GREEK ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
Iron, H 30 inches x L 39.5 x W 17
If Athanassiadess sculpture evokes ancient Greek art, it also reveals a decidedly modernist sensibility. As Diane Kelder wrote, in eschewing marble or bronze, she seeks her materials in the detritus of beaches and boatyards. Beyond her evident fascination with the corrosive effects of nature and time on wood and metal, she wants her forms to awaken associations with survival and continuity.
Inspired by her childhood
memories of watching local workers use driftwood to build sheep sheds, farm
shacks and fishing boats, her materials are salvaged from the beaches of Northern
Greece, and shaped by water, wind and time. With the use of a chisel, cutter,
and electric drill she assembles her sculptures while reinforcing the organic
patterns of the wood.
I found myself
emotionally and visually concerned with human torsos and horses heads.
Visiting the Parthenon helped me discover the immense power derived from a fragment:
a lone horses head in the East Pediment of the Parthenon frieze particularly
resonated with me, says Athanassiades. The result is sculpture that is
at once timeless and thoroughly modern.
Born in Athens in 1961, she earned her BFA at Oxford University in 1982 and her MFA at Columbia University in 1984. Previous commissions have included set designs for dance and theatre groups, and in 1995 she won Monacos prestigious Princess Grace Foundation award for sculpture. She divides her time between New York and Athens.
ALEXANDRA ATHANASSIADES AT KOUROS GALLERY