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Erotic painting in the Benaki Museum

26 November 2014 / 21:11:30  GRReporter
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In an Apology of Painting, the artist Pavlos Samios presents for the first time the works he has created over the past four years, as well as a selection of paintings, signposting his whole artistic path and highlighting the topics he has interpreted throughout the years and featured in individual exhibitions.

Including landmark work of the artist from his first creative years, through the period he spent in Paris, all the way to the 1990s and the 2000s, the retrospective exhibition entitled, Apology of Painting, will open on 26 November, 20.00 h, in the Benaki Museum at 138 Pireos street. The paintings come from the artist's personal collection as well as from other private collections.

The artist, his model and nudity in history

In his latest paintings, Pavlos Samios has made a shift to new topics and often opts for the large size. In the exhibition's first part, entitled ‘The artist and his model’, he guides us throughout his personal workplace haunted by memories from antiquity. Symbolic images accompany his creative process, e.g. the goddess Aphrodite, a Roman head, etc.

In the second part named ‘Nudity in history’, Samios visits the ateliers of great artists and delves into an exploration of the nude female body, not so much from an aesthetic viewpoint but as an eternal symbol of eroticism and procreation. A staunch supporter of the idea that the erotic leads to sublime moments of uplift and completeness, Samios ‘breaks into’ the studios of El Greco, Tintoretto, Picasso, Titian, Ingres, Manet, to come into contact with some of their best works, which one can find encoded in his own paintings.

The contemporary nude female body ‘encounters’ female figures from other eras in one and the same painting, engrossed in a conversation going beyond the limitations of time and showing nudity as an everlasting symbol of youth and passion. For instance, the goddess Aphrodite cohabits the same painting with a figurine from the Cycladic civilization, Picasso’s The Young Ladies of Avignon coexist with a nude female body from the present day, etc.

This is Samios’ paying tribute to artists who influenced him and whom he keeps in high regard as his teachers, blended with reminiscences from Greek antiquity. The exhibition showcases the artist's travels through time, saturated with his own inspiration.

A thematic monograph

In parallel with the exhibition, Militos Books releases a monograph dedicated to the work of Pavlos Samios and edited by Maria Ksantaku who is the curator of the exhibition. The monograph presents the artist's works by periods and subjects, and also includes reviews on Samios by critics and art history experts. The book also contains introductory notes by the Director of the Benaki Museum Angelos Delivorias, Professor Anastasios Ioannis Metaxas, the translator and literary critic Cecil Inglesi Margelou, the Benaki Museum’s curator Konstantinos Papachristos and the director of Militos Books, Nikos Haidemenos.

Great teachers

Born in Athens in 1948, Pavlos Samios took drawing lessons at the atelier of Panos Sarafianos and later studied at the School of Fine Arts in Athens. His tutors were Nikos Nikolaou in the preparatory class, and Yannis Moralis in the painting slass. Great teachers, to whom he owes a lot, as well as to Yannis Tsarouhis. Samios himself has taught at the School of Fine Arts since the year 2000, at the atelier of traditional painting, Byzantine icons and manuscripts. Another commitment of his throughout the years – painting the murals of many small churches. Samios has shown a number of individual exhibitions in Greece and abroad, and has also taken part in a plethora of group exhibitions.

Additional information

Benaki Museum – 138 Piraeus Street, Athens, tel: 0030 210 3453111.

Duration of the exhibition: From 27 November 2014 to 11 January 2015.

Ticket prices: ordinary - 5 euros; discounted - 2.5 euros; collective ticket: 20% discount on the total cost of tickets for all exhibitions on the day of visit.

Hours: Thursday and Sunday: 10:00 to 18:00; Friday and Saturday: 10:00 to 22:00; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: closed.


Tags: erotic exhibition Benaki Museum Pavlos Samios El Greco Tintoretto Picasso Titian Ingres Manet
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