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The Illustrated Books of Démétrius Galanis - A Discreet yet Amazing Exhibition

By Megakles Rogakos
Art Historian & Exhibition Curator
Athens, 1 July 2014

Marcel Duchamp

The exhibition “Démétrius Galanis - The Illustrated Books,” now running in Athens, is discreet yet amazing. It brings together works created by the great Galanis for the printing industry - books, albums and journals. The curator of the exhibition, Eirini Orati recognizes the importance of the preceding thesis (1983) of Emmanuel Mafromattis on the engraving and painting of Galanis, which facilitated this further research. It is worth mentioning the catalogue “Démétrius Galanis. Selections from his Printmaking” by Nikos Grigorakis with works from his collection, which in 1991 accompanied the namesake exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art - Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation in Andros.
From the beginning of his career Galanis engaged with drawing and in 1897 published his work in the newspaper Acropolis and other Athenian publications. Indeed, he shaped an idiosyncratically lyrical mannerism, developed independently of the artistic movements of his time. After attending the School of Fine Arts, of the National Technical University of Athens, in 1900 Galanis left for Paris. He continued his art studies at the respective school there and was active in the field of cartooning. In 1905 he met his future French wife, Stéphanie-Julie Bouvier (Fanny), and five years later he had his son, Jean-Sébastien, at which point he moved to the Cortot street home, where he worked until 1965, and posthumously became the Musée de Montmartre. As a French citizen he served in the First World War in France and Greece. Then followed a brilliant path of exhibitions in important venues. Alongside he created prints for a large number of books covering major works of European literature, the majority of which is connected to Greece, such as “The Sileni” of Alfred Jarry (1926), “Polyphemus” of Albert Samain (1926), “Troilus and Chressida” of William Shakespeare (1939), “The Birth of the Odyssey” of Jean Giono (1942), “Idylls” of Theoctritus (1953), and “Oedipus the King” of Sophocles (1955)., etc. Also of particular interest are the erotic engravings of Galanis, a special issue dealt with first by Nikos Grigorakis in 1994.

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Public Information
Exhibition Title | Démétrius Galanis - The Illustrated Books.
Venue | MIET Cultural Foundation, Eynard Mansion, 20 Aghiou Konstantinou Street, Athens, GR 10431.
Duration | 7 May - 11 october 2014 (closed in August).
Contact | +30 210 5223 101, +30 210 3234 267, miet2@otenet.gr
Open | Tuesday to Friday 10 am-2 pm, Wednesday and Friday 6-8 pm, Saturday 12-2 pm.
Admission | Free of Charge.

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demetrius demetrius demetrius demetrius demetrius