The exhibition, opening on 28 January at Lempertz in Berlin, presents sculptures from the various creative periods of Johannis Avramidis. After having been exhibited in Lempertz‘ Berlin branch, the great retrospective of Avramidis with sculptures from all the artist’s creative periods will be shown at Lempertz Brussels from 4 March to 9 April.
Since at least his participation in the Venice Biennale in 1962, Joannis Avramidis has been considered one of the most important sculptors of our time. His sculptural work is characterized by a sublime form of beauty focusing on the search for the absolute figure. He finds significant sources of inspiration in classical antiquity and the early Italian Renaissance, two epochs in which, as with Avramidis’ works, the proportions of the figure defined the form of an ideal image. Alongside people, nature constitutes a further subject in the work of the artist, reflected in the formal thematisation of the tree in many of his pillar-shaped sculptures.
Lempertz’ close contact with Joannis Avramidis was already seen in an exhibition in the Cologne house in 1984 devoted to the graphic work of this artist. The exhibition this year pays tribute to this important artist with a comprehensive show of his sculptures from various periods of his work, illustrating the continuity as well as the innovation within his work.
Born in 1922 to Greek parents in Georgian Batum, Avramidis began his studies in 1937 at the art school of his home town, but had to suspend this when the family was forced to emigrate to Greece due to the father’s persecution under Stalin’s regime. In 1943 Avramidis arrived in Vienna as a migrant worker and went on to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1945-1949, before taking a course in sculpture under Fritz Wotruba from 1953-1956. By the end of the 1950s he was already a well-known artist, representing Austria at the 1962 Venice Biennale, and exhibiting twice at documenta, in 1964 and 1977. He held professorships in Hamburg and Vienna and was distinguished with numerous prizes.
Avramidis’ work is found in the most important international museums, and as seen for example in front of the Neuen Nationalgalerie in Berlin, his sculpture constitutes an integral part of art in the public arena.