ARTS PAGE Glyn Hughes
Glafkos Koumides at Argo
Here is a superb exhibition at Argo Gallery by a Cypriot artist – now living in Germany – who is equally at
home with conceptual art or painting.
His present exhibition is mostly of paintings and they are often of landscapes or
seascapes with suggestions of a lonely Surrealisim.
What appears to be a piano floats in a silent estuary. Images from
past 20th century masterpieces hover in respect to our current emptiness. It’s as if Cubism has lost its roots and starts
searching for another course. A landscape full of trees is silent. No wind is blowing. The trees do not speak to each other.
These great paintings reek of a great loss. The very land we stand on is shifting away.
Lazaris Argyrou at Kypriaki Gonia
“Light and Colour from Cyprus” is the title of this exhibition of watercolours and mosaics at Kypriaki Gonia
in Larnaca, which continues until 30 November.
Lazaris Argyrou was born in 1938 in the village of Agrokipia in the
district of Nicosia and is the eldest son of a rural family of nine children. As soon as he finished his primary education
he began his struggles for a living, working at his parents’ farm and later as a mason. At various times of his life
he worked as a miner in the ore mines of Mitsero and Agrokipia.
He started drawing and painting at an early age. He would
gather coloured ore rocks from the mine area or small chunks of house plaster to use them as materials to draw or paint on
the cobblestones of a threshing floor or on the flat surfaces or rocks abounding in the riverbed of Serrahis.
his first watercolour paints and paper in 1960. Between 1962 and 1964 he followed the Athens ABC correspondence art course.
Since 1968 he has been actively involved in sculpture and as from 1995 he regularly attends a studio in Nicosia and draws
the nude. Recently, since 2000 he has been actively involved in mosaic work.
Hambis the engraver comments:
" In the
1960s, we worked side by side at various construction sites in Nicosia, he as a builder and me a worker. At the time
, Lazaris Argyrou was taking his first steps. He walked, however, down familiar paths. He painted the world he both knew and
loved. He praised through his art the tormented miners, the workers and the farmers, as well as the natural beauty of our
very own Cyprus. His purity and solemnity, combined with his outpouring talent, accompanied him, and he expressed, simply
and honestly, the truth that surrounds him."
Costas Graecos the journalist and author comments further:
" Our outstanding
and stylistically unique artist Lazaris Argyrou is one of the finest watercolour masters of our country. He has achieved great
progress in this genre and has reached very high levels of artistic completeness. Above and beyond the correct layout of the
design and the harmonious realisation of the composition, what distinguishes his work, as before, is his palette, clearly
Cypriot and bright, which expresses the very characteristics of the Cypriot sun.
Following along in this direction, Lazaris’
work with light and colour over the years has led him to high levels of depiction, and, today, in his new works, his colours
have reached such a sense of idealisation that they themselves are transubstantiated into light, into a blinding and harmonious
sense of colour, clearly local and our own, one which differs greatly from the dull colours we encounter in other lands, and
one which constitutes a hymn to optimism and to our faith in life".
Andreas Makariou is showing at Apocalypse Gallery and we’ll all be there tonight (at 7 pm) to see what our most
dynamic artist has in store. This time he has taken a pigmental swipe at the gruesome Wake Up Call, and we’ll be given
a canvasy load of sighs, thighs, wigs and bras but not the soft focusing, thank heavens. Makariou is a social critic
with a brush in his hand and – possibly - a smile on his face.
And such a powerful expression too. He
uses paint with the delicacy of a trowel. The result can be, to be exact, quite alarming. Excellent. Just what we need.
Castelliotissa was fully packed last week. Dedicated artists of Open Studios closed their doors earlier
and dashed to a darkened room full of conceptual intriguaries by Horst Weierstall. Videos, too demonstrating the complexities
of our city these days.
Later there was a play by the "Lost Spirit Theatre Group’ directed by the Iranian
theatre director Hooman Shabahang (winner of 1st prize at the 9th International Theatre Festival at Lorrach, Germany 2005).
was written by Mashhoud Mohsenian and designed by Hooman. The solo performer was Narges Abdi. A Goethe-Zentrum,
Within the Walls of Nicosia.
Something went wrong this year. Blame the weather and perhaps the fact that so many artists who have their studios inside
the walls of Nicosia seem to be living (or working - in other jobs ) - out.
Perhaps next year it should only be for three
or four days and artists requested to stay amongst their work both mornings and afternoons. These are certainly not
part-time artists or Sunday painters. Many are the best we have. And the work can be superb.
It’s still the most
positive event of the year. An essential occasion.
Remember the group of artists, Greek and Turkish and others have
taken their own initiative. Artists are bridge makers.
The catalogue of Open Studios states:
"The only Visual
Arts Festival which unites and rejuvenates the historical centre of Nicosia is being organised for the third time within
its walls, having gained the interest of the public the recognition and support of the state.”
With the map of the
whole of Nicosia as their trademark they lay down their vision.
Dr Vassos Lyssarides at Famagusta Gate
It’s the colour that does it. The fact that Dr Lyssarides, a much-travelled man who surely gets his visual (painting)
information from here and not his travels suggests that all of our painters would be better staying at home.
learning how to paint. In colour that is. Not black and white filled with a blush. The island IS colour and so many
of our artists who travel to study art often throw off their birthright. Once they are into various ‘isms’ (others’
isms) they get trapped in pigmental neatnesses which, of course, is not colour but an apology for filling in the canvases.
There are, of course, our famous painters who have travelled to study, BUT the good ones were strong on colour before
they left; especially the first and some of the second generation: Savva, for example who never lost out on the Messaoria.
He took it to France with him, I suppose and kept it all his life. Upstaging the French.
Vassos Lyssarides is a
born colourist and has retained his birthright. This is because he had it, to start with. The two long rooms at Famagusta
Gate are a joy. This is pure painting from the roots of the environment. Colour culled from our landscape. Colour from flowers.
Colour from everyday things caught in the light of this country. And, of course, his colour speaks to us, and speaks to the
world for us too.
Mixed at En Plo
Following on from their very successful ‘SIMPLY CYPRUS’ exhibition in April this year, Print Art Consultancy
in association with Curium Gallery, Limassol have organised another exhibition at the En Plo, in Paphos harbour.
an ‘open theme’ it will feature over 20 artists and 100 paintings. As with their previous exhibitions, the organisers
have managed to bring together both well known established painters along side some talented up and coming artists.
result is a pleasing mix of subjects, styles and medium appealing to all tastes.
One of the established artists, Mandy
Bunn from Paphos, a professionally trained artist who has built a reputation for fine watercolour pet portraits has produced
some different work for the exhibition including a dancer tying ballet shoe ribbons, whilst Jane Jukes remains true to her
popular nautical themes.
There is also a large range of limited edition fine art prints reproduced from a selection of
the artists’ work. The exhibition runs from 19th November through until 27th November
For further information or
details on how to exhibit in the future please call either Print Art Consultancy on 25580726 or Curium Gallery on 25342501.