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‘De Chirico and Greece’ is now in New York City November 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece, Hellenic Light Americas.
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Exhibition of works previously shown in Athens

Giorgio de Chirico’s ‘Archaeologists,’ 1968. Along with another 35 paintings and sculptures, the work is currently on display at the Onassis Cultural Center in New York City, situated at the Olympic Tower on Fifth Avenue. The exhibition is scheduled to travel to Rome next spring.

Summing up his beliefs on the creative process, Giorgio de Chirico used to say that “art is nothing more than a fatal net that captures strange moments as if they’re mysterious butterflies that escape from the innocence and routine ways of common people.” The powerful and mystical atmosphere conveyed by his work permeated the Onassis Cultural Center in New York, where an exhibition titled “Giorgio de Chirico and Greece: Voyage through Memory” opened last week. Featuring 35 metaphysical paintings and sculptures by the Italian artist that went on show in Athens at the Athinaida Cultural Center last spring, this latest exhibition runs through January 6, 2008.

The exhibition, at the Olympic Tower on Fifth Avenue in downtown New York, portrays de Chirico’s close association with ancient Greece. After all, the strong Mediterranean light, mythology and Greek nature were a part of the Italian painter and sculptor’s childhood in Volos, Greece, where the artist was born in 1888 and raised.

As highlighted by de Chirico himself in autobiographical writings, he spent the first years of his life in the Land of Classicism, where his childhood adventures included playing on the beaches from which Jason and the Argonauts, in Greek mythology, embarked on their quest for the Golden Fleece.

Co-organized by the Onassis Cultural Center, the Athinaida Complex, and the Giorgio and Isa de Chirico Foundation in Rome, and curated by Takis Mavrotas, the exhibition focuses on the period between 1951 and 1978. The paintings and sculptures culled for the exhibition stem from a period of heightened maturity for the artist, when de Chirico distanced himself from the Surrealists to adopt a neoclassical, neo-romantic style. Works from this period include “View of Athens” (1970), “The Poet and the Painter” (1975), “Harmony of Loneliness” (1976), “Archaeologists” (1968) and “Prodigal Son” (1973). These works are based on mystery and dreams.

This exhibition, which sheds light on Hellenism’s universal aesthetics, is not only aimed at the considerable Greek-American community, which supports such initiatives without fail, as was made clear at the opening of “Giorgio de Chirico and Greece: Voyage through Memory.” The Onassis Cultural Center’s major objective is to continue increasing its impact on the American public as a whole.

The Onassis Cultural Center is located in the Olympic Tower, 645 Fifth Avenue, with entrances on 51 and 52 Streets. Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admission is free.

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