Contemporary Greek Painting from the Sotiris Felios Collection
Located in the city’s geographical and commercial centre, on bustling Istiklal Caddesi (or Istiklal Avenue, the old Grande Rue de Pera), the Sismanoglio Megaron of the Consulate General of Greece in Istanbul hosts exhibitions on artistic and current themes which attract more than 25,000 visitors annually. It has been operating as a Greek language school for the past two years, and is attended today by some 400 students.
The works in the exhibition help adumbrate a picture of contemporary Greek figurative painting. Works by six significant artists are presented, with the aim of promoting the image of figurative painting as it has evolved in Greece in recent decades. Most of these works were exhibited at the Benaki Museum in Athens in November of 2009.
The first works seen as one enters the exhibition venue are paintings by Yannis Moralis and Chronis Botsoglou. Moralis – apart from the brilliance of his personality and his painting – redrew the human figure in a spare, geometric way, while Botsoglou seeks to ensure that his intense feeling is clearly registered on all levels of his creation, attitude and action. The works of Yannis Moralis in the Felios Collection are paintings from the period between 1994 and 2004, together with a number of drawings from his student years and preliminary colour sketches for large-scale compositions. Moralis’s paintings reveal intellectual work and creativity, functioning as magnets, which is why the work “Erotic” (2002) was chosen for this exhibition. The monumental group of works entitled “Personal Nekyia” by Chronis Botsoglou (1993-2000) constitutes an integrated personal and poetic look at Memory and Space, and the painting “Personal Nekyia No. 15”, which is exhibited here, belongs to this group.
The works of these six artists who make up the basic core of the exhibition have been painted over the past 25 years and trace the artists’ different but related courses with considerable clarity. The aim of the exhibition is mainly to disclose the relationships between them: their shared attitude towards the world, the power of their glance, their struggle with the medium, the consistency of their subject matter, even though their points of view have changed over time, and above all their respect for painting.