily, his own fragile and imperfect human nature.
George Rorris belongs in the Generation that appeared on the Greek art scene after the mid-1980s, taking advantage of the freedom of expression secured by the pluralism of postmodernism. One of the most important figurative painters of his generation, he creates works that are realistic, working exclusively with life models in the setting of his studio. He succeeds, with remarkable mastery, to convey the aura of a scene, that deeper and indefinable sense that inspires him and expresses the relationship of the figure with the space, and which is about what is rather than the appearance of things, the essence beneath the surface. The painter has no interest in creating digestible painting to please the eye. On the contrary, he seeks to challenge his viewers, to engage them in his work, stressing that “The point of a work of art is to cause unease, not complacency”.
Given that Sotiris Felios was one of the first Greek collectors to believe in and support the artist’s work, it follows that his collection now includes some of his most iconic works. As the collector says himself: “In the first instance, my soul captivated by his works by their simplicity, which is gentility and wisdom all at once, refined taste and great mastery”.
Thirty (30) works from the Sotiris Felios Collection form the core of the exhibition presented at the Municipal Gallery of Corfu, carrying on the successful collaboration of the two organisations for the third year running.
The opening will be attended by both the collector and the artist; the latter will give the audience a guided tour of the world of his art outside of the exhibition venue, with a projection of the presentation being shown in the Peristyle, allowing all attendees to enjoy it, given that the number of people permitted indoors is still subject to restrictions in accordance with healthcare protocols.
As part of the exhibition, on Saturday, April 9, at 12:00, the artist will hold a workshop with students from the Painting Workshop for adults of the Municipality of Ilioupoli, who will travel from Athens in order to attend the opening and take part in the event.
In the event of additional interest, a second workshop may be held on Sunday, April 10, provided there are ten (10) or more registrations, taken by March 31, 2022.
All visitors upon entering the space are required to provide:
(a) valid vaccination certificate
(b) valid disease certificate
It is necessary to present a police ID or driver’s license or passport or other proof of identity along with the certificates.
The above certificates can be displayed either in paper form or electronically through the visitor’s mobile device or through the application Covid Free GR.
Children from 4 to 17 years old can submit a statement of self-diagnosis (self test) of the last twenty-four hours, which is performed by either any parent, even if they do not have custody, or a guardian. No physical presence of the parent or the guardian is required.
During your time inside the exhibition the use of a medical mask is mandatory.