EFI ANDREADIS

Efi Adreadis - Art Critic, Athens, 1993

ZONGOLOPOULOS, XLV Venice Biennale 1993


The sculptor George Zongolopoulos sang loudly and clearly for a life devoted to art. And indeed he awakened those who had the skills to listen.
During the 40's,in the early years of his creativity, he was influenced by Western European trends, as he was an artist that worked beyond his motherland's boarders and particularly, beyond abstract surrealism.
Zongolopouloswasneverafetishistofmodernism. However, in order to satisfy his curiosity, to explore new ways of creation and finally to create his own style, he had to overcome conventions that linked sculpting with carving natural materials. Soon, he moved from ''sculpting'' to ''constructing'', exploring and testing new materials that represented our technological era.
His first brass or steel artworks, in which one can see his interest in structure, the forms that stand vertically almost with no weight, they manage to maintain a light improvisational character.
The role of his art within the realm of ''space'' continue to explore that of vacuum as well as the role of transparencies that release his style through the stable foundations of constructivism.
In his artworks, the mobile elements create another relation with time. Although space is flexible, almost liquid it has a special role to play at the structure of the artwork. That immaterial presence is primarily given by lenses which conceive, magnify and expand light. Water, which is, as Zongolopoulos stated ''the blood of the sculpture'', what makes it breathe and move.

Works of the last decade mainly focus on transparencies, weight and movement of water with the use of tubes, pipes, chains etc.
Light, with its reflections on metal or liquid surfaces gives intensity to the constructions. Their rhythm- as in all Zongolopoulos' work- is never convulsive. It serves what Pervsner named ''the mythology of the variable space'' in a direct, humorous way.

In some cases, he begins with the idea of «perpetuum mobile» and in others, especially in his ''rains'', he depicts on metal, a growth that includes the absence of material and everlasting vacuum.

In these ''lenses'', Zongolopoulos, gives through sculpting another point of view, the element of movement. Specifically, he use the delusion of distance, scale and light through magnifying lenses. In the last artwork of the collection where the lense is combined with the painting (''Apotypoma'') the artwork has an interesting surrealistic feature.

With that important collection we see the circle to be an important element in Zongolopoulos' creations and an incentive for new forms that Zongolopoulos uses to spin around imaginary axes or to co-operate with the surrounding area. The movement that is now explored is connected to water, flow and weight, elements that were always appealing to Zongolopoulos and other artists that used mobile elements in their art.