ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ ΙΟΛΑΣ: Η ΚΛΗΡΟΝΟΜΙΑ – ΣΥΜΠΟΣΙΟ

2 Νοεμβρίου 2018, 6 μμ

Μακεδονικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης, Θεσσαλονίκη


ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ ΙΟΛΑΣ: Η ΚΛΗΡΟΝΟΜΙΑ
ALEXANDER IOLAS: THE LEGACY

Στο Μακεδονικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης

Στο πλαίσιο της έκθεσης «Αλέξανδρος Ιόλας: Η κληρονομιά», η οποία εντάσσεται στο πρόγραμμα του Φεστιβάλ Δημητρίων 2018 του Δήμου Θεσσαλονίκης και στις εκδηλώσεις του Έτους Ευρωπαϊκής Κληρονομιάς, διοργανώνεται διεθνές συμπόσιο.
Από τον de Chirico στον Man Ray, από τον Χατζηκυριάκο-Γκίκα στον Victor Brauner και τον Τάκι, από τον Calder στον Jean Tinguely, από τον Magritte στον Pino Pascali και τον Martial Raysse, από τον Modigliani στον Warhol, η διαδρομή που διένυσε ο Ιόλας μέσα στον καλλιτεχνικό χώρο, δεν αποτυπώνει μόνο υποκειμενικές προτιμήσεις, αλλά και ένα οξύ βλέμμα, διαρκώς ανοιχτό στην καλλιτεχνική έκφραση. Ο Ιόλας διατήρησε αμείωτα τα ανακλαστικά του απέναντι στις καλλιτεχνικές αναζητήσεις μετά τον πόλεμο, όταν συνολικό ζητούμενο ήταν η δημιουργία μιας νέας οπτικής και πολιτισμικής πραγματικότητας, προκειμένου να μεταστραφεί το κλίμα απογοήτευσης από την εξέλιξη της ζωής. Ειδικά στις δεκαετίες 1960 και 1970, οι αναρίθμητες εκθέσεις που παρουσίασε αποδεικνύουν την καθοριστική δράση του στο διεθνές καλλιτεχνικό περιβάλλον, αλλά και την υποστήριξη από μέρους του της νέας καλλιτεχνικής έκφρασης. Επίσης, τις συνεργασίες του σε διεθνές επίπεδο με άλλες γκαλερί, όπως ήταν και η περίπτωση της Γκαλερί Ζουμπουλάκη στην Αθήνα, η οποία ήταν η πρώτη και πιο συστηματική σχέση με γκαλερί στην ελληνική επικράτεια.
Το συμπόσιο που διοργανώνει το Μακεδονικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης θα φέρει στο ίδιο τραπέζι ερευνητές και επιμελητές που τα τελευταία χρόνια και μέχρι αυτή τη στιγμή ερευνούν όψεις του «φαινομένου Ιόλας». Η σχέση του Ιόλα με τον Ρενέ Μαγκρίτ, με το ζεύγος συλλεκτών de Menil και η προώθηση του Σουρεαλισμού στην Αμερική, το παράδειγμα των ιστορικών εκθέσεων «Bloodflames» και «Mirrors of the Mind» που έγινε σε συνεργασία με τον Νικόλαο Κάλας θα είναι στο επίκεντρο του συμποσίου.
Mια σχεδόν ανεκδοτολογική προσέγγιση στο «φαινόμενο Ιόλας» θα επιχειρήσει ο κεντρικός ομιλητής της ημερίδας, ο Adrian Dannatt, συγγραφέας, επιμελητής και καλλιτέχνης με έδρα τη Νέα Υόρκη, το Παρίσι και το Λονδίνο, ο οποίος, μαζί με τον Vincent Fremont, οργάνωσε το 2014 την έκθεση «Alexander the Great: The Iolas Gallery 1955-1987» στην Paul Kasmin Gallery της Νέας Υόρκης. Στο πλαίσιο της έκθεσης και της συνοδευτικής έκδοσης, ο Dannatt πραγματοποίησε εκτεταμένη έρευνα και συνεντεύξεις με πλήθος ανθρώπων που γνώριζαν και σχετίστηκαν με τον Ιόλα.
Ακολούθως, διαλέξεις θα δώσουν οι: Ειρήνη Μαρινάκη, Ιστορικός τέχνης, PhD The London Consortium / Julie Waseige, Ανεξάρτητη ερευνήτρια, Βρυξέλλες / Εύα Φωτιάδη, Δρ. Ιστορίας και θεωρίας της σύγχρονης τέχνης, St Joost Academy of Fine and Applied Arts. Οι τρεις ερευνήτριες θα παρουσιάσουν ειδικές όψεις της εκθεσιακής δραστηριότητας του Ιόλα και της σχέσης του με καλλιτέχνες και δημιουργούς.

Η ημερίδα θα πραγματοποιηθεί στα αγγλικά.

Αναλυτικά το πρόγραμμα των διαλέξεων:

18:00 – 18:30 Adrian Dannatt_Axial Oleanders or on an Anagram of Alexander Iolas

A highly anecdotal approach to the ‘problem’ of Iolas we will here try to plot his place in art history through an entirely inappropriate self-identification with such a persona – provocateur, poseur and pimpernel. Sabotaging the mores and norms of art historical certitude this lecture suggests instead that the fiction of ‘success’, social, fiscal, societal is governed more by storytelling, fractured narrative and distorted recollection than any final bank account. ‘Alexander Iolas’ as a sustained invention, echoed through time by such archetypes as the mountebank, showman or even Satyr, continues to live amongst us, to haunt like a camp Banquo our current banquet. ‘It’s all true’ proclaimed Orson Welles but in the end the only real mark of veracity is whether we can keep telling the story, mining the fable, whispering the fable around the last flickering log long after the theatre has been dismantled, the cinema burnt to the ground, an opera house utterly erased by bulldozers. I come not to bury Iolas but to praise him, to build an English formal garden here in his honour, an axis of oleander, that poisonous Old World shrub loved for its clusters of gorgeous pink flowers, toxic in all its parts.

Adrian Dannatt is a writer, curator, editor and artist based between New York, Paris and London. A longtime New York correspondent for The Art Newspaper his many books include the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (Phaidon), Wim Delvoye (Yale University Press) and most recently Les Lalanne; In the Domain of Dreams (Rizzoli). His fiction and poetry has been published in a range of anthologies including Best British Short Stories and PEN New Poetry. He has organised exhibitions at varied venues including Robert Indiana at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower in Oklahoma, Castillo/Corrales in Paris and Storefront for Art & Architecture in Manhattan. At Paul Kasmin Gallery (NY) he organised a triptych of three separate exhibitions and accompanying publications celebrating in turn Alexander Iolas, Les Lalanne and the Impasse Ronsin. His own work as an artist has been exhibited at Deitch Projects, the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester and Shanaynay in Paris.

18:30-19:00 Dr. Irini Marinaki, Nicolas Calas’s Group Exhibitions at Alexandre Iolas’s Galleries: Bloodflames (1947) & Mirrors of the Mind (1977)

Nicolas Calas (1907-1988) wrote numerous entries on exhibition catalogues as well as on artists’s monographs. He was also responsible, however, for organising and curating a number of pivotal group shows. These exhibitions had progressive and imaginative concepts, which were based upon his highly intellectual and interdisciplinary thought. The talk will focus on the iconic exhibition entitled Bloodflames that was curated by Calas in collaboration with the architect Frederick Kiesler at Hugo Gallery in New York in 1947. Alexadre Iolas was the director of Hugo Gallery at the time. My talk will present Calas’s curatorial approach and will postulate Bloodflames as a pioneering example of a group exhibition organised in a small but significant gallery, which promoted the work of exceptional artists, under the seminal guidance of Iolas. The role of the independent curator, practicing outside of the museums, as it is recognised today, was initiated and developed during the 1960s (some bright examples include Harald Szeemann, Lawrence Alloway, Lucy R. Lippard et al). Calas was a pioneer exhibition maker who began organising shows in small commercial galleries as early as the 1940s, when art critics largely did not act as independent curators (the first one being his Bloodlflames exhibition held at Hugo Gallery) and throughout his curatorial career, he always supported the view that an exhibition should not be an unimaginable blockbuster. The talk will also briefly present the historic exhibition Mirrors of the Mind that was curated by Nicolas Calas at Iolas-Zoumboulakis Gallery in Athens in 1977, in collaboration with Marian Goodman/Multiples. This exhibition was recently restaged at the same venue in Athens, in October 2016.

Dr Irini Marinaki studied photography at Focus (BA) in Athens and History of Art in London, Camberwell College of Arts (BA), Goldsmiths College (MA), The London Consortium, Uni. of London (PhD). Her PhD thesis entitled Nicolas Calas: Critic and Curator (2012) concentrates on the work of Nicolas Calas as a critic, a curator and a lecturer of Art History. Amongst various art projects, film screenings (Betting on Shorts), exhibitions and publications, Irini has conceived and co-curated the interdisciplinary events Take a deep Breath (2007) and Shortness: A very short conference and a very long dinner (2009), both held at Tate Modern in London. She is currently preparing a book on Calas as a critic and curator, based on her PhD thesis. She is also researching for a future publication of hers, on Calas’s writings on Hieronymous Bosch. Most recently, Irini co-curated the restaging exhibition Restructuring the Mirrors of the Mind by Nicolas Calas/Ανασκευάζοντας τους Καθρέφτες του Νου του Νικόλαου Κάλας at Zoumboulakis Gallery in Athens and co-organised the international conference Regarding Nicolas Calas (Για τον Νικόλαο Κάλας) at the Athens School of Fine Arts (www.regardingnicolascalas.net). She has also co-curated the exhibition 321Posters, 426 Εxhibitions, 52 Years that is currently on show at Zoumboulakis Gallery in Kolonaki, Athens. This exhibition includes also limited posters by exhibitions staged at Alexandre Iolas’s international galleries.

19:00-19:30 Julie Waseige, René Magritte and Alexander Iolas : Twenty-one years of collaboration

Drawing on the two first exhibitions organized by Alexander Iolas at the Hugo Gallery, the talk will shed light on the dynamics at the heart of the 400 letters exchanged between Magritte and Iolas from 1946 to 1967, the year of Magritte’s death.
The content of the corpus is rich and enables us to understand not only the journey of many paintings, but also the philosophical process behind them. From the late forties until the end of his life, Magritte dedicated his work to the United States art market to the point of signing an exclusivity contract with Iolas in 1956. At the heart of Magritte and Iolas’ discussions, we find out more about practical details relating to works sales, works transportation and insurance, and even Magritte’s pay. But more importantly, we understand Iolas’ influence on Magritte’s work and his motivation to please the American taste. The letters show that Magritte is therefore sometimes torn between artistic sincerity and practical considerations. The question of the balance between art and business is at the core of this artist/dealer‘s relationship.

Julie Waseige completed her Master’s in Art History at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2012. During her studies, she developed a keen interest for Belgian surrealism. She dedicated her Master’s thesis to Marcel Broodthaers, one of René Magritte’s spiritual sons. After her studies, she worked as a researcher at the Magritte Museum, Brussels, and focused on Magritte’s relationship with the American art market, in particularly his correspondence with Alexander Iolas of which she prepared the critical edition. Working now as an independent scholar, she is pursuing her research on Belgian Surrealism. She is the main editor of The Complete Magritte Online, a digital and updated version of Magritte’s printed Catalogue Raisonné. She is curating the exhibition René Magritte. La Ligne de Vie (at MASI Lugano (Switzerland) ; at Amos Rex Museum of Helsinki (Finland)). She is curating the digital exhibition Inside Magritte opened at La Fabricca del Vapore in Milan (Italy). As an historical advisor she is preparing a documentary on René Magritte with Seven Doc Productions (France).

19:30-20:00 Dr. Eva Fotiadi, Alexander Iolas, the collectors Jean and Dominique de Menil and the promotion of Surrealism in the United States
The lecture will focus on the relation between Alexander Iolas and the collectors’ couple John and Dominique de Menil, especially from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s. Iolas is known today as a flamboyant personality and a successful art dealer, whose name is connected to the promotion of Surrealism in the United States. It is also known that he persuaded the de Menils to start buying Surrealist art in the late 1940s. Gradually the couple mounted one of the largest Surrealist collections worldwide. Something that is less known, but can be proved by documents held in the Menil Archives in Houston (Texas), is that the collectors were not merely clients, but also patrons of Iolas’ business. Very early on they invested in stocks of the Hugo Gallery (1945-1953), where Iolas was a director, and supported him in multiple ways during the first fifteen to twenty years of his business. The documents show how long it took Iolas to establish himself as an art dealer – a fact that he attributed specifically to his reputation in New York as an art dealer of Surrealism- and his financial dependence upon his patrons.

Eva Fotiadi (PhD) is a historian and theorist of contemporary art. She is a lecturer at the Design Department of AKV|St Joost in Breda and s’Hertogenbosch. She defended her PhD on participatory projects of art in a social context at the University of Amsterdam in 2009, where she also worked as lecturer until 2014. Between 2014-2016 she was a research fellow at Free University Berlin and Princeton University, working on a book about collective actions and events in public space in Athens since 2000. She has given numerous lectures in Europe and the United States and her publications have appeared in English, Greek, Dutch, German, Russian and Polish.

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H έκθεση ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ ΙΟΛΑΣ: Η ΚΛΗΡΟΝΟΜΙΑ / ALEXANDER IOLAS: THE LEGACY είναι ενταγμένη στις εκδηλώσεις του ΕΥΡΩΠΑÏΚΟΥ ΕΤΟΥΣ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΤΙΚΗΣ ΚΛΗΡΟΝΟΜΙΑΣ

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