The uncompromising sincerity of empathy

The Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation is presenting a retrospective exhibition of Chronis Botsoglou (1941-2022), one of the most important figurative artists of contemporary Greek art, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Andros, from Sunday 2 July to Sunday 1 October 2023.

More than one hundred works will be presented, including pencil drawings, pastels, oil paintings, watercolours, bronze, brass and plaster, covering the period from 1953 to 2018, i.e. more than sixty-five years of an extremely productive artistic career.

A worthy successor to the masters of Vincent van Gogh, Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon, Botsoglou placed the human being at the centre of his work and made it his aim to render the ways in which he perceived him with the greatest possible subjectivity. His works are in the image of his written texts: they were born out of asceticism, suffering and a genuine concern for honesty. This unrelenting honesty, which he often imposed on himself, was always accompanied by empathy. The element of fragility, of vulnerability that emerges from his works has not only to do with the model he poses each time. It also intimidates the viewer, who, in the face of a truth so raw, finds himself recognizing his own elements in the material the artist has used. This love for the world of the living, entwined with a tenderness completely free of any kind of condescension, is repeated in a series of themes that Botsoglou loved. These pictorial chapters, as the artist himself defined them in his written texts, especially in the collection The Colour of Study, are all present in the retrospective. Thanks to the generous participation of the family of the painter, who passed away last year, as well as many collectors, individuals and institutions, it has been possible to bring together both the artist's landmark works and many others, which are being exhibited for the first time.

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