The works of the great sculptor travel to the place where he was born, lived and inspired
The work and the legendary life of Gianoulis Halepas may still dominate Tinos, but this summer the exhibition “Halepas – The ultimate sculpture lesson” at the Tinos Culture Foundation Building, which will remain open until October 16, 2023, makes its presence of the leading Greek sculptor even more intense on his island.
The exhibition, which already welcomes visitors from all over the world, brings together two extremely important sets of works by Gianoulis Halepas: the collection of the Foundation of Tinian Culture and the collection of the Onassis Foundation.
After the exhibition “Gianoulis Halepas: Dunai and Laveen”, held in the spring of 2022 at the Telloglio Foundation in Thessaloniki, in collaboration with the Onassis Foundation, the works of the great sculptor travel to the place where he was born, lived and inspired, creating an exhibition that comes to cover a large part of his artistic creation.
The exhibition “Chalepas – Sculpture maximum lesson”, curated by Alexandra Goulaki-Voutyras, gives us the unique opportunity to follow the artistic path of the leading creator, from his first works to his mature production in Athens, with 30 works that mark his third artistic period and are in the collection of the Onassis Foundation. Mainly, however, in this exhibition we can better understand the “new” Halepas, as the “maximum sculpture lesson” (according to Dimitris Pikionis) concerns the approach and understanding of the sculptor’s creative path, especially when he returns to the island and to art of after a long and dramatic work stoppage of 40 years.
In Chora, the Halepa Collection of the Panhellenic Holy Foundation of Evangelism of Tinos, housed in the Foundation of Tinian Culture (ITIP), includes the most important set of sculptures from the first and, mainly, the second period of the sculptor, when he returns to the island after his incarceration in the Psychiatric Hospital of Corfu in 1902. There he creates a work different from that of his youth, with special importance for modern Greek sculpture. Among his works were the impressive Tale of the Five Forms, as well as Satyr and Eros (three great early versions), Sleeping Ariadne, Herodias, Alexander the Great alive and dead, which are treasures and works of reference for modern Greek sculpture.
The Onassis Foundation could not be missing from the exhibition. It is imposed, after all, by the wealth of Halepa’s works at his disposal: a large set of sculptures, drawings, prototypes and casts from the most important collection of the sculptor’s works, that of his nieces, Vassilis and Irene, who hosted him in Athens in the 1930s -1938. From the collection of the Onassis Foundation, the emblematic work Oedipus and Antigone, his first sculpture after settling in Athens, two attempts on the theme of Satyr and Eros (no. X, 1931, and XII, 1936) are presented for the first time in Tinos. , the portrait of Eftychias’s niece with his self-portrait on the back, the Sleeping Woman in the so-called “Streefi model” (1937) ca.
The curator of the exhibition and director of the Telloglio Foundation, Alexandra Goulaki-Voutyras, says: “The exhibition “Chalepas – Sculpture maximum lesson” unites two sets extremely important for the artist’s work: the collection of ITIP with works of the first and, above all, of of the second period (Tino) of Halepas and the collection of works of the Onassis Foundation, with works of the artist’s second and third periods. By bringing together almost all surviving works of Halepas from the second period on the island (1918-1930), we can trace the continuity of his creative output in Athens (see works in the Onassis Foundation collection). Above all, however, we can better understand, together with testimonies in archival material (rare photographs), the great turn in his work, when he now resumes his art in Tinos* to realize the role of the material, but also of the obstacles that led to the formation of the plastic language of the “new” Aleppo. The genius creator, with an almost disarming innocence in his ascetic isolation on the island, investigates and transforms the difficulties into a new way of expression, generously offering us the “maximum lesson in sculpture” according to Dimitris Pikionis.
Antonis S. Papadimitriou, president of the Onassis Foundation, says: “With the kind loan of works in Tinos, we are renewing interest in a great modernist of his time. We thus participate in a dialogue between great works, so that the final recipient is the visitor. It is an honor due to him, his birthplace and the folk tradition within which he created. In Gianoulis Halepa’s Tinos we offer a piece of his own “donation”, thanks to the excellent collaboration with the Foundation of Tinian Culture and the valuable assistance of curator Alexandra Goulaki-Voutiras. We owe both of them special thanks and sincere respect.”
The exhibition is under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and is organized by the Foundation of Tinian Culture, with the support of the Onassis Foundation and the cooperation of the Teloglio Art Foundation of AUTH.
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