The House of Memory

The Benaki Museum pays tribute to the Poet George Seferis through a series of events centred around Leda Kontogiannopoulou’s exhibition entitled The House of Memory, at the Benaki Museum Ghika Gallery, which also houses Seferis’ 1963 Nobel Prize.

The House of Memory exhibition represents the completion of a five-year cycle of Lida Kontogiannopoulou’s work. From late 2015 until early 2021, Leda Kontogiannopoulou visited and painted the houses of three eminent personalities of 20th century art: Panayiotis Tetsis, Natalia Mela and George Seferis. The former two she had known personally and spent time with them, but the true star of the exhibition is Seferis’ house, the now legendary “20 Agras Street”.

Kontogiannoupoulou’s paintings of the interiors of these houses are not mere depictions but, in the words of Dimitris Pikionis on Nikos Engonopoulos and his paintings of the facades of Greek Houses, “psychographic representations of houses” with a “penetrating and poetic rendition of the subject”.

The painter draws her references from the disquiet interiors of Edward Hopper, and the peaceful still lifes of Giorgio Morandi.

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