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Yiannis Moralis and Christos Kapralos at SNFCC

BY Arilena Dimitriou | 17-Oct-2016
The @Stavros Niarchos Foundation Culture Center in collaboration with the National Gallery – Alexandros Soutzos Museum, invite us to a meeting with the painter Yiannis Moralis and the sculptor Christos Kapralos, a friendship in life and art.
Yiannis Moralis and Christos Kapralos met in Athens School of Fine Arts and they will meet again in Paris, where they were overwhelmed by the ideas of modern movements. On the returning to the homeland, they continued their artistic and personal friendship in adjoining workshops in Aegina. Somehow, a nice blend of classical style and modern expression arised in Athens from the lasts of the 30's generation.

At the entrance of the hall of SNFCC, the sculptures of Christos Kapralos present themselves to us on a white pedestal, which is in complete contrast with the dark artifacts. They look like they are ready to move, but something keeps them glued to the ground. Christos Kapralos, influenced by Greek antiquity, gives us forms inspired by figurines, warriors, Nike and the Centaurs. The bronze statues, by simplifying their form, enclose the whole human drama. The artist creates sculptures, which seem more vivid and instrumental in their abstraction.

In the adjacent room with the view of the city of Athens and the port of Faliro, the SNFCC shows us a characteristic sample of the Yiannis Moralis’s projects with chronological order, a life journey from female portraits to the painter’s erotic abstraction.

The begging of Yannis Moralis’s work is the human form. The gray color in combination with the silent light, that covers the forms, gives a visual reality, a realistic description, which is intended to reach the core of the issues.

However, after the war Moralis goes away from the naturalistic style and enters a progressive personal deduction as he paints increasingly simple geometric forms. The time has come and he feels the need to catch painting from the start and create anew.

The women forms are becoming bulky, influenced by Renaissance art and the standards of Greek Ancient beauty. The artist begins an internal dialogue with the model, capturing it with a lustful angle.

As the years go by, Moralis meets the art of Picasso, Matisse and Braque. Moralis is conquered by the one-dimensional abstraction and prefers the viewer's imagination to be free. He leaves behind the figurative painting and passes to the abstract purity, where the female figure is free from her dominant features and looks like a call to find the internal Platonic essence. Moralis’s amorphous compositions continue to inspire an intense eroticism with a little bit of melancholy. It is the final attempt of the artist to compromise with the idea of death through Eros (Greek god of love).