Athens, 11 July 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).
From June to September 2012, a selection of works entitled “Talking Heads”, owned by the Greek collector George Economou, is on display in the new building of the George Economou Collection in Athens.
This is the first time that such a large portion of George Economou’s collection of contemporary and African art has been unveiled to the public. On display is the first in a series of exhibitions from the collection, which brings together a great variety of works from different cultures and artists, dating from 200 BC to today. The exhibitions focus on the influence of African art, Western portraiture, representations of the face and identity over the centuries, and the role of disfigurement in representations of the psyche. “Talking Heads” opens a dialogue between the collection’s African masks, portraits, and modern sculptures.
The exhibition is designed in three parts. The first presents masks from Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, and the Democratic Republic of Congo as an intermediary between the human being and the unknown. The second part is based on the juxtaposition of these masks and modern works such as a Fauve portrait by Kees van Dongen or a Cubist portrait by Auguste Herbin, while the third part treats contemporary approaches to identity and the face through new mediums and artist techniques used by Neo Rauch, Gary Hume, and Joannis Avramidis.
The George Economou Collection reflects the dynamism and the complexity of different periods in art history. It includes renowned artist works from Eugène Delacroix, FélixVallotton, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, as well as the complete Otto Dix graphic collection, Otto Mueller’s graphic works and a substantial collection of African art.
Maritime shipping tycoon George Economou is an atypical collector whose collection contributes significantly to the Athens art scene.