The exhibition focuses on the years of the emergence and eventual establishment of abstraction in Greek art, from the 1950s until the mid-1960s. During that time, abstract art was challenged, contested and rejected, took many forms and passed through several stages. The exhibition traces the history of this art movement through the work of 26 Greek painters and sculptors, who were among the most prominent representatives of contemporary art in the country.
The publication of the manifest of the “Extremists” (an avant-garde group consisting of Alekos Kontopoulos, Lazaros Lameras, Yiannis Maltezos, Yannis Gaitis, Dimitris Chytiris and Kaiti Antipa) in the autumn of 1949 coincided with the end of the civil war and also signaled the first articulation of an imperative demand: the demand for artistic freedom and autonomy against the supremacy of representation as a form of expression and dominant ideology. Older, but mostly younger artists took it upon themselves to bring about the renewal and modernization of Greek art, in conflict with the Greek-centric takes on modernism.
Several of those artists had emigrated to Rome, Paris and elsewhere, an experience that shaped their work and personalities. Their works stood out for their innovative drive, which clashed with traditional conventions and limits, revealing a multitude of influences, encounters and the fruitful assimilation of the lessons of modernism and contemporary artistic investigations, the systematic use of new materials and techniques.
In the great array of attempts that completed the transition from the known to the unknown and from realistic description to free, subjective expression, the work of Greek abstraction artists plays an extremely important role. The “heroic years” of Greek abstraction are the starting point of a transition from the constellation of “Greekness” to the constellation of the avant-garde.
The exhibition “Untitled II. Greek Post-war Αbstraction: The heroic years” in MOMus-Museum Alex Mylona hosts works from the MOMus collections, but mostly from prestigious institutions like the National Gallery-Alexandros Soutsos Museum Collection, Alphbank, George Zongolopoulos Foundation, private collections and archival material from Contemporary Greek Art Institute-iset Archive. The same exhibition stands in conjunction with the exhibition under the title «Untitle Ι. Greek Post-war Abstraction. Selections form the collections of MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art-Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and State Museum of Contemporary Art collections” in MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art (April 19 – September 15, 2019).
Curators: Thouli Misirloglou, Yannis Bolis
Participating artists: Achilleas Apergis, Vlassis Caniaris, Costas Coulentianos, Christos Caras, Chryssa, Frosso Efthymiadi-Menegaki, Yannis Gaitis, Yanis Hainis, Sosso Houtopoulou-Kontaratou Nikos Kessanlis, Dimitris Kontos, Alekos Kontopoulos, Lazaros Lamers, Christos Lefakis, Klearchos Loukopoulos, Yannis Maltezos, Takis Marthas, Alex Mylona, Chryssa Romanos, Nikos Sachinis, Gerassimos Sklavos, Jannis Spyropoulos, Theodoros Stamos, George Touyas, Costas Tsoclis, George Vakalo, Cosmas Xenakis
Guided tours: every Saturday at 12:00