The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Gesellschaft fr Aktuelle Kunst hopes to initiate a rediscovery of the work by Vlassis Caniaris
Installation view at Gesellschaft fr Aktuelle Kunst.

BREMEN.- In Greece, Vlassis Caniaris (1928-2011) ranks among the most widely known artists of his generation. In 1958, he presented the first exhibition of abstract paintings to be held there, and adopted a critical position on political and social issues in his work. Beyond the borders of his home country, Caniaris is frequently viewed as an “artist’s artist”: while his work is known among and appraised among international artists, he has been almost forgotten by the wider art world after his major international exhibitions between the 1960s and 1990s. Following his death in 2011, the GAK Gesellschaft fr Aktuelle Kunst is staging the first solo exhibition by Caniaris outside Greece since 1992, hopefully initiating a long overdue process of rediscovery.

Caniaris’ work reveals a tremendous artistic development both in terms of its formal aspects and thematic diversity. Striking out on his own from the 1950s onward, Caniaris explored the aesthetic concerns of the art of his time from an independent perspective, achieving different results to his contemporaries (such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, or Cy Twombly). While living in Rome (1956-1960), he yet focused his practice on two-dimensional images – turning from realism (Athens (Zoro), 1956) towards abstraction (Le Catastrophe de Marcinelle, 1957, Hommage to the Walls of Athens, 1959) and the opening of the surface towards the space (Space within Space and Proposal for a Space, 1960). Parallel to this formal experiments his work always took socio-political questions of its time into account: for example, the death of 400 miners at the Belgian mine of Marcinelle or the political situation in Greece and the construction boom of the post-war era.

The discovery of chicken wire, cast and clothes striked a new path in his time in Paris (1960-1967 und 1969-1973). Now he sought to dissolve the surface of his works and opened his practice to three-dimensionality, assemblage and objet trouv, here, too, while connecting the results with socially relevant topics (Back and Forth, The Medal and Us, Only this, all 1962, Coexistence, 1964, Probable Architectures, 1965, and Untitled, 1966).

The political situation in Caniaris’ home country (to which he returned in 1967 to participate in the resistance movement against the Greek military junta until he was forced to leave again in 1969) and his experiences in Berlin (while his DAAD residency, 1973-1975) heightened his interest in formal questions and contributed to the growing socio-political dimension of his work. Issues like “democracy” and “freedom”, “migration” and “footlessness”, “restriction” and “consumption” already draw a certain image of our society which today, roundabout 40 years later and in the course of a global economic crisis, gains back a sad currentness (Perspective, 1971, Possible Background, Untitled and Child’s Room, both 1974).

Since the 1980s, Caniaris’ artistic production decreases significantly in its quantity due to his doubts that art actually could change a society. His interest in theatre, which was already present during his studies where he produced several stage designs and which becomes visible in pieces like Possible Background or Child’s Room, intensifies through staging entire rooms, entire environments, which however could not be reconstructed for the show at the GAK after his death. Nevertheless the quality and subject matter of his work remain comprehensible in the late sculptures and paintings: the struggle with the image and the idea of art as a anti-elitist force which interferes in social questions and redefines itself constantly (Whatever the people want... , 2003, Untitled, 2004, and Observer of History, 2006).

Caniaris’ visual language is distinctive and surprising for its period, leading to invitations to show his work at the Venice Biennale (1988) and Documenta 6 (1977), along with numerous solo exhibitions (incl. shows at the Muse d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1970), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1972) and the ICA Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1976)). His unique idiom of forms and materials, developed in the 1960s and 1970s, has influenced artists up to the present day. Caniaris’ objects and installations demonstrate a treatment of material that has become established practice in contemporary works by artists such as Jimmie Durham, Isa Genzken, Cathy Wilkes, or Kai Althoff (among others).

Underscoring his role as a source of inspiration for a younger generation of cultural producers, his exhibition at the GAK Gesellschaft fr Aktuelle Kunst traces the development of Caniaris’ oeuvre across his career.

Today's News

September 30, 2012

No day without night: Stadel Museum opens a show on Dark Romanticism in Autumn

Archaeologists, anthropologists and other experts meet: Mayas prophesized, but not end of world

Large-scale pigment images from William Eggleston's Los Alamos series on view at Gagosian Gallery

Sotheby's Paris to offer the Marsel & Zaira Mis Collection of Modern & Contemporary Art

SFMOMA Presents Alessandro Pessoli's first solo museum exhibition on the West Coast

First comprehensive exhibition of the work by Thomas Scheibitz opens at MMK Museum fr Moderne Kunst

Exhibition at the National Library in Bucharest shows Romanian artists resisted regime

Gesellschaft fr Aktuelle Kunst hopes to initiate a rediscovery of the work by Vlassis Caniaris

Buddhist statue found by Nazis shortly before World War II is made from meteorite

Hammer Museum presents first retrospective of Indian-born American artist Zarina

Election-year exhibition looks at founding ideals and a wide range of artists' views of American society

Long overdue Giuseppe Capogrossi retrospective opens at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

"All His Sons: The Brueghel Dynasty" exhibition on view at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Irish famine museum opening at Connecticut university

Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna presents works works from the private collection of Ernesto Esposito

Jen Stark's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles opens at Martha Otero Gallery

Jeremy Deller's first mid-career survey on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia

Historian, 95, brings Palm Beach landmark to life

New York public libraries announce initiative to connect schools citywide to millions of books

Joseph Goebbels love letters fail to sell in Connecticut

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lvy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful