André Masson and ancient Greece1 July - 30 September 2007

The Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation will be hosting for the summer of 2007 an exhibition – tribute to the great French artist of the twentieth century André Masson. (1896-1987)

The multi-faceted artistic oeuvre of Masson has contributed to a great extent to the evolution of the visual arts of the previous century. The artist was identified with the progression of the surrealist movement, a movement with which he collaborated at different stages of his life. The retrospective to the painterly space and time of Masson will be approached and examined through the widely appreciated theme of Ancient Greece’s history and mythology.

The wider artistic creation of Masson’s oeuvre can be interpreted as a spherical study of the human existence. Taking as a starting point the theories of Heraclitus – as far as the motion of man and the universe is concerned – Masson examined the development of man through his anxieties for his future and through his relation to nature. The ancient legends, the tragedy, the Dionysian cult and adoration and the primordial, universal myths of the Greek antiquity formed the sources of inspiration for Masson and proved critical in the formation of his widely significant artistic spirit.

The exhibition "André Masson and Ancient Greece" focuses on the theme of the metamorphosis of man’s nature. It presents the dimension that was given, by ancient Greek history and philosophy, to the equilibrium between the ‘rational’ and the ‘sentimental’. The exhibition of 2007 will include some of the most important paintings and drawings of Masson, representing themes from ancient Greek mythology, such as the myth of the Minotaure, Ariadne, Daedalus and Icarus and the labours of Hercules.

It should be noted that retrospective exhibitions on André Masson have been organized in some of the most important museums in Europe and the United States of America, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and the Grand Palais in Paris and more. Museums of an international range such as the Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris together with other major public and private collections will offer on loan the important works of André Masson for the realization of such a retrospective of great importance.