Christoforos Savva exhibition at Bankof Cyprus Cultural Foundation.
The Christoforos Savva (1924-1968)” Forty Years After” exhibition organized by the Cultural Services of the
Ministry of Education and Culture at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation was, for myself, inevitably, the most moving of
exhibitions. There were paintings which I actually remembered being painted at Apophasis Gallery years and years ago. The
exhibition opened at the Bank of Cultural Foundation in Phaneromenis Street, Nicosia on the 5th May 08. There was
also a magnificent book “Christoforos Savva the beginning of a new era in Cyprus Art “by Eleni Nikita.
“Christoforos Savva has been justly characterized as one of the pioneers of contemporary art in Cyprus and his work
has signaled the debut of a new era for Cypriot art. His plethoric personality led him away from his village Marathovounas
and the life of a farmer, first to London and then to Paris, to find his way, his true call.
He used to say:
I find it difficult to express myself in words. One of the reasons I have become a painter is because it is easier for
me to express myself in colours and shapes.
Christoforos Savva had a very short life; he died suddenly at his most productive phase, at the age of forty four. Surprisingly,
though, in only fourteen years of production, he left behind him an impressive volume and range of work. The Cultural Services
of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation feel the need to thank the children of
Christoforous Savva, Ghika Savva-Coyle and Marco Savva Duroe, for their help, as well as all the collectors and owners of
works by Savva. Without their contribution, this exhibition would not have been possible”.
This year there was a fine tribute to the late Andreas Asproftas at Famagusta Gate with a large retrospective and a book
launch by his son Akis Asproftas. The beautiful book was “devoted to his father’s memory and to his great dream
that he did not live to see, his grand daughter (and daughter to Akis ), Loli Asprofta.”
There were also tributes in galleries, with exhibitions, to the late Telemachos Kanthos.
This year saw the death of my friend and colleague Georges der Parthogh. Among his many other talents and attributes he
was a patron of the arts. He will be sorely missed.
Our great landscape painter, figurative artist and wonderful teacher
Lefteris Economou passed away. Recently there was an exhibition of his work at Opus 2 in Nicosia.
Journalist Lonia Efthyvoulou died this Autumn He also was an outstandingly fine landscape painter. He had made a series
of excellent works which I believe will be exhibited later in the year at RIK gallery.
Power House Wonders
At the moment our Power House Gallery (Nicosia Municipal Art Centre) is holding two remarkable exhibitions one by Glafkos
Koumides and the other, in the project room, by Elina Ioannou. Both have been written about and praised.
This is a top standard exhibition space with other outstanding exhibitions shown this year. Three hugely important ones
come to mind.
Popular Bank at the Power House
It was at Marina Voyas’ superbly selected exhibition for the Popular Bank at The Power House that I saw hung a brilliant
Christofouros Savva painting. The whole exhibition had a wonderfully warm feeling. Her personal choice for the bank .Here
was an exhibition of the best of the country’s art. Of course later there was also the wonderful “ younger”exhibition
which Marina curated and then exhibited in Byron Avenue, Nicosia.
The Nicos Pattichis Collection.
Where do we go from here? at the Power House. From The Cyprus Weekly May 16 2008
“The very days I was confident that abstract art has gone to bed and concepts had fallen asleep it just happened
that I popped into the Power house where I spotted Nicos Pattichis, the owner of Phileleftheros Newsapaper,( and now this
one as well) starting to assemble his magnificent collection. His exhibition opens this weekend. A complete revelation.
Figuration may be back in the galleries but now go and see this. All kinds. All brilliant. Titled “where do we go
from here “ Who knows ?
Such a strong group with superb contrasts. Really, this could grace any main gallery, anywhere
The Garo Keheyan Collection at The Power House
This October - November exhibition was also outstanding
During the exhibition (November 4th in fact ) there was a conversation by Nouritza Matossian with the founder
and President of the Pharos trust, Garo Keheyan. Garo also has his own gallery The Pharos Centre for Contemporary Art elsewhere
in Nicosia where these weeks you can see”INDIRECTIONS” the wonderful works of Nicholas Robbio from Argentina.
There was a superb centerpiece at the Power House amongst much very splendid work including a whole collection of large paintings
Although of late the country’s commercial galleries are suffering, I imagine, because of a general world slump, they
keep on opening with well attended first nights. It seems nothing can stop our creative drive. Art is where the country’s
main talent is. In Paphos and much of Limassol there was the highly popular “OPEN STUDIOS”. There was also “OPEN
STUDIO days inside the walls of Nicosia (both sides).
Paphos, Limassol and Larnaca have more galleries every season. Styles of painting and forms of sculpture are amazing. Installations
crop up everywhere and conceptual art maybe shy but its creeping in. Cypriot artists can be seen popping over to “The
other side” to see Turkish Cypriot art (which is fine too). We will see some of their art on this side this Spring.
Why not altogether Pablo?
Lighting failures mucked up a huge installationary projection in the moat but I’m sure next years will be lit more
professionally by the municipality. Outside advice is listened to. The outstanding installationary project near the weaving
mill had a psychiatrist on hand. Cypriot artists have made considerable “invasions” into other countries. New
artists have shown to great advantage. Older artists have exhibited to great advantage too. I’m giving no names this
time. The area around Famagusta Gate is developing more and more.
From the Gate itself : Melina Mercoury’s, It’s Not A Gallery, The old meat market in Pallouriotissa, The (flour)
Mill in Kaimakli,(facing David Bomberg’s St Hilarion ) Julias in Kaimakli (by St Varvara), Kyriaki’s in Kaimakli
(and elsewhere). The creativity is advancing This area has now become the Chelsea of the capital. The area around the bottom
of Ledra Street is waking up too. Show, show. See, see. We have great art
Ps Sorry George Kepolas. You have a Virgin Mary at Xmas time at Ikastkos Kiklos Gallery - until January 5th.