DIMITRIS PAVLOPOULOS

Adam Publications, 2007

A tireless and explorative sculptor

Painter and sculptor, tested in action and not in words, forever young in mind, always energetic, he was interested in producing work which is in harmony with nature. Specifically, in his late artworks he embeds nature's elements and gives them movement in order to emit to the audience a poetic, lyrical and dramatic feeling. George Zongolopoulos (1902/3-2004) is considered as one of the most important modern Greek sculptors, one of the first Greek artists that used abstraction in their art while he also achieved to recycle his work in many different art periods. Inventive, innovative, tireless and active, undoubtedly, he managed to create distinctive artworks in every period of his artistic career. Pieces that combine the games of a child and the spirit of a mature man. His artistic creations, which were universally recognized, cover a period of nine decades and they can be identified by his restless mood. The sculptor soon recognized the importance of architecture in his work. He did not look down on any theme: he worked on busts, memorials, funerary monuments, free synthesis, developing also the categories of reliefs, detached from ground artworks. Moreover, he designed architectural plans and paintings which, in combination with his sculpture, complete his career in the modern Greek creation.

An artist with great activity, without being limited by given solutions, he did not hesitate to deny everything that he had already applied in order to move on to new, bolder choices. In his works, he used the ''fascinating'', as he called it, water element in combination with metal and Plexiglas. His imagination was boundless, his ability to use materials was undeniable, his enthusiasm fiery, his will to live indomitable. Until the end, he craved for the fruitful dialogue and speculation regarding figures and shapes. In the 1950's, a decade really decisive for Greek art of the post-war period, Zongolopoulos had already taken steps towards abstract tendencies (as well as the artists Klearchos Loukopoulos, Achileas Apergis and Kostas Koulentianos) and was heavily criticized by those artists who were advocates of realism as well from the public which was not familiar with abstraction in sculpture. Only a small parts of art critics were in favor of Zongolopoulos' art. Zongolopoulos' career path can be and should be studied through this book chronologically: the years of study, his work on preorder busts, memorials and funeral monuments, his innovative creations with water and light, the participation in international exhibitions.

Zongolopoulos' art-sculpting, painting and architecture- extends over the years. Therefore, the researcher must take under consideration the multiple types and the variety of forms. Is Zongolopoulos the realistic sculptor of the pre-war period or the abstract artist of the post-war period? The answer can be found in his sculpture. The artist, after Giannoulis Chalepas, creates a transforming path through realism to abstraction.