Friday, 26 August 2011

Yannis Moralis

An exhibition of Yannis Moralis' work at the National Gallery. A retrospective and a celebration.

The early work:

Two friends, 1946. This could also have been called  'two sculptors'  as it is a painting of the sculptor Natalia Mella, whose work I love, and another sculptor, but I cannot remember who that is.

 The painter with Nikos Nikolaou, 1937

"I did not want to make imitations. Nor did I close my eyes. I let influences enter, but I did not want to imitate anyone. For instance in my self-portrait with Nikolaou, of 1937, you can see the influence of the great Italian Renaissance artists I saw in the museums in Rome. Similarly when I painted my self-portrait of 1938, in Paris, I later came to realize that it is 'related' to a self-portrait by Delacroix"

Self-portrait, 1938

and a photograph of the artist

Pregnant Woman, 1948

The table, 1947

Portrait of Ioanna Lourou, 1940

Figure, 1951

A.G. Prokopiou in 'Art Review Notes' wrote: "This large composition unfolds in the two dimensions of the flat surface of the canvas and could be considered as a preliminary study for the wall decoration of a cenotaph. It has a few weaknesses: the front arm is slimmer, and the fact that it is parallel to the other arm causes a certain monotony. The back line of the background cuts through the surface of the second blue plane. The blue area may be bitter. Yet, these reservations do not compromise the merit of Moralis' work. His drawing is fine as always, and the way his figures are arranged in space, testifies to the artist's fine taste. His constant fluctuation between realism and modern art is often justified by his restless talent".

Figure, 1951

a photograph of the artist

And now to the middle period

and the funerary compositions, which touch me to the core.

Funerary Composition, 1958

"One of my first funerary compositions came to me in a dream"

I find them incredibly moving but they are also good examples of the transition Moralis made from figurative to abstract painting.

Funerary Composition I, 1958-62

Funerary Composition II, 1958-62

Funerary Composition III, 1958-63

Funerary Composition IV

Funerary Composition V, 1963

Funerary Composition VI, 1963
"Love and death go together. Both have played an important role in my life".

Summer, 1968

I am imbued with the Ionian Sea. We belong to the Ionian Sea. There is another kind of light there. A sweeter, softer light....I love greys, I do not know why. I have always aspired to painting in the colours of the partridge.

And now the late period

when he moved to geometric stylisation incorporating curves.

and a photograph of the artist during that period

Erotic, 1982

Dialogue, 1974

Dialogue, 1982

Summer, 1995

Erotic, 1979

Aigina, 1974

Untitled, 2001

Angel, 1979

Erotic, 2001

Girl untying her sandal, 1973

Contemplation, 2007

Can-Can, 1998-2001

Abstract, 1991

Figure I, 1978

Erotic, 1994

"An artist expresses himself through the wounds of his era".

One of his sculptures at the entrance of the National gallery.

Finally, even though it is not part of this exhibition, the engraving he designed for the side of the Hilton, which is next to the gallery.

When I started this post, I was intending to select just a few highlights, as I normally do,  as a reminder. This has turned out to be a virtual tour however - there was so much I wanted to be reminded of....

Thursday, 25 August 2011


On the way to Cibus for supper, past Zappeion

the view of the Acropolis, the big draw.

Monday, 22 August 2011

O dromeas, the runner

O dromeas, the runner, by Kostas Varotsos

one of my favourite works of public art

made of sheets of glass

on Vassilissis Sofias Avenue in Athens, opposite the Hilton and the National Gallery.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Beija Flor

Beija Flor was my favourite restaurant in Sifnos and we ate there a number of times

lots of space,

attention to detail,


another sculpture

and the food was absolutely fantastic: Greek cuisine with a modern twist, beautifully cooked, tasty and at times adventurous

When the bill came we were always pleasantly surprised: it averaged at 50 euros for two people and that included a bottle of wine.

This is the old oven which they have kept and turned into a feature.

It was beautiful at night. Most people did not arrive until after 10:00, so the place is still quite empty.

Beija Flor also has a bar

not as much space as in the restaurant, but very cosy

with fantastic views

you can see Artemona from here 

another sculpture

 this is the lower terrace

and a sculpture on the lower terrace

at the entrance there are art books for people to look at

and more art

this is a pun on the fact that tavernas use paper as tablecloths - the title of the newspaper on this table is 'tablecloth' and this is what it is used as

This is the menu

would you go up those steps?

beautifully lit at night

and that includes the art.