Get highlights of mykerkyra.com delivered to your inbox
The Municipal Art Gallery of Central Corfu and the Ionian Islands is organizing a retrospective exhibition of works by Giannis Psychopaidis, presenting the work of one of the most significant artists of post-war art in Greece to the Corfiot audience for the first time through a thematic approach.
Giannis Psychopaidis began his artistic exploration in the turbulent and disruptive years of the 1960s when, as a student, he participated with other young artists in the major collective projects of the time, in the magazine “Epitheorisis Technis” (1954-1967), and in the Art Group A’ (1961-1967). He actively participated in anti-fascist activities in the intellectual sphere during a period of persecutions, censorship, exile, and exclusions when significant intellectuals, writers, and artists were reevaluating realism and modernism, seeking new means and ways to express social unrest and political protest. They were also seeking a different kind and quality of communication with the public, while simultaneously criticizing the commodification of art. Already in the early 1970s in Germany, and later with the New Greek Realists (1971-1973), Psychopaidis submitted a mature and consistent aesthetic proposal during the dictatorship through his work and texts. As perhaps the youngest member of Art Group A’ and later the group around the Center for Visual Arts (KET, 1974-1976), he attempted alternative ways of circulating artwork. Despite being critical of the abstraction of sensibility and socialist realism, Psychopaidis was always aware of contemporary trends and a systematic researcher and deep connoisseur of European modernism, as can be deduced from both his work and his texts. Because his painting, constructions, and installations are the result not only of a strategy of socio-political intervention through art but also of reflective processes through which he reexamines the boundaries of photographic and pictorial representation, and the potential of painting to interpret and capture historical truth.
The exhibition, which will be presented at the Municipal Art Gallery of Central Corfu and the Ionian Islands from October 4th to December 3rd, attempts to capture these parallel processes in Giannis Psychopaidis’ work from the 1960s and 1970s in their inception and to provide an insight into their development in the artist’s later work, through selected works from his collection.
The exhibition is curated by Elena Hamalidi, Art Historian, Associate Professor of Art History at the Ionian University. The catalog of the exhibition also includes texts by Giannis Psychopaidis from his books “Night Journey: Small Texts on Art” (1998) and “Unstable Weather: Small Texts on Art” (2019).