visits on art, design, architecture and literature

Athens “Young Lear” by Ioli Andreadi at Thissio Theater

“Young Lear” directed by Ioli Andreadi
Based on William Shakespeare’s King Lear ; written by Ioli Andreadi and Aris Asproulis

An old, very old tale
About a naked King who, giving away his heavy duties,
Was devoured by the snake of Life
And found out everything the man knows when he succumbs.


I read about the success of the “Young Lear” presented for the first time on the 17th and 18th of July 2016 at the Athens and Epidaurus Festival.  Unfortunately I was not in Athens to experience this play but I was gladly informed by Ioli and Aris  that it will be presented on limited engagement this  October at Thissio theater. October 1st, in Athens, opening night.  Joy and admiration for this young and much promised new voice in theater, Ioli Andreadi.

I met Ioli Andreadi and Aris Asproulis a hot August afternoon  in Sifnos island; they brought me a small gift the book “Young Lear”(Kapa Ekdotiki); enjoying a glass of cold greek wine, I enjoyed listening their future plans and  talking to me about the play… later that night I read in one breath the book;  I was trying to imagine this beautiful young woman, Ioli Andreadi, a fragile figure like Audrey Hepburn, how she managed to engage herself in such a  difficult play and bring it  under a modern light.  Indeed, Ioli  has done it.


photo@Panos Michail

‘Young Lear” is honest, clear and bold.  A strange, imaginative dual narration begins. A new ‘postmodern’ rapprochement.  Ioli and Aris  selectively transfer parts  of King Lear, creating two levels, one that is written  now, at present, and the other inhaling  thru the Shakespearean chosen text(s). Having as a guide the King Lear, they brilliantly bring the audience to experience a modern family tragedy.  The dramaturgy of the actors in equal levels alters from the spoken words of the careful text  to the well orchestrated  actors’ movements expressing and indicating  their intentions.  The balance is superb.   The minimal and  austere set design  (waiting room of  a hospital) by Dimitra Liakoura  is managed  miraculously by the actors;




photos@Kiki Papadopoulou


Ioli Andreadi and Aris Asproulis are determined to question bold questions : Are the protagonists of King Lear depositaries of family structures and conflicts? Representatives of good or evil? Archetypes for the characters we invent for our ancestors, whose fulfillment burdens us our whole lives long? And what about these fears that seem to be ours but are not? Can the Shakespearean language serve as a substitute for what is left unsaid at the dinner table? Can poetry return what was never fulfilled?




photos@Kiki Papadopoulou


Concept – Direction – Translation – Movement: Ioli Andreadi
Text: Ioli Andreadi & Aris Asproulis
Set & Costume Design: Dimitra Liakoura
Sound Design: Yiannis Christophides
Lighting Design: Christina Thanasoula
Constructions – Artwork: Pericles Pravitas
Photos: Panos Michail and Kiki Papadopoulou
Production Design: Art Minds
Cast (in an alphabetical order): Christina Garbi, Eleana Kafkala, Thimios Koukios, Maria G. Proistaki, Nektarios Smyrnakis, Miltiadis Fiorentzis
2016. At a hospital. Somewhere.
synopsis: In the waiting room of the surgery, five brothers and sisters are waiting, while their father is going through a high-risk surgical operation. The hours go by. After many moments of fear, silence and agony, one of the sons starts speaking. He takes over the ‘part’ of the father. His are King Lear’s words. His siblings are hesitant. Why should someone want the ‘part’ of the father? Gradually, they give in and follow his lead. They undermine him. They provoke him. Young Lear is a new play based on the well-known tale of the King of Britain who divides his fortune to his two daughters who do not love him, but know how to win, and disowns the third daughter who loves him but does not know how to show it. This is the renowned story of the king who was fooled and became vulnerable, who lost his mind and became wise. (Young Lear, press ) 



photos@Kiki Papadopoulou
Ioli Andreadi was born in Athens. She studied directing at RADA and King’s College London (MA), where in 2014 she completed her PhD on Theatre and Ritual as an Alexander S. Onassis Foundation grantee. She lived in London and New York for seven years. She is a graduate of the Art Theatre Karolos Koun and the Theatre Studies Department of the University of Athens (BA) and holds an MA in Cultural Politics, Communication and Management from Panteion University. She has directed more than 25 productions in Athens, London, Edinburgh, Berlin, Rome and New York. She was a founding member of the international platform of theatre directors “World Wide Lab” that was created at Bob Wilson’s Watermill Center in 2011 and served as Artistic Director in New York in 2013 and in 2015 – the year when with her own initiative the Lab was hosted and organized at the island of Syros. Since then, Ioli works intensively in Greece. She has written with Aris Asproulis and directed in Greece the following shows over the past two years: “Artaud-Van Gogh / avec un pistolet”at Theatre Semio, “Cenci Family” at the Michael Cacoyiannis Foundation, “210.000 oka of cotton” at the Historical Archive of the Pireaus Bank, “Young Lear” at the Athens and Epidaurus Festival and “Murder in the Cathedral” at the Filippi Festival.
A first draft of Young Lear was staged by Ioli Andreadi in October 2014 at Teatro Due Roma, with the help of American director Annie Levy, as part of the international platform of directors “World Wide Lab”




Ειναι οι ηρωες του Βασιλια Ληρ θεματοφυλακες των οικογενειακων δομων και συγκρουσεων? Εκπροσωποι του καλου και του κακου? Αρχετυπα των χαρακτηρων που επινοουμε για τους  προγονους μας και που η εκπληρωση τους μας βαραινει μια ζωη? Κι αυτοι οι φοβοι που μοιαζουν δικοι μας κι ομως δεν ειναι? Μπορει, αραγε, η γλωσσα του Σαιξπηρ να υποκατστησει οσα δεν λεγονται στο οικογενειακο τραπεζι? Η ποιηση να επιστρεψει οσα δεν εκπληρωθηκαν ποτε? Κι αν ειναι η συγκρουση του παροντος με το παρελθον η αδιαφιλονικητη καθημερινοτητα μας  ? (Ιολη Ανδρεαδη,  Μια πρωτη σκεψη, Λονδινο, 2013) 



Ioli and Aris, Sifnos, August 2016     photo@Venetia Kapernekas


……σπεύδω να τονίσω πως η ιδέα και η γραφή της Ιόλης Ανδρεάδη με συνεργάτη τον Αρη Ασπρούλη είναι τίμια, διαυγής και τολμηρή. Εκαναν επιλεκτική μεταγραφή μέρους του Βασιλιά Ληρ, υπηρετώντας τη δική τους επαναπροσέγγιση με όρους οικονομικούς και ματιά κοινωνικο-ανθρωπολογική. Τα δύο επίπεδα στα οποία γράφτηκε το έργο, ένα σημερινό κι ένα μέσα από τα σαιξπηρικά αποσπάσματα, λειτουργούν και συμπορεύονται τόσο νοηματικά όσο κι ερμηνευτικά κερδίζοντας το δύσκολο στοίχημα.  (Αννυ Κολτσιδοπουλου στη Kathimerini, ” Παλιοι μυθοι σε νεα μορφη” )

Ο “Young Lear” δεν είναι μια κατά γράμμα μεταφορά του γνωστού σαιξπηρικού έργου, ωστόσο είναι πανέξυπνος ο τρόπος που ο Σαίξπηρ κουμπώνει με μια σύγχρονη οικογενειακή τραγωδία, ακόμη πιο ιδιοφυής είναι ο συμβολισμός που οδήγησε στη δημιουργία αυτής της παράστασης: όταν χάνουμε τους γονείς μας, αλλάζει η ταυτότητά μας, ολόκληρη η ύπαρξή μας, σταματάμε να είμαστε ο γιος ή η κόρη και περνάμε σε ένα άλλο στάδιο, αυτό της οριστικής και αμετάκλητης ενηλικίωσης – και τότε καλούμαστε να ανταπεξέλθουμε σε αυτή τη σκηνή, την γεμάτη τρελούς, απροστάτευτοι και μονοι. Το αποτέλεσμα, ωστόσο εδώ, είναι φρέσκο και απρόσμενα διασκεδαστικό. Η δραματουργία είναι εξαιρετικής σημασίας στην παράσταση, γιατί εφόσον τα αδέρφια χρησιμοποιούν τα λόγια του Σαίξπηρ για να εκφράσουν τα πάθη τους, οι κινήσεις τους είναι που μας κάνουν να βλέπουμε τις προθέσεις τους. Σε αυτό το επίπεδο, είναι δύσκολο να διαχωρίσεις τη σκηνοθεσία της Ιόλης Ανδρεάδη από την δραματουργία γιατί είναι ένα και το αυτό. Η κίνηση αποκτά λόγο Γιαννης Μοσχος clickatlife.gr 

Θεατρο Θησειον, Τουρναβιτου 7, Ψυρρη

“The Return of the exile” (2011)  Devised and directed by Ioli Andreadi;  The Yard Theatre, London,  Review by Howard Loxton



Athens “In Plain Site, Trisha Brown” at EΜΣΤ ‘dancing Athens’ by Onassis Cultural Centre)

I was fortunate while visiting my beloved Athens to experience ‘In Plain Site’, part of the curatorial “Dancing Athens”  This unique retrospective was  created in collaboration of the OCC/Onassis Cultural Center, (curatorial directorship: Katia Arfara)  at the (still not opened officially)  premises of the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMΣΤ)

(under Extracts from earlier, more abstract works like Accumulation from 1971 was combined with more theatrical pieces such as 1990’s Foray Foret in an unexpected encounter with the Athenian public which puts the abundant natural light of the new museum space to good use. A tribute to the ground-breaking work of the choreographer who put dance into the everyday life of the city).



photos@Venetia Kapernekas

….Dancing Athens invites us to change the way we move and behave in the city, the way we perceive our everyday gestures, our reactions to the unexpected and the random, but also the way we perceive contemporary dance. (Onassis Cultural Center/Dancing Athens press) 


In Plain Site, Trisha Brown Dance Company’s new performance program, allows Brown’s dances to be freed from the constrictions of the conventional stage and to be once again performed in unexpected locations. But unlike her previous site-specific adventures, Trisha Brown: In Plain Site mines and then recombines material from her vast repertory to accommodate the unique spatial demands of the particular venue. Brown’s long-time dancers—and now hand- chosen associate artistic directors Carolyn Lucas and Diane Madden—visit the venue, collaborate with the presenting organization in the selection of a site and then decide the pieces that would best fit the selected location. They are re-thinking Brown’s work and finding new ways to express and share her genius. Drastically shortening the distance between the dance and its audience, Trisha Brown: In Plain Site engages the audience in a dramatically different way, illuminating Brown’s fifty years of investigation. (press ) 


 photos @Venetia Kapernekas

….The experimentation that began back then in New York when dancers, composers, poets and visual artists set out together in search of new representational codes has never stopped. Fifty years on, Trisha Brown is still fascinated by and experimenting with the relationship between space, movement and the viewer. In Plain Site is different from her previous site-specific works in so far as it presents a collage of fragments from a half century of emblematic choreography.

It was April 1970 when Trisha Brown tied a dancer to a length of climbing rope and sent him walking down the front of a seven-storey building at 80, Wooster Street, Manhattan. The American choreographer was looking for ways to unsettle the relationship between the human body, gravity and space and the way New Yorkers had learned to think of everyday movements like walking and running. And it was there in the early Seventies that the experiments and unconventional ideas of the Judson Church postmoderns -along with their irresistible desire for change- spilled out into the streets, squares, parks, terraces and museums of New York. (Onassis Cultural Center/Dancing Athens press) 





photos@Venetia Kapernekas

Katia Arfara ; Artistic Director for Theatre and Dance at the OCC
Conceived and curated by Katia Arfara
Head of Production: Dimitra Dernikou
General Technical Management: Lefteris Karabilas
Production Manager: Vassilis Panagiotakopoulos
Production Assistants: Despoina Sifniadou, Eirilena Tsami

Read here latest news about the EMST opening by Margarita Pournara in Kathimerini (end of October 2016)

The ΕΣΜΤ /the “old FIX brewery” – a signature example of post-WWII modernism, designed by the innovative architect Takis Zenetos (1926-1977), which accentuated the horizontal dimension of the building that runs parallel to Syngrou and Kallirois Avenues

New York “Imperfection in Eero Saarinen’s MIT Chapel” by Andrew Ferentinos

Honoured to present this morning my new contributor writer in my blog, Andrew Ferentinos, architect, industrial furniture designer, based in New York); “Imperfection in Eero Saarinen’s MIT Chapel”  photos @Andrew Ferentinos   www. andrewferentinos.com and follow on Instagram: Ferentinos

photo @Andrew Ferentinos

The MIT Chapel by Eero Saarinen has always intrigued me. The architecture is simple and direct. It embodies a rare universality and timelessness.

The chapel was dedicated in 1955 by the Kresge Foundation for The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Its mission is to serve as a non-denominational space of worship. As the dedication at the entrance states, its purpose is “to maintain an atmosphere of religious freedom wherein students may deepen their understanding of their own spiritual heritage.” In other words the chapel must resonate and evoke feelings and thoughts with people across culture and time.


photo@Andrew Ferentinos

Upon approach, we see a cylinder sitting on top of a shallow pool of water. Low arches of various sizes skip across the pool and seem to hover. Underneath we see a concrete shell that is separate from the cylinder and barely visible. There are no windows in this large volume. We only see a blank wall and anticipate the interior.

The blank wall has an oddness about it. The brick has an irregular texture. Saarinen adopted rejected bricks from a brickworks precisely for the beauty in their imperfection, a subtle statement that goes beyond brick and mortar and speaks about the purpose of the chapel.


photo @Andrew Ferentinos

We enter the vestibule. It is dark and intimate. This long and slender space leads to the chapel through a small opening. As our eyes adjust to the dim light, the dark glass walls of the vestibule change color. They brighten. Like a monochromatic Ad Reinhardt painting, the dark glass releases subtle shades of color. Each pane of glass, like the brick, appears hand made reflecting the imperfections of the brick.


photo@Andrew Ferentinos

When we enter the chapel we are struck by what we see. We are caught between opposites. Our attention focuses on a perfectly geometric and rectangular marble altar at the center of the space. In the background, the interior walls undulate and radiate. The shimmering gold sculpture by Harry Bertoia flutters down from the oculus above like leaves falling to the ground. The varying angles of the petals mirror the varying angles of the imperfect brick. The entire chapel is a frozen moment in time and space except for the one solid piece of marble in the center. It is our only sense of stability, perfection, and permanence in an otherwise dynamic and irregular field. (Andrew Ferentinos) 


photo@Andrew Ferentinos


photo@Andrew Ferentinos
Andrew Ferentinos opened his architecture office Ferentinos Architecture in 2012 after working in New York City for such prestigious architects as Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Raimund Abraham, and Francois de Menil.
Ferentinos studied architecture and art at The Cooper Union in New York City and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a BArch from Cooper Union and an advanced Masters degree from MIT. He is a professionally licensed architect.   (follow his amazing Instagram: Ferentinos)

Munich Haus der Kunst: Capsule 05: João Maria Gusmão &Pedro Paiva; Capsule 06: Sara MacKillop

Haus der Kunst 2 years ago inaugurated a new program of focused one gallery exhibitions that explore recent developments amongst a generation emerging international artists. The goal of the Capsule Exhibition series is to engage audiences in the production of new work by artists at critical points of artistic breakthrough in their careers.

I have been one of the biggest fans of those great exhibitions ….  sadly to see Capsule 05 and Capsule 06  departing today.  The curators  Anna Schneider  (Capsule 05) and Julienne Lorz (Capsule 06)  in spite of their respective diverse different media of their  artists have done amazingly a powerful presentation;   you may leave the dark realm of Capsule 05 but yet poetic ambience that the duo João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva have created, you enter into the light of  the “Window Display” by  Sara Mackillop at Capsule 06.


João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
Installationsansicht / Installation view Haus der Kunst, 2016
Photo: Maximilian Geuter


Sara MacKillop
Installationsansicht / Installation view Haus der Kunst, 2016
Photo: Maximilian Geuter

The focus of their presentation in Haus der Kunst, “Peacock/Pfau”, is their latest cinematic work complex, which was developed in Japan. The 16mm films are silent and shown in a loop. The only sound in the room is that of the projectors, which further emphasizes the materiality of the film. The first film, “Mating Dance”, introduces the theme: the construction of a self-image. Using his striking plumage, which he can fan out into a semi- circle, the peacock tries to woo the peahen.

Three other films, unified by the element of water, run on a second projector. They combine key aspects of the artists’ practice: the construction of a theory for their own work and the examination of this through visually-poetic experiments. The film “Ventriloquism” from 2009, for example, explores the origins of ventriloquism as a religious practice, in which it was used to communicate with spirits and the dead. The film contains a water clock, whose time interval equals the length of the film. (curator, Anna Schneider) 


Mating season, 2016
© João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
Courtesy of the artists and Galeria Fortes Vilaça,
São Paulo; Galeria Graça Brandão, Lisboa; Sies + Höke,
Düsseldorf; ZERO …, Milano

Gusmão & Paiva’s artistic approach draws on diverse literary sources, including René Daumal (“The Defining Memory”); pataphysics, the study of what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics; and abyssology, the doctrine of the abyss. The core belief of all these philosophies is the constant mutability of all that exists. It turns away from classical reasoning, combines putative analysis with humor and focuses on the imperceptible. The world of things thus reveals itself as a wealth of wonders. Man retains his susceptibility to the supernatural and divine manifestations. (curator, Anna Schneider) 


João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
The horse of the prophet (detail), 2011. Produced by Frac Île-de-France/Le Plateau, Paris in collaboration with Lamu Palm Oil Factory, Kenya. Courtesy of the artists and Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo; Galeria Graça Brandão, Lisbon; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf; ZERO …, Milan. © João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva

In “Wave” from 2011, a black rock is slowly swallowed by an ocean wave – an archetype for cyclical creation. The film uses the stylistic device of extremely drawn-out slow-motion recording, thus lending the movements a special importance. The artists shot the film using a high-speed camera capable of capturing as many as 500 frames per second; they then run the footage in slow-motion, displaying fewer than the usual 24 frames per second. (curator, Anna Schneider) 


Wave, 2011
© João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
Courtesy of the artists and Galeria Fortes Vilaça,
São Paulo; Galeria Graça Brandão, Lisboa; Sies + Höke,
Düsseldorf; ZERO …, Milano

Sara MacKillop (born 1973 in Bromley, UK) created the works on view especially for the Capsule exhibition. Her works belong to the tradition of conceptual art and minimalism. The new work “Window Display”are minimalistic, airy and individual assemblages. Similar in design to earlier works, such as “Pens” (2006), in which the artist combined the same type of pens to form a kind of post, these assemblages are rooted in the everyday. They initially appear to consist of ordinary office materials, such as envelopes. However, the selected motifs – pens, cartridges and paper – are gradually disappearing from general use as they become outdated. (curator, Julienne Lorz)


Sara MacKillop
Installationsansicht / Installation view Haus der Kunst, 2016
Photo: Maximilian Geuter


Sara MacKillop
Installationsansicht /Installation view Haus der Kunst, 2016
Photo: Maximilian Geuter

Sarah MacKillop organizes the objects into three islands that are linked through repeated motifs and objects. There is an informal quality: The wrapping paper is unrolled and can potentially be re- rolled, and the book covers hang from the space’s architecture or from other objects – many of the objects also overlap physically. The arrangements do not have a final form, but with their flexible, short-term, or temporary quality link to a window display.


Sara MacKillop
Installationsansicht / Installation view Haus der Kunst, 2016
Photo: Maximilian Geuter
Sara MacKillop (b. 1973 in Bromley, UK) lives and works in London. She studied painting at the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited extensively: group shows include “Books and Prints”, Serralves Museum, Porto; “Concrete Poetry”, Hayward Gallery, London; “Kultur und Freizeit”, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster; solo shows include Kunsthalle Charlottenburg, Copenhagen; Spike Island, Bristol; White Columns, New York; Whitechapel Project Space, London.
The Portuguese artist duo João Maria Gusmão (born 1979) and Pedro Paiva (born 1977) has developed a magical and mysterious oeuvre over the past 15 years, which includes films, photographs, sculptures, and camera-obscura-installations.
 Anna Schneider since 2012  is assistant curator at Haus der Kunst in Munich. In 2009 she received her M.A. in Exhibition and Museum Studies as a Fulbright Fellow from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2007, she received a degree in Cultural Work from the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam. Her research interests are in interdisciplinary relationships of contemporary art and in cultural phenomena with regards to historical, economic and political contexts.
Julienne Lorz -curator at the Haus der kunst in Munich. Having started out as a dancer and choreographer in the early 90s, Julienne completed her MA Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art, London in 2004. Since 2010 she is a curator at the Haus der Kunst, where she co-curated a number of exhibitions including thematic shows such as ‘Golden Times'(2010), ‘Sculptural Acts'(2011), as well as “Image-Counter-Image'(2012), Her latest exhibitions ‘Louise Burgeois. Structures Existence: The Cells’ opened in Haus der Kunst in february 2015.
Okwui Enwezor  – director of Kaus der Kunst-extends his contract as director of Haus der Kunst” ; I am looking forward to continuing with my colleagues in Haus der Kunst the successful programmatic orientation of the institution”, annotates Okwui Enwezor the decision…


The Kunstrevein München (k.m) presents ( 13 September 2016 until 8 January 2017) “Unfinished Mandarin” — a rotating exhibition of drawings by Gonçalo Pena in the Schaufenster am Hofgarten, co-organized with João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva.
The Gusmão and Paiva will display a sporadically changing procession of presentations of Pena’s pictures every two weeks over the course of the fall. Along with many others, these drawings will also be published in a book of the same name, a follow up to their 2014 book Monkey Trip (published by Mousse), ) — accompanied by written contributions from Gusmão, Paiva, Post Brothers, and Kunstverein Director Chris Fitzpatrick. While the publications present a linear, almost cinematic, sequence of Pena’s drawings, the Schaufenster exhibition conversely displays the images in a procession of variable layouts and groupings that allows for more complex and multiple associations to be made from their juxtaposition.



Munich; “Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glass” at The Design Museum

Curators: Dr. Xenia Riemann, Dr. Josef Straßer ; Assistant curator: Nadine Engel; July 1, 2016 – Oct. 16, 2016 (Die Neue Sammlung, Pinakothek der Moderne,Rotunde, 2nd floor)

While I am enjoying some days in Maremma/Toscana,  I reflect back to Munich with a beautiful exhibition that opened few weeks ago in Munich “Murano. Milano. Venezia, Glass” with around 200 object and accompanying drawings from the Holz Collection (Berlin) which is deemed one of the most important collections of glass from Murano world wide.

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung
Vases “A Piume” (Installation view), Archimede Seguso,
c. 1956, XXVIII. Biennale di Venezia, 1956, Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Photo: Anna Seibel

The international exhibitions held at the Triennale di Milano and the Biennale di Venezia are barometers of the most significant developments in twentieth century contemporary design and art. It is therefore no coincidence that Murano glass regularly attracts awards at both Milan and Venice. Having resurrected a range of centuries-old techniques, glassmakers such as A.V.E.M, Archimede Seguso, Barovier & Toso, and Venini learned to apply this knowledge in new and ingenious ways. Their work is a synthesis of the master glassmakers’ craftsmanship and the designers’ artistry. The objects they create attest to a successful renaissance of glass design that continues to the present day. (edited text/press/ Die Neue Sammlung) 


Vase “Cinese”, Carlo Scarpa for Venini, c. 1940, XXII. Biennale di Venezia, 1940,  Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Foto: Atelier  Martin Adam, Berlin

“…Murano is the embodiment of Italian glass design. Venice had advanced to being a centre for Middle European glass art as early as the 13th century and when the entire glass production was moved to the neighbouring islands, glass from Murano gained world-wide importance from the 14th century onwards. As the Republic of Venice’s power dwindled, glass production on Murano also declined. Yet it was revived during the 19th century and enjoyed another peak in the 1950s and early 1960s.“(Angelika Nollert,director of Die Neue Sammlung  at preface of published book/catalogue of the exhibition )

Calice a spirale”, an object from the Artisti Barovier factory, is one of the oldest pieces. The cup on a spiral-shaped base went on display during the very first Venice Biennale in 1895. While the glass objects realized prior to the First World War were typically designed by the factories themselves, from the 1920s on designers and artists were brought in to decide the shape and appearance of objects. Collaborating closely with the glass-makers enabled them to explore the creative and technical scope glass afforded. Indeed, opaque vessels by architect Carlo Scarpa inspired by Chinese vases stand for a new design idiom as championed by the Venini glass factory……. (Die Neue Sammlung press)

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung

Objects “Vetro Pesante”(installation view), Alfredo Barbini, c. 1962, XXXI. Biennale 1962, photo:Anna Seibel

“…Workshops such as A.Ve.M., Archimede Seguso, Barovier & Toso or Venini managed to develop a contemporary formal language by employing new shapes and decors and in this way assumed a leading role alongside countries such as the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries, France or the former Czechoslovakia. In the 1950s and 1960s in particular, peak performances were achieved in Murano glass in terms of an autonomous design that certainly possessed analogies to abstract art. “(Angelika Nollert,director of Die Neue Sammlung; preface in the  book/catalogue of the exhibition )

“Barovier is one of the oldest Italian glassmakers and family businesses, founded in 1291 on the island of Murano. Murano was where the glaziers had to do their work to prevent the risk of fires in the cities as well as to preserve the secrets of the trade. The first member of the family on record is Jacobello in 1295. Two centuries later, Angelo Barovier became a great name creating precious pieces, one of which; the ‘Barovier wedding cup’ is now in the Murano museum and said to date from 1450.” (Barovier & Toso,biography at Rose Uniacke

Vase, c. 1935/36, Ercole Barovier for Barovier & Toso, XX. Biennale di Venezia, 1936 Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Foto: Atelier Martin Adam, Berlin

The unusual designs by Ercole Barovier or the polychrome “Oriente” vases by painter Dino Martens attest to a great delight in experimentation during the 1950s.  The popular “Pezzati”, masterminded by the versatile Fulvio Bianconi, or the sophisticated “Merletti” by Archimede Seguso, stand for excellent artistry and a complete mastery of technical challenges. Fratelli Toso were especially renowned for black glass designs.

Vase “Diamantato“ (Installation view), c. 1968, Ercole Barovier for Barovier & Toso, XXXIV. Biennale di Venezia, 1968,
Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Photo: Anna Seibel

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung

Vase “Siderale”(installation view) c. 1952, Flavio Poli for Seguso Vetri d’Arte, XXVI. Biennale di Venezia, 1952, photo: Anna Seibel

Influenced by Abstract Expressionism, the works by artist Luigi Scarpa Croce are rarely exhibited. The “Rotellato” pieces by Barovier & Toso demonstrate that in the 1960s glass objects were more colorful and decorative, while the shapes became more classical and plain. Finally, in the early 1970s large vessels and simple interlayer techniques produced spectacular results. (Die Neue Sammlung, press)

Among the few international designers represented in shows in Milan and Venice were the Swedish artist Tyra Lundgren, American sculptor Thomas Stearns or the two Swedish designers Birgitta Karlsson and Ove Thorssen.  They all worked with Venini, one of the world’s most famous makers of Murano glass.

A beautiful book/catalogue is published for the exhibition:curatorial team: Dr Xenia Reimann and Dr Josef Strasser  who developed the exhibition concept with Steffen John (who maintains the Holz collection).

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung

Vases “Pesce“ and “Tulipano“ (Installation view), c. 1960,
Alfredo Barbini, XXX. Biennale di Venezia, 1960,
Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Photo: Anna Seibel

Basel “Maxeville Design Office” by Jean Prouvé unveiled by Galerie Patrick Seguin

This last June at Design Miami/Basel, Galerie Patrick Seguin, frequent purveyors of Prouve’s work  unveiled  the Jean Prouvé’s Maxéville Design Office to the public for the first time, lovingly restored down to the last screw. It was presented at the Design Miami/Basel collectors’ fair in Switzerland, taking place from 14 to 19 June 2016, along with documentation of the restoration process.


photos@Courtesy Galerie Patrick Seguin

This piece of architecture was originally produced in 1948 as a prototype for the reconstruction after the war. Prouvé decided to place the house in his own plant in Maxéville, where it became the Ateliers Jean Prouvé Design Office; as demountable houses were still a little too avant-garde then, no serial production were made.  However, the  buildings of the plant were demolished except for the Design Office who luckily survived; it might now be considered as a rare witness of XXth century modern architecture.

Born in Nancy, France, in 1901, Prouvé rose to become one of the most important architects and designers of the mid-20th century. In 1947 Jean Prouve moved his workshop to Maxéville, a suburb outside of Nancy, in eastern France, and his company became a hotbed of innovative constructional thinking in France. Technicians, draftsmen and laborers worked together in an ambience of mutual respect. This version of 10 x 12 meter demountable house with a 2 x 2 canopy was originally produced in 1948 as a prototype for the reconstruction after the War. Intended as a demonstration model that would convince the public of the virtues of prefabricated housing, this was a copybook model: the use of structural axial portal provides an open, fluid plan rendered highly adaptable by interchangeable partitions and one-piece glazed or solid facing panels. (Galerie Patrick Seguin press) 

set up of the house http://www.patrickseguin.com/en/videos/maxeville-design-office/

Thanks to Patrick Seguin, the French design dealer who owns the world’s largest collection of Prouvé architecture – 23 houses. Founded in 1989 to promote 20th-century French design, Galerie Patrick Seguin has been leading the resurgence of interest in Prouvé’s work recently. They have hunted down and restored a variety of examples of his demountable houses. With 19 of these structures ranging from 172 to 2054 sq. ft., the gallery has worked strenuously to promote Jean Prouvé’s architecture through numerous exhibitions and fairs throughout the world, including at the MoMa in New York, DesignMiamiBasel/, the Venice Biennale, and the Pinacoteca Govanni e Marella Agnelli in Turin.


 photos @Courtesy Galerie Patrick Seguin

Patrick Seguin discovered the Maxéville which was covered as a club called Le Bounty, in an industrial suburb of the French city of Nancy. Seguin knew the Maxéville Design Office might still exist. He had driven by the original site where it had stood. And he had seen Le Bounty without realising that it was indeed the Prouvé structure – for it was now covered in blue aluminium siding and stuck on top of another building. Unrecognisable, it was hiding in plain sight. (Amy Serafin, in Wallpaper, june 15, 2016)

Accompanying its exhibitions, Galerie Patrick Seguin has also developed an editorial line of comprehensive publications and is currently releasing a set of 5 monographs dedicated to Jean Prouvé’s demountable architecture, illustrated with archival and contemporary photographs.
These 5 volumes are the first of 15 that will be released in 3 separate boxed sets over the course of 2015 and 2016.





Munich; Johann Andreas Wolff (1652-1716) Draughtmanship in Munich around 1700

05.05-17.07.2016 Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München at Pinakothek der Moderne

Johann Andreas Wolff (1652-1716)  electoral court painter in Munich and in Freising,  was a leading participant since  about 1680 numerous sacred and profane new and renovated buildings in southern Germany and Austria, such as in the modernization of state rooms of the Munich Residenz by Elector Max Emanuel.  The Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München secures more than half of his surviving drawings that are shown on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of his  death at the Pinakothek der Moderne.

41641 ZJohann Andreas Wolff, VENUS UND AMOR AUF EINEM VON SCHWÄNEN GEZOGENEN HIMMELSWAGEN  “Venus and Cupid on a heavenly chariot drawn by swans, design for the ceiling mural in the Munich Residence, around 1692; pen and red-brown ink, grey and light brown wash, over graphite  161 x 250 mm © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München


34602 Z

Johann Andreas Wolff   DIE MYSTISCHE VERMÄHLUNG DER HL. KATHARINA, “The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine, around  1692; Pen and brown ink, coloured wash, 309 x 215 mm
© Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München


14362 Z

Johann Andreas Wolff, ALEXANDER ZIEHT PERSISCHE KLEIDUNG AN “Alexander wears Persian attire”, design for the ceiling painting (now lost) of the Electoral dressing room in the Munich Residence, around 1680,  341 x 561 mm © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München


 Other patrons were Prince Bishop Johann Eckher of Freising and the abbots of major Austrian pins (St. Florian, Kremsmünster, Göttweig)….In the baroque interior beings throughout the north of the Alps Wolff exercised decisive influence. Its high extraordinary altarpieces dominate today in many South German and Austrian churches and monasteries.

Wolff_Hl-1. Sippe_um1684

Johann Andreas Wolff  HL. SIPPE “The Holy Kinship”, design for the central panel of the altarpiece in the Church of St. Martin and Castles in Landshut, around 1684, pen and red-brown ink, red-brown wash, 304 x 235 mm,  © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München


Since the last monograph on Wolff was drawn up in 1988 (Kuno Schlichtenmaier), the image of work and importance of the painter is to revise. In addition to new discoveries and partially modified ups and a re-reading of the numerous surviving sources new questions are asked to Wolff’s biography and oeuvre: What is his position in the “Organization” of the Munich court to understand?  …How did the artist whose ceiling paintings, sculptures and ephemeral Triumphalbauten was designed alongside monumental altarpieces, contributed to the representation of court and church? ,,, Is the role of Munich as an art center in 1700 to re-evaluate? (Johann Andreas Wolff (1652 – 1716) – a court painter and art director Edited by Sibylle Appuhn-Radtke, Josef H. Biller, Dagmar Dietrich and Maria-Luise Hopp-Gantner) 

Wolff_Die Verkundigung an Maria_um1678

Johann Andreas Wolff DIE VERKÜNDIGUNG AN MARIA “The Annunciation”design for a painting that now hangs in the Diözesanmuseum, Freising, around 1678; pen and black ink, grey wash, heightened with white, on light brow paper,  263 x 179 mm © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München


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Johann Andreas Wolff  DIE ANBETUNG DER HIRTEN “The Adoration of the Magi”, design for the Nativity Altarpiece in St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Passau, around 1697, 253 x 199 mm © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München

Wolff_Das Mahl der Kleopatra und des Marcus Antonius_um 1680

Johann Andreas Wolff  DAS MAHL DER KLEOPATRA UND DES MARCUS ANTONIUS “The Feast of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony”, probable design for the Alexander Room in the Munich Residence, around 1680; pen and brown ink, inked-in over graphite sketch, grey and light-brown wash, 377 x 292 mm   © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München

The research results of a working group to appear to Wolff’s 300th anniversary 2016 Apelles Publishing.  The exhibition of the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München allows  a new look at Wolff as a draftsman.

Wolff_Alexander veranlasst Ephestionis zur Verschwiegenheit_um1680

Johann Andreas Wolff ALEXANDER VERANLASST EPHESTIONIS ZUR VERSCHWIEGENHEIT   ‘Alexander makes Ephestionis swear an oath  of silence’, design for the ceiling painting (now lost) in the ‘Rittestube’of the Munich Residence, around 1680; pen and black and brown ink, grey and brown wash. 179×180 mm ©Staatlische Graphische Sammlung München



a beautiful publication “Johann Andreas Wolff: Zeichenkunst in München um 1700″ Achim Riether (author); Joseff Strasser (contributor)

all images provided by the Press Department of Pinakothek der Moderne for this editorial reporting. Thank you!

London; Christiana Soulou “The Book of Imaginary Beings After Jorge Luis Borges” with an essay by Donatien Grau

CS book final

Few days ago this  amazing gift/book arrived at my door step.  An extraordinary book with 50 drawing by the  artist that I admired for years, Christiana Soulou.   The drawings greatly inspired by Soulou’s love and admiration of Jorge Luis Borges and Margarita Guerrero’s book “The Imaginary Beings (1957) – a fantastic anthology of “strange creatures conceived down through history by the human imagination.”  The project has evolved and expanded over more than two years, originating in a presentation at the 2013 Venice Biennale, where Soulou’s drawings were presented as part of ‘The Encyclopedic Palace’. Published on occasion of the exhibition “The Book of the Imaginary Beings After Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January -20 February 2016.

HQ18-CS11448D Lion cerf

Christiana Soulou ‘Lion cerf’, 2015, colour pencil on paper
site size: 21 x 29.6 cm / 8 ¼ x 11 ⅝ in, unique
Exhibited: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January – 20 February 2016
Illustrated: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, (Colour Illus. (p.65))
Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London


In the 1967 foreword to ‘The Book of Imaginary Beings’, Jorge Luis Borges and Margarita Guerrero, his co-author, presented the change of title from Handbook of Fantastic Zoology to its current denomination: “the title of this book would justify the inclusion of Prince Hamlet, of the point, of the line, of the surface, of n-dimensional hyperplanes and hyper volumes, of all generic  terms, and perhaps of each of one of us and of the godhead. In brief, the sum of all things-the universe.  We have limited ourselves, however, to what is immediately suggested by the word ‘ imaginary beings’; we have compiled a handbook of the strange creatures conceived through time and space of the human inspiration.” (Donatien  Grau, ‘Credo Quia..’)

HQ16-CS9756D Thorny devil and dragons
Christiana Soulou ‘Thorny Devil and Dragons’, 2013, colour pencil on paper
site size: 21 x 30 cm / 8 ¼ x 11 ¾ in, unique
Exhibited: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January –20 February 2016
Illustrated: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges,  (Colour Illus. (p.44))
Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London


Executed in coloured pencil, Solou’s drawings are at once evanescent and insistent, elusive and precise. They appear to be timeless – emerging out of subtlety of tone and exacting line – and in their precision, they invoke the works of Renaissance draughtsmen such as Pisanello and Dürer. As writer and critic Donatien Grau has observed, “..the precision of the artist’s line is fundamental; every line she draws is a careful decision, seemingly light and perfect, but in fact burdened with responsibility. The existential weight of drawing an imaginary being in a particular fashion is enormous; these beings will never see the light if she does not draw them. As she draws them, she conceives them, and when they are set on the sheet of paper, she has given them to the world; she has added new figures to the population of beings that exist on this earth.”


Christiana Soulou,’Dragon gracilis’, 2013, colour pencil on paper, unique
site size: 21 x 30 cm / 8 ¼ x 11 ¾ in
Exhibited: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January – 20 February 2016
Illustrated: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, (Colour Illus. (p.43))
Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London


Borges invites us to explore that zone of indecision where the material goes into the feeling. The same is not the same anymore and the other is not the other anymore as in the half-crocodile half-lion eats up the integrity and the other way round.  Here is it not about the imitation or resemblance; “is required on the opposite the power of ground basis, able to dissolve forms”, to destroy identities and impose the existence of such a zone where we do not know anymore what is crocodile and what is lion – because something rises up as the triumph of their in distinctiveness. My drawings occupy that space. They are the paintings of that zone. Neither their resemblance not their difference. In the drawings of those animals it is not that the one is transformed into the other. It is the extreme contiguity in the dissimilar, the confluence of dissimilar elements under the same light, and the fact that something goes from one to the other. ( Christiana Soulou, 2014, translated from the french by Donatien Grau).

HQ18-CS11455D Monstre

Christiana Soulou ‘Monstre’,  2015, colour pencil on paper
site size: 15 x 20.5 cm / 5 ⅞ x 8 in, unique
Exhibited: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January – 20 February 2016
Illustrated: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges,(Colour Illus. (p.45))
Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London


Classical art gets away from arbitrary reality by applying a system that is based entirely on the natural (and is mysterious logic), on the contrary to Northern art which has not been refined by the knowledge of the natural, abstract language and the reproduction of reality, where classical art proceeds without any constraint with the direct representation of the real. Borges’ images seem to relate more to Villard de Honnecourt’s drawings, where the real is absolutely not identical to the natural. As  a consequence, the subtraction of an order happens on a space there this order does not exist. (‘Resemblance as an order’,  Christiana Soulou)

HQ18-CS11439D Sky Blue Licorne Horses

Christiana Soulou, ‘Sky Blue Licorne Horses’,  2014, colour pencil on paper
site size: 21 x 29.6 cm / 8 ¼ x 11 ⅝ in, unique
Exhibited: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January – 20 February 2016
Illustrated: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, (Colour Illus. (p.75))
Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London


Christiana Soul’s drawings are the exemplification of the situation  contemporary subjectivity is left in, after the destruction symbolised by Nietzsche; if we believe, we are absurd; but if we do not believe, then we are left with the absurd. What are we, existentially, to do, in order to navigate the world we were born into, and in which we will die? .….To credo quia absurdum, or credo via impossible, Christiana Soulou replies with credo quit line eat, ‘I believe because there is the line’. The fact that there would be such a thing as a line, drawn by human hand, signifies that perfection, however, tenuous, can be reached; that the miracle of representation can be realised by a human being, by a human hand.  (Donatien Grau, ‘The reasons of belief’)

……..As much as resemblance deforms, the in distinctiveness becomes the best definition of resemblance. It is exactly the point Borges introduces the zone of indistictiveness that holds as the only space where those beings can get closer to what they are (to themselves).  Foucault’s unthinkable space then becomes the only true space and the actual work of art; a space where the same and the other, the familiar and the foreign converge in an extreme contiguity without any resemblance, and produces resemblance.  To admit the misled character of phenomena is not fatality; it i on the contrary the certainty that, beyond every evolution, every progress and every knowledge, there is a feeling of a world that places itself not before, but above knowledge. (Christiana Soulou, ‘Indecision and Space,  on her book, athens, october 2014, translated from he french by Donatien Grau)

CS book final

A remarkable notice is made in the book by  Donatien Grau about Margarita Guerrero, co-author on “The Absent Author”… Most often, Borges is cited as the only author of  “The Book of Imaginary Beings”, but in fact there were two: Jorge Luis Borges, whose eminence as one of the very few late encyclopaedic minds of the twentieth century is unparalleled, and Margarita Guerrero, his co-author, with whom he wrote the book. In the english edition. Guerrero never appears as Borge’s co-author, even though the prefaces of the two editions in Spanish are co-singed by him and her; even though the French edition lists her as a co-author; even though the édition de la Pléiade, which was prepared under Borge’s own guidance, doe not include Le Livre des être imaginaries as a work fully by Borges.  Guerrero was an important figure in Borge’s life; … she was there for him when Borges, already suffering from the ocular illness that would end up leaving him blind, had to dictate The Book of Imaginary Beings. 

Published on occasion of the exhibition “The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Louis Borges, Sadie Coles, HQ, London, 26 January-20 February 2016, ©2015 Christiana Soulou, Sadie Coles HQ, Donatien Grau, published in a limited edition of 300. Designed by Frase Muggeridge Studio, Printed by Albe De Coker, Belgium
all images ©Christiana  Soulou, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London
Thank you Sadie Coles gallery with your  generous permission to publish images of the amazing drawings in my blog and use some of the extraordinary texts by Christiana Soulou and Donatien Grau..  (V.Kapernekas)


Munich; Jessica Warboys “Neap Tide” at Kunstverein’s Schaufenster am Hofgarten

Berlin and Suffolk-based artist Jessica Warboys elaborates that ‘painting is a wet medium’ with her ongoing series of Sea Paintings.  Last night preview opening  at kunstverein Munich (k.m) for the ‘Schaufenster’ at  Hofgarten she  created  a new piece “Neap Tide” where she developed a new display apparatus for her Sea Paintings, which alludes to photo-cinematic moving panoramas and the loops of film stock.

Jessica Warboys ‘Neap Tide’ 10 May -June 26, 2016

IMG_4745 (1)

The mechanism will be turned incrementally, without advanced notice, generating a new rhythm distinct from the temporality of her initial process. The effect is a wave of painterly information that proceeds over time, a picture that is always imperceptibly changing like the crystal flow of tides.


Jessica Warboys  journeyed to the seashore to produce this work during ‘neap tide’a semi-monthly interval where the difference between high and low tide is at its least.  Relinquishing her aesthetic control to the movements of the sea, the Sea Paintings also register the specific place and time of their manufacture. They function a sort of implicit cinema. 

‘She lays large sheets of canvas on the beach, applies pigment to their sea soaked surfaces, and then casts the canvases  back out to sea. While seemingly  abstract, the images that result record the intimate and transitory interaction of her own movements with the confluence of the canvas surface, the pigment, and the tendencies and flows of the waves, wind, salt, and sand.'(k.m press) 



Jessica Warboys created a set of beautiful edition prints for her guests


Fabulous  flower arrangements celebrated the event by the flower curators  “Buketai”; an amazing creative project initiated by the k.m director Chris Fitzpatrick.



Buketai is the name for the work of sisters Aurime and Igne Aleksandraviciute. As ’flower curators’, they  design a series of arrangements of plants in response to the exhibitions at Kunstverein München.

Following the opening, Warboys and artist and musician Morten Norbye Halvorsen presented  a sound performance and DJ set in the foyer of k.m  that further accentuates the looped logic of Warboys’ exhibition.

Athens; “Wols & Eileen Quinlan”at Museum of Cycladic art; curated by Helena Papadopoulos

During my short visit in Athens 2 weeks ago,  I had the pleasure and honour to see a beautiful, vibrant and poetic exhibition at the Museum of Cycladic Art, “Always starts as an encounter; Wols /Eileen Quinlan”curated by Helena Papadopoulos &  produced by radio athènes.  (March 17-May 8, 2016) . Walking thru the exhibition with my long time friend lovely Helena whom I fully admired for her curatorial practice for years. Helena so accurately  had been preparing  this exhibition from the last 2 years.  An artist talk and lecture with Quinlan and art historian Olivier Berggruen took place on March 18, 7PM



The Stathatos mansion : A marble staircase leads up to the elevated ground floor of the mansion, to the dining room and the main drawing room, as well as a cast-iron rotunda axial to the entrance. No alterations have been made to these rooms, which have retained their original gilded stucco mural decorations, chandeliers, and fireplaces (during exhibitions parts of these are covered by wooden revetments).



“Always starts as an encounter” Wols/Eileen Quinlan,
curated by Helena Papadopoulos, produced by Radio Athènes
Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; photos: Yiannis Hadjisaslanis
courtesy of Radio Athènes

Quinlan and Wols are separated by time, historical circumstances and distinct photographic processes. And yet, their works embody the ambiguity of time, and yet both appear to delegate a part of their process to matter itself, as they travel across several genres: ‘por- traits’, ‘abstractions’, ‘fashion photographs’ and ‘still lives’. (curator’s notes)

[…] why is there a shadow in a kitchen, there is a shadow in a kitchen because every little thing is bigger” writes Gertrude Stein under the entry “Roastbeef” in the section Food of her 1914 volume “Tender Buttons” in which she looks at everyday, familiar, unexceptional ob- jets. (curator’s notes) 



“Always starts as an encounter” Wols/Eileen Quinlan,
curated by Helena Papadopoulos, produced by Radio Athènes
Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; photos: Yiannis Hadjisaslanis
courtesy of Radio Athènes

Unpacking the photographic images of German born Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze (1913-1951), known as Wols, and American artist Eileen Quinlan (*1972) a similar encounter with familiar objects, -cheese, beans, mud, esh, liquids, cloths, a hand or a face- pro- duces indelible imprints, representations of temporal operations and elemental materiality.

Wols, cited by art historians as one of the three pioneering art informel artists, together with Jean Fautrier and Jean Dubuffet, became known post-humously for his watercolours, drawings, writings and his heavily worked paintings with scratched layers of oil of the mid 1940s. His photographic work of the 1930’s had been largely ignored until photography historian Volker Kahmen and photographer Georg Heusch produced modern prints in 1976 from negatives made available by Wols’s sister, Dr. Elfriede Schulze-Battmann. Wols made numerous portraits, close-ups of pavements and dilapidated walls, rocks and beaches and was commissioned to photograph the ‘Pavillion de l’ Élégance’ in the 1937 Paris World Fair. Often working with borrowed cameras and more often than not unable to procure materials to print his negatives, he used his kitchen as makeshift studio and darkroom. It is in the kitchen that Wols produced some of his most outstanding images: “He went shopping and cooked Spanish or Chinese…..but first everything was photographed [raw]-the rabbit, the onions”, writes his wife Gréty, in a 1966 letter. Defamiliarizing the ordinary through the devolution of objects, Wols still lifes echo Georges Bataille’s writings on the ‘informe’ and ‘base materialism’. They are symptomatic of a feeling of insecurity permeating Paris in the 1930s, an atmosphere mirrored, one can claim, in today’s uncertain developments and imminent changes in Europe. (curator’s notes and exhibition press release).


Born in Berlin in 1913, Wols left Germany in 1932 to live in France except for a two-year residence in Spain. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he was interned for over a year in various camps. After his death in 1951, Wols was represented in the rst three Documenta exhibitions (1955, 1959, 1964) and at the Venice Biennale in 1958. Major exhibitions of his photographic oeuvre include: Wols, der gerettete Blick, curated by Michael Hering, Kupferstich Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (2013) and Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2014); Wols Photographs, curated by Christina Mehring, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museum, Cambridge, MA (1999) and Wols, Photographe, curated by Laszlo Glozer, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1980).


the exhibition continuer in the cast-iron rotunda axial to the entrance




“Always starts as an encounter” Wols/Eileen Quinlan,
curated by Helena Papadopoulos, produced by Radio Athènes
Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; photos: Yiannis Hadjisaslanis
courtesy of Radio Athènes

Born in Boston in 1972, Eileen Quinlan lives and works in New York. She has been explor- ing the layers that constitute the photographic apparatus, the materiality of both image and lm, often turning the transformative processes that take place, into her very subject. She has produced ‘still lifes’, ‘abstractions’ and ‘portraits’ oscillating between colour and black and white in order to ‘posit neither chromatic register as truer than the other’, as she notes. She sometimes shoots with outdated polaroid lm, or adds tequila in the water in which the lm may be bathed for weeks. Quinlan’s manipulations of the surface of her negatives include abrasions with steel wool and ballpoint pens, ngerprints and liquids, her active interventions resulting in textured prints. Matter (the body or the photographic materials) and memory (as after image) are inscribed within a medium which is treated ‘not as uncon- ditional reception of the perceived world, but as a position within a scopic regime mediated and in ected by barriers, screens, curtains’. (curator’notes and exhibition’s press release)

Eileen Quinlan teaches at Bard College’s Milton Avery School of the Arts. Her work has been featured in solo and thematic exhibitions internationally including Image Support, Ber- gen Kunsthall, Bergen (2016); Lens Work, LACMA, Los Angeles, CA (2015); What is a Photograph?, ICP, New York (2014) and Momentum 13: Eileen Quinlan, ICA, Boston, MA (2009). She is represented by Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York and Campoli Presti, London/ Paris. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Museum of Modern Art, New York among others. Eileen Quinlan is represented by Miguel Abreu Gallery/New York.

Helena Papadopoulos carefully chose the pieces by Wols and Eileen Quinlan and placed them in this environment of Cycladic Museum.  I loved the exhibition! Walking from the Athens streets in the  Stathatos Megaro was  a  poetic wave. Thank you Helena!  Couple of years ago in Berlin I had the chance to see the “Wols Photograph – Der gerettete Blick: Ausstellung des Informel-Künstlers im Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin .  Moreover, I believe the “Always starts as an encounter ; Wols/Eileen Quinlan” exhibition  is a truly  gem.

Organized by Radio Athènes with the collaborationof the Goethe-Institut, with additional support from Outset. Greece; the Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; Aegean; New Hotel, member of Yes! Hotels and Design Hotels and the generous participation of Olivier Berggruen. Ms Papadopoulos and the Cycladic museum want to acknowledge with warmest thanks to :  Eileen Quinlan, Miguel Abreu, Olivier Berggruen, Stephanie Buck, Aphrodite Gonou, Michael Hering, Maria Joannou, Elina Kountouri (NEON) , Samuel Merians, the Eileen Quinlan Studio and Juliane Stegner.

The Museum of Cycladic Art is dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with special emphasis on Cycladic Art of the 3rd millennium BC.It was founded in 1986, to house the collection of Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris. Since then it has grown in size to accommodate new acquisitions, obtained either through direct purchases or through donations by important collectors and institutions. Read more here on the history of Cycladic Museum in Athens 


The Stathatos Mansion gracefully combines elements of Greek and Roman architecture with the canons of Romantic Classicism, prevailing in nineteenth-century Europe. The building is articulated with two virtually identical fronts, which meet at a monumental porch of Renaissance form. The entrance is emphasized by an arched façade supporting a balcony on the first floor, as well as by two statues crowning the roof; work of the Bavarian architect Ernst Ziller, is one of the most important extant examples of Neoclassical architecture in nineteenth-century Athens. It was built in 1895 as the residence of the family of Othon and Athina Stathatos, to whom it belonged until 1938. It subsequently housed diplomatic representations of various states. In 1982 it was purchased by the Greek State and was restored and refurbished by the architect P. Kalligas, with a view to its use as accommodation for VIP guests of the State.For various reasons this plan was abandoned and in 1991 the building was leased to the MCA, in order to cover its increased needs for exhibition space. In 2001 the Greek State decided to concede its use for another 50 years to the N.P. Goulandris Foundation, to facilitate the operation of the museum.

one of the best -designed spaces in Greece, the Cycladic Art Cafe, concept and designed by the wonderful KOIS Associated Architects.

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“Always starts as an encounter” Wols/Eileen Quinlan,
curated by Helena Papadopoulos, produced by Radio Athènes
Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; photos: Yiannis Hadjisaslanis
courtesy of Radio Athènes
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