Yianoulis Halepas

14 January - 13 February, 2010

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The exhibition of Yianoulis Halepas is one of a series of shows that Kalfayan Galleries organize periodically featuring important Greek artists.  On view are drawings, sculpture and 8 exceptional, unpublished sketchbooks by the artist.

Best known for his sculpture, “Sleeping Woman” which is located in the First Cemetery in Athens and which he created in 1877 at a young age, Yianoulis Halepas (1851-1938) is one of GreeceĒs most important sculptors. Born in Tinos, a center with a strong tradition in marble work, Halepas led a tempestuous life, interrupted by a 13-year period spent in a psychiatric clinic in Corfu.  In 1901 he returned to Tinos but produced no work until after the death of his mother in 1916.  Virtually no work from this period was completed in marble.  Maquettes in clay have survived and of course, countless drawings.
Trained in the classical tradition at the School of Fine Arts in Athens and later at the Academy of Munich, his early work is closely allied to the conservative spirit prevalent in the late 19th century.  In his later years, he turned his back on academicism and became more daring, concentrating on an investigation of form and composition and allowing a certain expressiveness to enter his work.  His unique talent and creativity place him firmly in the highest rank of Greek artists.
His preferred themes include subjects taken from ancient Greek mythology but also allegories, religious themes and portraits. The exhibition at Kalfayan Galleries provides an insight into the artistĒs creative world, permitting a glimpse into his observations and how his ideas took form.
In his work one clearly observes the passage of Greek art in general from 19th century academicism to 20th century expressiveness. A retrospective exhibition of his work at the National Sculpture Gallery in 2007 provided an overview of a broad range of his work and more recently, a group of drawings were exhibited at the 2nd Athens Biennale in 2009.