Re-visit: Painter Kostas Papanikolaou

Re-visit: Painter Kostas Papanikolaou

On Wednesday 18th January at 8 p.m., Professor of Art History (University of Crete) Evgenios Matthiopoulos will present Kostas Papanikolaou’s oeuvre.

A discussion will follow with the painter and the exhibition curator and art historian Dr Tatiana Spinari-Pollali.

This event is related to the exhibition The Sotiris Felios Collection. Kostas Papanikolaou: Re-visit hosted at 16 Fokionos Negri.

View here the event′s video*

* English subtitles not available
Chronis Botsoglou in Conversation with the Audience in Nafplion

Chronis Botsoglou in Conversation with the Audience in Nafplion

Chronis Botsoglou conversed with the audience at the National Gallery – Alexander Soutsos Museum Nafplion Annex regarding his work Personal Nekyia (1993-2000), a group of 26 paintings, 5 of which were presented in the exhibition Somatographies: Contemporary Greek Painting from the Sotiris Felios Collection.

Chronis Botsoglou is one of the most significant painters of Greek post-war art. In this work he encounters the decay of human nature, the cycle of life and death, and the relations between the work of art, the past and art history.

“Personal Nekyia” is an autobiographical work, based on Odyssey’s 30th rapsody. Botsoglou, as the Necromancer, recalls significant people in his life and depicts them in a dark space.

The painter, after forty years of deep spiritual quest, elaborated on how this work came to life and how it lead him to unravel his true self, a route to self-awareness. In 1993 he submerged himself in his memories and retrieved images of personal experiences, in search of the essence of memory. He noted: “Every time you recall memories the images change; there is no prime memory. My intention was not to recreate the life I have lived, but to discover the way I remember”.

Professor Yorghos Veltsos, who took part in the discussion, remarked that Chronis Botsoglou while painting lowers himself. He also commented on the painter’s agony to ‘trouble’ his morphoplastic expression, the various techniques of his materials, in his attempt to express his emotional world.

This interesting conversation with the creator of “Nekyia” was an opportunity to understand the complex technique that the artist used to depict his beloved ones, as shadows, from memory. Furthermore, Chronis Botsoglou confirmed that art requires inner discipline and research. It is evident that his artistic quest creatively becomes his “life’s work”, the legacy of our cultural heritage.

Mrs Lambrini Karakourti-Orphanopoulou
Curator of the National Gallery Nafplion Annex
Giorgos Rorris at the National Gallery Nafplion Annex

Giorgos Rorris at the National Gallery Nafplion Annex

On Saturday 9th November, Giorgos Rorris visited the National Gallery – Alexander Soutsos Museum, Nafplion Annex where he had a conversation with young people, candidates for the School of Fine Arts, as well as art lovers in Nafplion.

Painter Panayiotis Tetsis, Giorgos Rorris’s master, impressed by his student, spoke highly of Rorris’s talent that undergoes “the ordeal of truth”. This process of unravelling the truth has been his main focus throughout his painting, recording the human figure and its identity on site.

The current periodic exhibition Somatographies: Contemporary Greek Painting from the Sotiris Felios Collection gives the audience the opportunity to get an insight on Giorgos Rorris’s artistic course through his works, i.e. “Elissavet” – one of his first nude women portraits, “Blue Alexandra”, as well as other paintings of smaller dimensions.

During the discussion, Giorgos Rorris focused on the nude portraits – a vital theme in his painting for the last fiftteen years – placed in the familiar space of his studio. Freed from their clothing and the social symbolism that they convey, the nude portraits mirror the painter’s endless effort to discover their identity through their sight. Only when the model finds their place in the studio, the painting process begins. The painting focuses on the body and, at the same time, evolves around it. The body itself dissipates its aura on the wall while the flooring boards are expanded outside the painting, in the viewer’s actual space.

Rorris characteristically noted that according to Nietsche “for a painting to be completed, fascination is crucial; the work of art is the result of the delicate balance between the Dionysian and the Apollonian element of human nature”. Furthermore, he highlighted the elements of his painting.

Giorgos Rorris in Conversation with the Audience at the Coumantaros Art Gallery in Sparta

Giorgos Rorris in Conversation with the Audience at the Coumantaros Art Gallery in Sparta

Renowned painter Giorgos Rorris grew up in Kosmas and Vrodamas. He finished school in Geraki. Geographically, his life has been surrounded by two mountains, Parnonas and Taygetos. This space has been expanded through Rorris’s studies in Athens and Paris and through his encounters with the masters of painting in the large museums, he became more familiar with tradition. This space has been widened further while being confined on the surface of the canvas. The painting space begins as a personal space but it then becomes a space that comprises us all.

Giorgos Rorris’s painting has come a long way since 1988, when he had his first solo exhibition, from landscapes to ‘landscapes of the soul’, the nudes of today. Various techniques, numerous colours beneath the shades of grey, allow us to encounter the loneliness within and deal with it in a unique way. In the same way that the painter himself transforms greatness to simplicity, the everyday even malformed into a ‘silent being’ that allows, however, all the distressing cries of his creativity to be heard. This is the reason Rorris’s master Panayiotis Tetsis called Rorris an “artistic genius”, right after his first solo exhibition.

Giorgos Rorris will help us unravel his artistic path at the Coumantaros Art Gallery, which is currently hosting the exhibition The 80s Generation: Contemporary Greek Painting from the Sotiris Felios Collection that presents, among others, Rorris’s paintings.

Stefanos Daskalakis in conversation with youngsters at the National Gallery Nafplion Annex

Stefanos Daskalakis in conversation with youngsters at the National Gallery Nafplion Annex

On Thursday 17th October, the National Gallery – Alexander Soutsos Museum, Nafplion Annex welcomed painter Stefanos Daskalakis, whose paintings are presented in the exhibition Somatographies: Contemporary Greek Painting from the Sotiris Felios Collection.

In the framework of the National Curriculum for the Arts for secondary education, Stephanos Daskalakis talked with the pupils of the New School, who were accompanied by their professors Vassiliki Sagkioti and Yannis Risva. The pupils of the New School were engaged with Daskalakis’s paintings and Daskalakis himself in order to find out more about his work and the art of painting. The conversation is a proof that art provides a vast variety of stimuli that can trigger critical and creative thinking.

The body is the main theme in Daskalakis’s paintings that are presented at the National Gallery Nafplion Annex ; portraits of female bodies, realistic portraits of large women sitting. The exuberance of his painting and the sensibility of his works capture the viewer immediately. He remarked: “I paint from life, because life is so powerful that it can disrupt and challenge me. The work that derives from this challenge is an exercise, in a way, of humiliating myself towards reality. Once this challenge occurs and if I can accept the reality that the model represents, only then the painting process begins.”

When pupils asked Daskalakis to define the art of painting, he replied “a way of being”. Although he is a representative of figurative painting, he does not separate abstract from figurative painting. To support his statement, he therefore pointed at a particular part of the background of the painting “Natalia” that could be a separate, abstract work of art.

From his point of view, the value of a work of art lays on a variety of factors: the gesture of painting, the colours, the way that shapes and forms are unified, the shades of light and colour on the canvas.

Similar discussions will follow with other artists that are presented in the current exhibition at the National Gallery Nafplion Annex. Our principle is that art should be taught as applied knowledge and skill, widening the intellectual horizons of the youth, and that meeting the artists themselves enhances the educational role of the museum.

Stefanos Daskalakis at the Coumantaros Art Gallery

Stefanos Daskalakis at the Coumantaros Art Gallery

On the occasion of the exhibition The ’80s Generation: Contemporary Greek Painting from the Sotiris Felios Collection, painter Stephanos Daskalakis meets with the audience and talks about his work on Wednesday 16th October at 7 p.m. at the Coumantaros Art Gallery.

Still lifes and the human body are his subject matter preferences. Most importantly, what matters is the way he deals with these themes in his paintings and not the themes themselves.

European Heritage Days at the Coumantaros Art Gallery in Sparta: Christos Bokoros

European Heritage Days at the Coumantaros Art Gallery in Sparta: Christos Bokoros

European Heritage Days is a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission involving all 50 signatory states of the European Cultural Convention under the motto “Europe: A Common Heritage”. The annual programme offers opportunities to visit buildings, monuments and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public. The cultural events highlight local skills and traditions, architecture and works of art, but the broader aim is to bring citizens together in harmony even though there are differences in cultures and languages.

The theme for 2013-2014 is dedicated to Time and the general title that embraced the activities is ‘The Faces of Time’.

The Coumantaros Art Gallery in Sparta participates in this celebration by organizing workshops for adults and children focusing on painter Christos Bokoros and his works. Several paintings of his are presented in the Gallery’s current exhibition The ’80s Generation: Contemporary Greek Painting from the Sotiris Felios Collection. The workshop will take place on September 27th for the students of the 5th Primary School, and on October 9th at 7 p.m. for adults.

The ’80s Generation: August Moon by Anna Maria Tsakali

The ’80s Generation: August Moon by Anna Maria Tsakali

The exhibition The ’80s Generation: Contemporary Greek Painting from the Sotiris Felios Collection at the Coumantaros Art Gallery in Sparta (Annex of the National Gallery) hosts 63 paintings by 17 artists. The exhibition suggests a narrative, a dialogue between the artists open to the visitor.