Yannis Tsarouchis: Dancing in Real Life
May 7 - August 7, 2021
Chicago, USA

Wrightwood 659 is pleased to open the first U.S. retrospective exhibition devoted to the work of Yannis Tsarouchis (1910–1989), widely regarded as one of the greatest Greek painters of the 20th century. Opening May 7th, the exhibition will include some 200 works, including paintings and works on paper from public and private collections internationally. Together, these span the arc of the artist’s career (1930–1989), including his 13-year self-exile in Paris, showing how he absorbed and transformed influences including such Greek vernacular traditions as crafts, costumes, and ornaments; Ancient Greek and Early Christian art; Byzantine mosaics, frescoes, and icon painting; Greek shadow theater Karaghiozis; and also the new languages of modern art: Cubism, Fauvism, and Surrealism.

Yannis Tsarouchis: Dancing in Real Life is curated by Androniki Gripari, Chair of the Yannis Tsarouchis Foundation in Athens, and Adam Szymczyk, former Artistic Director of Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel (2013–2017). The exhibition is made possible by the Alphawood Foundation Chicago.

While today Tsarouchis remains relatively little-known outside of Greece, he is unanimously recognized in his native country as one of its most important painters of the twentieth century. Born in 1910 in the Greek port city of Piraeus and educated at the School of Fine Arts in Athens, he began painting at an early age and earned his living as a set and costume designer for the theater. In 1935 Tsarouchis went to Paris for the first time, where he encountered the work of Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and other artists of the Avant-garde. In 1938, at the age of 28, he had his first solo exhibition in Athens. After serving in the Greek army on the Albanian front in Second World War, he returned to painting and working in the theater, gaining an international reputation. During Greece’s military dictatorship (1967—1974), Tsarouchis went into exile in Paris to then return to Athens, where he lived until his death in 1989.

Hours of Operation
Fridays and Saturdays, May 7–July 31, 2021
Fridays 12–7:30pm
Saturdays 10am–5:30pm

Tickets available April 19th at wrightwood659.org



The exhibition is made possible by the Yannis Tsarouchis Foundation, Athens. Support for the exhibition is provided by Alphawood Foundation Chicago.

Image above: Yannis Tsarouchis, Rocks with Two Figures, St. Jean Cap Ferrat, 1959, mixed media on canvas, 62 x 92 cm, Private Collection, USA, (c) Yannis Tsarouchis Foundation. Home page image: Yannis Tsarouchis, Winds: Kaikiias and Zefyros, 1966, oil and acrylic on cement tile, Private Collection, USA. (c) Yannis Tsarouchis Foundation.

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