This summer, the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation is organising a retrospective exhibition of the work of a distinguished sculptor, the late George Zongolopoulos. Although an accomplished handler of the brush and stylus he bestowed himself to sculpture with an incessant passion, enthusiasm and dedication that brought universal recognition and established him as one of the most important sculptors in Modern Greek art.
Yet another retrospective of Zongolopoulos’ work would be of reduced significance and amount to an extraneous effort unless its stated purpose was to expand the interpretational horizon by highlighting elements of a dialectic developed with novel personal expressive codes which allow for a more flexible interpretative approach of the ‘absolute’ which George Zongolopoulos served with mathematical oestrus and theoretical scholarship.
The structure of the retrospective begins with his early youthful period, characterized by impressively realistic drawing skills, continues with a phase of suggestive faithfulness to the object and reaches the long period of the absolute rejection of realistic references. This is the beginning of a period of redefinition of positions and principles that produced a dialectic dictated by the need to search for new possibilities as these were imposed by modern technology and a new social reality.
Emphasis, as expected, has been placed on his abstract period of free compositions, two-dimensional reliefs, magnifying refractor lenses and umbrellas, hydrokinetic constructions, models and photographs of monumental structures for public spaces.
Every aspect of the exhibition is supplemented by well-researched texts written by people with a deep knowledge of the work included in a bilingual, 290-page catalogue which also contains reproductions of all 107 works on display.