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The faces of the Art Gallery of Rhodes tell a tale

The Rhodes Museum of Modern Greek Art launches this year’s exhibition series by revealing the “face” of its collection. Portraits of major Greek creators, playful and serious alike; all the figures, from the early 20th century to the present day, that have a story to tell the world about their artists and their times. The collection – the only one of its kind in Greece, with the exception of the National Gallery – presents the masters of Greek art and their students who became, in turn, the teachers of our generation. In other words, it’s a collection that has the timeless ability to bring the public close to its creators. The pictures’ gazes make up the history of the Art Gallery of Rhodes and constitute a unique chronicle of our domestic arts production. Taken together, the “lives” of these pictures make up the identity of the collection; they comprise its “biography”.

The exhibition is an introduction to what the Museum is planning for the immediate future, once its permanent collection has been re-housed at the Nestorideion Melathro and the Andreas Ioannou Art Gallery in the medieval town. Two spaces on the ground floor host, for the first time, a gathering of faces. And these faces find their voice; they speak to one another, and each one introduces us to its creator.

Among the exhibition’s “hosts”, “Orpheus” brings up the question/suspicion that a face cannot be seen in the dark, if it wants to live again. At a time when the concept of the face is inhibited by its concealment, the myth of Orpheus shows us that, though art may not conquer death, it is still a form of immortality for mankind. That was the role, in fact, of the Fayum, the mummy portraits of the Hellenistic era, where we can trace the origins of religious icons. Art may be the antidote to everything that threatens our everyday lives, and function as a refuge for the soul under circumstances like the ones we’re currently experiencing. At the same time, however, it effects a kind of initiation, especially on those coming into contact with the healing space of artistic expression for the first time.

The works have been selected and arranged in such a way that they function contrapuntally, allowing comparisons between works and creators that are ostensibly unrelated, but impel us to seek a deeper meaning, a more covert connection.

“Biography”, essentially, is a “chorus” of human faces, whose gazes speak volumes; they are figures that unsettle the mind and urge us to look for a different perspective; they are the voice we will hear if we let the artwork speak within us.



The capture and transfer of the exhibition to the digital platform Matterport as a Virtual Tour was realised by Vangelis Hatzikelis, as a kind sponsorship.



Exhibition Curation: Giorgos Mylonas, Art Historian

Graphic Design: Kyourh

Web & Digital marketing: Michael G. Kavuklis for mgk.advertising

Audio Visual Material: George Mystiloglou for Pointer

Photography and 3D Virtual Tour: Vangelis Hatzikelis