PIASA’s New Hellenic Venture

BY Katrina Kufer / May 18 2017 / 12:09 PM

The Paris-based auction house will offer 124 works from a private collection by Greek artists on 23 May

PIASA’s New Hellenic Venture
© Photography by Κοσμάς Καραχλές
George Zongolopoulos. Installation view of Umbrellas in Thessaloniki.

Parisian auction house PIASA is adding a new niche auction of Modern and Contemporary Greek art to its calendar of some 60 sales a year.

Organised by the director of Modern and Contemporary Hellenic Art Laura Wilmotte-Koufopandelis, the first sale on 23 May will showcase 124 works by 58 Greek artists, both emerging and established. With the goal of reintroducing contemporary Greek cultural production, the lots on offer stem from a private Greek collection assembled over three decades of careful collecting, travel and research.

Names to watch out for include local and diaspora artists such as Tsingos, Fassianos, Coulentianos, Tsoclis, Caniaris, Arithakis and Vlavianos. Highlights by more established names include works from George Zongolopoulos and Chryssa. Zongolopoulos, a sculptor, first made waves in the 1950s after attracting the attention of French art critic Pierre Restany, who saw past the artist’s quirky obsession with umbrellas. “In a way our lives are linked to umbrellas in all kinds of ways. Umbrellas always appear as a means of defense (sic) against nature,” the artist once said. “Originally I used umbrellas as an ironic symbol, as when we talk about sheltering under the umbrella of the powers-that-be.... But then I looked at the forms and rhythms these forms create.”

PIASA will showcase sculptures that reference his monumental work Umbrellas, now a seafront landmark in Thessalonica that won an award at the 1993 Venice Biennale, one of several appearances Zongolopoulos made at the seminal art event. Chyrssa, a Greek avant-garde artist who settled in New York, will also have several works up for sale that speak to her exploration into reliefs, sculpture, impressions and writings that connect space, language and architecture.

For more information visit piasa.fr