A solo exhibition of works by artist Jannis Psychopedis titled “Biography” opened November 19, and runs through December 12, at the Zoumboulakis Galleries, Athens. The exhibition features 13 portraits of Greek personalities, composing “a sort of autobiography”.
The portraits are of poets Giorgos Seferis, Odysseus Elytis, Yiannis Ritsos, Kostas Karyotakis, Constantinos Cavafy, artists Giorgos Bouziannis and Giannoulis Halepas, composer Mikis Theodorakis, writer Stratis Tsirkas, and political activists Nikos Beloyannis, Manolis Glezos, and Alexandros Panagoulis.
As Psychopedis himself notes: “the exhibition refers to personalities, special people among so many rightful, companions in difficult times… Pieces of an imaginary as well as real genealogical tree. A kind of tree which makes contemporary people feel that they don’t stand alone, that they share along with others an important intellectual legacy, that the world within them is the processed imprint of the world around them and vice versa… Personalities that take on the responsibility to create their history, which is our history”.
Jannis Psychopedis is one of the most prominent exponents of the 70’s generation of Greek artists, who emerged at the time of the Greek dictatorship (1967-1974), with a politicized approach and a familiarity with German expressionism; he was also influenced and inspired by the May 1968 student rebellion in France. Psychopedis was a co-founder of the influential ‘Young Greek Realists’ art group (1971-1973, along with Chronis Botsoglou, Cleopatra Diga, Kyriakos Katzourakis and Yiannis Valavanidis). After the dictatorship, Psychopedis lived and worked in Munich, Berlin and Brussels until 1992, when he returned to Greece to become Professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts. He represented Greece at the 1980 Biennale of Venice.