Sculpture Exhibition at the Byzantine and Christian Museum

Sculpture Exhibition at the Byzantine and Christian Museum

The Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens is currently hosting a unique sculpture exhibition, and it's capturing the hearts of art enthusiasts. For the sixth consecutive year, the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece (EETE) Exhibition is gracing the museum's enchanting gardens, offering the public a glimpse into the world of contemporary Greek sculpture.

The exhibition, which features 100 medium and large-scale sculptures, showcases the rich and diverse artistic talent in Greece. Visitors have the unique opportunity to explore these artworks within the lush and natural surroundings of the museum's gardens. The sculptures come to life in the open air, engaging viewers on a sensory and emotional level.

Two key figures behind this key event, Nassos Chalkides, the President of the Chamber and a renowned painter, and Antonis Myrodias, the Curator of the Sculpture Committee shed light on the collaboration's origin and its educational significance in a recent media interview.

The Birth of a Collaboration

Sharing the story behind the collaboration with the Byzantine Museum with Greek News Agenda, Antonis Myrodias reveals that this artistic partnership was born from a "misfortune" of sorts. In 2017, EETE organised an exceptional micro-sculpture exhibition at the Museum of Political Exiles of Ai Stratis in Kerameikos, which garnered great success. It was initially planned to be a one-time event, but the demand from artists and cooperation with the Ministry of Culture led them to secure the courtyard of the Byzantine Museum.

The exhibition has been a hit ever since, gaining popularity even during the pandemic when many art spaces were inaccessible.  Myrodias notes the museum's instrumental role in supporting and expanding the exhibition. In addition to its entertaining aspect, the exhibition also serves as a valuable educational resource, with school visits and interactions with artists.

A Feast of Sculptural Diversity

The exhibition showcases a total of 100 works by 83 artists. The artists had the freedom to express themselves without constraints, resulting in a diverse range of styles and approaches. Visitors will find naturalistic and figurative works, abstract pieces spanning different artistic eras, and even symbolic, conceptual, and playful sculptures. It's a true feast for the senses, with an array of materials, colours, and intentions. The sculptures not only reflect the artists' creative souls but also inspire viewers to explore their own thoughts and emotions.

The Greek Connection to Sculpture

Myrodias highlights the deep connection between the Greek people and sculpture. This affinity, he says, is rooted in the country's natural landscapes, rocky formations, and ancient clay forms. Additionally, the legacy of ancient Greek art carries immense weight, both for the modern Greek viewer and the artist. However, he laments that, “at times, this rich heritage is commodified and stripped of its deeper meaning.”

Challenges for Contemporary Greek Artists

Discussing the challenges faced by contemporary Greek artists, Nassos Chalkides notes the pressure artists experience due to economic difficulties and the need to explore other career paths. The artistic world is also grappling with the commodification of art, leading to a loss of its intrinsic value. High costs and limited opportunities for exhibition further compound the challenges artists face in Greece.

Future Endeavours of the Chamber

Their goal of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece is to support contemporary cultural and artistic creation and provide a platform for artists to showcase their work. And looking ahead, the Chamber has a busy calendar with plans to host exhibitions of engraving, sculpture, and new members' work in the coming year. They are also exploring the possibility of presenting their members' work abroad in collaboration with similar institutions.

Despite difficulties presented by public, municipal, and private bodies, the Chamber keep striding forward, with ongoing efforts including the organisation of symposiums and exhibitions. Their goal is to support contemporary cultural and artistic creation and provide a platform for artists to showcase their work.

The exhibition at the Byzantine and Christian Museum will run until November 5th, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the world of contemporary Greek sculpture and celebrate the rich artistic heritage of Greece.

Image credit: All photos by Dora Trogadi. Images © Greek News Agenda

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