18th September - 18th December, Thessaloniki
Vlassis Caniaris (Athens, 1928-Athens, 2011), at first, he studied medicine at the Athens University (1945-1950) which he gave up to study at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1950-1955). In 1956 he settled in Rome and in 1960 he moved to Paris where he lived until 1967. He lived in Berlin on a DAAD scholarship in 1973-1975. In 1975 he was elected professor of painting at the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens. Solo exhibitions (selection): 1958, Zygos gallery, Athens; 1960, La Tartaruga gallery, Rome; 1969, New Gallery, Athens; 1970, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; 1971, Moderna Museet, Stockholm; 1976, ICA, London; Kunstverein, Hanover; 1980, Bernier gallery, Athens; 1983, Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund; 1988, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and Yeni Djami, Thessaloniki; 1999, National Gallery, Athens; 2000, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki; 2008, Benaki Museum, Athens. Group exhibitions (selection): 1964, Trois propositions pour une nouvelle sculpture grecque, Teatro “La Fenice”, Venice; 1965, Sao Paolo Biennale; 1977, Documenta 6, Kassel; 1982, Europalia, Brussels; 1988, Venice Biennale; 1992, Metamorphoses of the Modern, National Gallery, Athens; 1996, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
[...] Already midway through the preceding period I turned my attention to the problem of a large and wretched population lumped together under the general name “emigrants”. On another level, it was also in some way my own personal problem. [...]
My aim was to clarify matters, making use of scientific data to the greatest degree possible in treating the problems, conditions, and the reasons for as well as examining the prospects for this particular world which because of its large population was like a separate European country. [...] That is, trying to deal all the things contained in this problem, all of its separate realities, dreams, customs and likely prospects. [...]
I worked on this presentation on a variety of levels and precisely because of the problems that appeared -the forms were subject to changes which shifted about the priorities of the proposed elements and, because of this, the manner of achieving the finalized image which would justify this method of work. [...]
I also worked in this way to give these images the potential for a presence which they had a right to, if not on the level of individual (personal) aesthetics, at least in terms of aesthetics that gave this large number identified usually as a mass, validity and existential justification. [...] This position in regard to imagination and dream, during childhood, as well as the possibility of adaptation even in the worst possible conditions, were elements that I felt needed to be referred to and stressed. [...] The political claims and subversive elements did not occupy me and I did not refer to them at all. [...]
Memorandum, Athens 1992, p. 21-22