jump to navigation

Recital for 2006 Callas memorial concert September 13, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece.
comments closed

Recital of Mozart and Schumann for 2006 Callas memorial concert
The Athenaeum arts center, a non-profit organization founded in 1974 and dedicated to preserving the memory of the late Greek diva Maria Callas, is holding its annual concert on Saturday, September 16 – the anniversary of the great opera singer’s death – at the Herod Atticus Theater.

The concert is dedicated to the memory of Callas, but is also being held as part of international celebrations to mark Mozart’s 250th birthday and Schumann’s 150th.

For the event, the Athenaeum has invited piano virtuoso, conductor and composer Mikhail Pletnev to perform a recital of works by the two celebrated composers.

Twice a recipient of the State Prize of the Russian Federation (1995 and 2002), the Arkhangelsk-born artist gained international recognition when he won first prize at the 1978 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow.

He performed with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at that city’s 1997 New Year’s Eve Concert and at the Europa Konzert 2000, both televised and broadcast worldwide from the Philharmonie in Berlin while he has also appeared as soloist with the world’s major orchestras and conductors.

Pletnev is also responsible for founding the Russian National Orchestra (RNO) after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and while Pletnev’s conducting career has primarily focused on the RNO, he has also appeared as guest conductor with prestigious international orchestras. In September 1999, Pletnev became the RNO’s conductor laureate and continues his collaboration with the orchestra in many of its recordings and concerts.

As a composer, Pletnev’s works include “Classical Symphony,” “Quintet for Piano and Strings” and “Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra.” In December 1998, the world premiere of his “Concerto for Viola and Orchestra” took place in Moscow with Yuri Bashmet as soloist.

Tickets are available at the Athens Festival box office (39 Panepistimiou street). For information and reservations, tel 210 3272000.

“The Itinerary of a Collector” opens in Hania, Crete September 13, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.
comments closed

When Costas Ioannidis began collecting Greek art, he was just 17 years old. A young tailor back then, he’d gone to Paris to perfect his trade. He studied fashion design and worked for couturiers such as Pierre Cardin. This was in the mid-1950s, a time when many Greek artists were studying or living in Paris, and it was the city that Ioannidis was to make his home for the next 30 years. He developed strong friendships with members of the expatriate Greek artistic community, including artists Yiannis Gaitis, Alekos Fassianos and Alkis Pierrakos. His artist friends made it possible for him to continue his penchant for collecting.

By the time he returned to Greece, Ioannidis had amassed a substantial body of works of Greek art from the classics of the late 19th century (for example works by Giorgos Iakovidis or Theodoros Rallis) to the art of the 1960s generation. He continued to be interested in art, expanding his collection of paintings to include younger artists, his purpose being to create a representative image of the course of 20th century Greek painting.

Now nearing 70 years old, Ioannidis has stopped collecting art. Yet his vision of making art as accessible as possible to more people and his belief in the value of decentralizing the artistic scene continues just as strong.

“Greek Painting of the 20th century from the Collection of Costas Ioannidis – The Itinerary of a Collector,” is an exhibition that includes 120 works from his collection and has just opened at the Municipal Art Gallery of Hania in Crete, reflecting that vision.

The exhibition takes the Ioannidis collection – a life’s work, as he likes to call it – to yet another stop in the Greek countryside. The collector has chosen to never show his collection in Athens. The first public exhibition was in Karditsa in 1991, at a time when the city had no cultural venue. Fourteen years ago, he became director of the Cyclades Gallery in Ermoupolis, on Syros island, where he has organized exhibitions on Greek art (this year it was on the work of Hadzikyriakos-Ghikas), thus bringing his vision of bringing art to the nation’s regions closer to reality.

The exhibition in Hania is curated by the curator at the National Gallery, Olga Metzafou-Polyzou, who has also edited a large album published on the occasion.

The exhibition has been organized with the support of the Municipality of Hania. Some of the most established names in Greek art: Constantinos Maleas, Periklis Vyzantios, Giorgos Bouzianis, Alekos Kontopoulos, Yiannis Spyropoulos, Spyros Vassileiou and Yiannis Tsarouchis are among them. The exhibition is intended to reflect the breadth of the collection. A collection that was created in the course of 50 years by a man driven by his passion for art.

At the Municipal Art Gallery of Hania, Crete (98-102 Halidon street, 28210 92294) through November 30.

Exploring the fluidity of contemporary painting September 13, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.
comments closed

An exhibition on the work of Daniel Sturgis and Nina Bossano

Among the various debates that dominate the history of 20th century art, the opposition between figuration and abstraction has been one of the strongest and most prolonged. Is painting a window onto reality or a reality unto itself? Are the properties of painting itself (line, color and flatness) more important than its reference to the natural world?

What these questions have in common is the premise that art can be conceived in absolute terms, as a pure visual system. Postmodern thought took on an entirely different approach. It replaced absolutism with relativity and showed openness and ambivalence to be more valid than fixed meaning.

The paintings of both Daniel Sturgis and Nina Bossano, currently on view at a joint exhibition at The Apartment gallery, play with the notion of ambivalence and explore the fluidity with which we nowadays define and perceive abstraction.

Well-known British artist Daniel Sturgis paints crisp compositions made of elegant, geometric or flower-like patterns, semi-organic but with a mechanical precision. The compositions are flat and the color is applied in an even fashion with no shades or blurred outlines. Distantly reminiscent of the hard-edge painting of the 1960s, combined with the playfulness of pop art, his paintings balance between high-art abstraction and decoration, form and content, figuration and abstraction.

Each element counterbalances the other. The title of the paintings – for example “Happy Together Now” – suggest a narrative, a storyline which the abstract compositions in themselves do not readily betray. The decorative quality is offset with a certain tension, a sense of something that is visually pleasurable but slightly uneasy at the same time.

One has the feeling of a precarious balance, something that can be overturned at any moment. The wonderful sense of stillness in his paintings treads a fine line. Where does abstraction end and decoration begin? How does pure abstraction merge with narrative? By using a visual vocabulary that belongs both to high modernism and design and by placing his paintings on the border between narrative and abstraction, Sturgis creates an underlying sense of instability. Based on a sound knowledge of painting’s history, his work creates new associations and challenges the ways we consume images. It shows the world of painting as vivid, fluid and filled with new possibilities.

While Sturgis’s work contains a precarious sense of stillness and a razor-like precision, the paintings of American artist Nina Bossano are filled with swirling movement. On more than 2-meter-high surfaces of paper, Bossano paints flower patterns and abstract shapes that resemble molecular structures using ink, acrylic and watercolor. In “Pink Hue with Black Flowers,” the motifs create a mandala-like shape and appear as if rotating from the center and expanding out toward the foreground and edges of the composition. Some references to abstract expressionism can be detected, yet, as in Sturgis’s case, Bossano reinterprets the language of high modernist abstraction by blending psychedelic, pop-art-like references.

Visually, the effect is quite different from that of Sturgis’s paintings. Yet the work of both artists uses references to the history of 20th century art to create a sophisticated play with the possibilities and nature of contemporary painting.

At The Apartment (21 Voulis street, 210 3215469) through September 23.

Powell to miss 100m at Athens meeting September 13, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Athletics.
comments closed

World-record-holder Asafa Powell will not compete in the 100 meters at this weekend’s IAAF World Cup in Athens, although his name appears on the event’s latest starting list.

“He’s just running the 4×100 meters,” his manager Paul Doyle said. “But they still insist on keeping him on the starting list for some reason. We told them more than a month ago he will run only the relay.” Doyle said Powell’s coach made the decision in May. Powell would have been one of the two-day meet’s top attractions. The 23-year-old Jamaican set his world record of 9.77 seconds in Athens in 2005.