The Livres d’ Artistes exhibition attempts to shed light on artists’ books, a medium that began to arise from the mid-20th century in the visual arts in Cyprus. A selection of hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind-books, multiples, altered books, zines, videos, installations, performances, printed matter, limited editions and fine press books demonstrate the open-ended nature of the medium. The exhibition displays works on loan from the State Gallery of Contemporary Art dating from 1963 with Christophoros Savva to the current year. It also includes the journals exhibited in this year’s Cyprus participation at the Venice Art Biennale. Additional works will be presented courtesy of the artists and the archives of Moufflon Bookshop Nicosia, which provided a continuous space devoted to Artists’ Books, on display from 1995-2013, making use of different public venues thereafter.
Starting with the first example – Livres d’ Artiste – a collaboration of the Cypriot poet Theoklis Kouyialis and Cypriot artist Christophoros Savva, the exhibition sets out to chart the progression of the medium to date. Fourteen poems were handwritten on Chinese art paper in Greek by Kouyialis, which were then illustrated by Christophoros Savva. Although they could be imagined in book form, the pages were loose and never destined to become a book; each page could be considered an independent work of art. This was the first sample to be presented locally.
The new millennium saw a period of artistic prosperity in the country, which allowed Cypriot artists, as well as internationals living on the island, the freedom to experiment with this new art medium and express their concepts in various forms. For the first time, two Cypriot artists represented Greece in the Exhibition of Artists’ Books which framed the 2001 Frankfurt Book Fair. More recently, Cypriot artists have been participating in exhibitions of established art spaces and museums in Cyprus as well as abroad: Venice Art Biennale with national participations in the years 2013 and 2017, exhibitions and fairs throughout Europe, USA, Australia, Brazil, S. Korea, and Eastern Mediterranean countries.
Marina Yerali & Kally Sozou
Eleni Papadopoulou & Evangelos Areteos
Lefki Savvidou & Maria Efthymiou
Maria Papacharalambous & Achilleas Kentonis
Maria Toumazou & Marysia Gacek
Omiros Panayides & Xenofontos Constantinides
Kyrillos Sarris, Alloglotta, Edition of 200, 2011, Installation
Omiros Panayides, OWK, 2017, Issue 5, Zine
Andreas Ladommatos, 20 Cypriot Poets on 20 Drawings, 1972, Edition of 37