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«ELLENICO PLURALE» showcases part of the extraordinary FELIOS collection at the Vittoriano

There is more than just the crisis; Greece cares for contemporary art

an article by Gabriele Simongini

«”Ellenico Plurale” features the emblematic works of eternal Greece and those who get to see the exhibition shall get closer to a country which illuminated Europe and the world through its millennia-long history».

These words by Louis Godart, cultural advisor to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, are indicative of the profound meaning the first exhibition of contemporary Greek paintings ever held in Italy. The show, hosted by Comunicare Organizzando under the curatorship of Giuliano Serafini at the Complesso del Vittoriano, shall be on through January 11, 2013. Having an acute sense of its cultural responsibility given its glorious past, yet greatly impacted by an economic crisis making it ever more imperative there be solidarity among Europeans, Greece rarely displays its own contemporary creativity, thus unjustly isolating itself. Despite its title «Ellenico Plurale» does not aspire to present the audience with the entire and exhaustive panorama of Greek painting today. All 88 paintings by 25 artists are part of the Felios Collection, the collector being the man who moreover sponsored the exhibition. And in almost all of the works it is the human body, the human figure, spanning a wide range going from both quasi hyperrealist precision to dream-like transfigurations with a grotesque vein through an anthropological spin that plays the leading role. These artists may boast of their own background and training, acquired primarily through going back and forth between Athens and Paris, so as to stay up to date on trends and gather experience. Unlike the international fad, here dominates a sort of existential realism which almost textually recalls and reminds of the great Italian artists who were unfairly forgotten by our own homeland, from Alberto Sughi to Leonardo Cremonini. How can one fail to remember them and their paintings of nude figures immersed in water when faced with Maria Filopoulou’s ‘Swimmers under water’ as the artist, and it is no accident, studied under Cremonini in Paris? On the other hand, Giorgos Rorris and his solitary nude figures, so tired with life, reflect the heritage of Lucian Freud. Beyond a sense of thorough eclecticism this exhibition seems however to be resounding of the distant and fragmented echoes of ancient Greek statues and Policletus’ rules short-circuited by the explosive nature of concerns in our time.

Visit the newspaper’s website:

Il Tempo: “Non solo crisi. La Grecia si dà all’arte contemporanea”

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