Constantin Xenakis

18 February - 20 March, 2010

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Kalfayan Galleries presents an exhibition of new works as well as works from earlier periods by Constantin Xenakis in Athens.

Internationally recognized, Xenakis is one of the most important contemporary Greek artists.  Born in Cairo in 1931, he settled in Paris in 1955 where he rapidly became involved in avant-garde trends such as abstract expressionism.  Gradually he found his own “expressive voice” and developed a singular visual language borrowing from the omnipresent symbols and codes of everyday life such as traffic signs, alchemy, the zodiac, mathematical and chemical symbols and the letters of the alphabet, including Egyptian hieroglyphics.
From his electro-kinetic constructions and happenings in the 60s to works on paper and canvas, Xenakis has explored various kinds of art forms, creating a personal universe that negotiates the processes of semiology, of symbols and communication.  The visual elements are transformed rather than merely represented, producing a synthesis of feeling and form.

In Paris, Xenakis studied architecture and interior decorating at the École Supérieure des Arts Modernes (1956-1957) and painting at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière (1957-1961).  A DAAD scholarship in 1970 permitted him to work in Berlin where he taught at Schiller College.  In the 70s he experimented with the possibilities of “environments¢, creating settings with cones and ultraviolet lights.  At this time he also began to introduce elements such as hieroglyphics, which he combined with letters from the Greek, Phoenician and Arabic alphabets in his works.  In the years that followed he crystallized his personal language to create vividly colored works with signs and symbols that investigate the processes of communication. 

Xenakis has also collaborated with architects, writers and musicians for large ¡environments¢.  He has received the title of “Chevalier des Arts et des Letters” from France and the Delmas award from the Institut de France.  He has exhibited worldwide including Egypt, Japan, France, Germany, Denmark and of course, in Greece.