The Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation is getting ready to unveil “two different worlds,” as collections director Marie Koutsomallis-Moreau described it at a recent press conference on the two shows being prepared for its Athens and Andros premises.
On the Cycladic island, the Goulandris Museum will be hosting a retrospective on Chronis Botsoglou, one of the most widely respected and influential voices in contemporary Greek art, who died last year at the age of 81. Titled “The Uncompromising Honest of Empathy,” the show – running from July 2 to October 1 – comprises more than 100 drawings, pastels, oils, watercolors and sculptures. Curated by Koutsomallis-Moreau, it covers the years from 1953 to 2018, a period of more than 65 years of incredible productivity in what was a very fertile artistic career.
Botsoglou was born in 1941 in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki to a family of refugees from Asia Minor, and worked very hard in shaping his personal idiom. This journey of self-discovery is underscored in the show.
He also put people at the center of his work, approaching humanity in the same methodical, thoughtful and sincere style that permeates all of his art, but also his writings. Botsoglou’s quests and explorations from his early work to the intensely political period of the 1970s, from the raw and unembellished erotic paintings of the 80s to his painful yet brave wrestling with old age in the exceptional “Nekyia” series, which he completed in 2000, form the milestones of the exhibition.
The show, which also includes several pieces that have never been exhibited to the public before, ends with the painter’s homages to his teachers, whom he referenced with fantastical portraits.
Over in Athens, meanwhile, the Goulandris Museum in Pangrati will be presenting “Memories Steeped in Dream” from August 5 to December 3. The rather fancifully titled exhibition seeks to explore the “art of the multiple.” Who’s to say that art is only painting and sculpture? And who can doubt the value of the lithographs of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Aristide Maillol, or the pottery of Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro, or Georges Braque’s wonderful book illustrations?
For this exhibition, Koutsomallis-Moreau has brought together some 90 lithographs, engravings and ceramics from the foundation’s collection created by eight top 19th and 20th century artists. Apart from those mentioned above, it also includes pieces by Henri Matisse, Fernand Leger and Balthus, while further seeking to underscore the wonderful things that can happen when the visual and applied arts meet.
For more details about the exhibitions, the venues and opening hours, visit goulandris.gr.
This article was previously published at ekathimerini.com.