Berlin Art@Site Joannis Avramidis Polis

Joannis Avramidis



Potsdamer Strasse 50 (temporär)
Two eras serve as sources of inspiration for the artist, eras in which the figure and its proportions were held as the measure of all things. These are the classical antiquity and the Italian Renaissance. Avramidis allows the borders between abstraction and figurative depiction to merge in his sculptures. Softly rounded curves suggest the human body without defining it, whilst various profile views are fanned out, as though blurred.
The full-length male figure, heir to the ancient Kouros, dominates Joannis Avramidis’ oeuvre. However, his is a figure that is stripped of every descriptive detail. Schematized, it stands upright, self-contained, imposing and static, like an ancient column.
The solitary figure-standard, as of 1959, constituted the core of his group compositions. The figures create a unit and frequently result from the revolving of the ancient figure around its axis. In this manner, Avramidis conveyed the idea of the ancient Greek 'Polis' (City-State) in his sculpture of the same title. The repetition of the ancient figure nine times creates a compact group of identically-sized figures with like features. The piece thus personifies the idea of a community in which all its citizens are equal.

Leopold Museum Wien:
Joannis Avramidis (1922–2016) is one of the most important protagonists of Austrian sculpture. A year after the artist’s death, the Leopold Museum presents the largest retrospective exhibition of his work to date in Austria. Avramidis’ oeuvre invariably revolved around the human form. Built from circular segments, he abstracted his figures and transformed them into unmistakable, intrinsically harmonious sculptures. Seeking a consolidation of the figural coupled with an abstractness of form, Avramidis oriented himself on Greek archaic and classical sculpture as well as on artists such as Hans von Marées, Constantin Brancusi and Wilhelm Lehmbruck. This led him to a highly autonomous style described by Werner Hofmann as 'rhythm of severity'.
Exhibition: 19th May to 4th September 2017.