CHRYSANTHOS CHRISTOU

Chrysanthos Christou, Professor of Art History, University of Athens

Zongolopoulos XLV Venice Biennale, 1993

Zongolopoulos' art appears more constructivist now; it is based on a series of known subjects, such as the circle and square, vertical and horizontal figures, repetition of shapes and emphasis on the spiral, the combination of solid and fluid elements, the contrast between stationary moving forms. In the most important works in this category, the student can verify Zongolopoulos attempt to give new dimensions to his artistic creations through the use of new materials and the combination of modern technology and principles with multiple and often contradictory content. Thus, his works are not only far removed from the laws governing the plastic figure established in the past, they have also annexed elements of painting, colour, of music, acoustical and rhythmical values, and of kinetic arts, like dance, combinations of solids and fluids. And while in his works employing lenses we frequently have a monumentalisation of the ordinary, in others based on springs and spirals kinetic phenomena are imposed from within and in those where water is used as the starting point for movement and expression, the whole area around the work acquires a new autonomy. In this way, the works of the latest period represent an exceptional way of joining experimental trends and established elements, strict constructivist intentions and free play of the imagination, plastic values and chromatic impressions, geometrical forms and organic features, all convincingly united with rich expressive dimensions.