Athens International Airport - Art Exhibition “When Pictures Paint a Thousand Words. Book illustrations by Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika from the Benaki Museum collections”
18 JUNE 2018
Art Exhibition “When Pictures Paint a Thousand Words. Book illustrations by Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika from the Benaki Museum collections”
From June 11th through December 31st, 2018 at Athens International Airport
The work of Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika at Athens airport! Through the third consecutive cultural collaboration of Athens International Airport, the Benaki Museum, and Costa Navarino, a new exhibition highlights Greek culture in a very special way.
From June 11th through December 31st, passengers and airport visitors will have the opportunity to admire the exhibition “When pictures paint a thousand words. Book illustrations by Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika from the Benaki Museum Collections”. The exhibition presents the illustration creations of Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, one of the most important Greek artists of the 20th century.  
In an exhibition that is “in dialogue” with the Benaki Museum collection, visitors from all over the world will be introduced to the work of Hadjikyriakos-Ghika in the airport’s exhibition area “Art & Environment” *. The theme of the exhibition is connected to the exhibitions’ activity of the Benaki Museum in the context of the “Athens 2018, World Book Capital” events. An exhibition highlighting the same theme is also presented from May 26th, to November 11th, 2018 at Costa Navarino.
The exhibition focuses on six illustrated editions by the artist: the album Lyrica (1972), the album India (1959), the Poems by C. P. Cavafy (1966), Daphnis and Chloe by Longus (1970), Lysistrata by Aristophanes (1977) and the Odysey by Nikos Kazantzakis (1958).
The India section is introducing to the public the Ghika house, through a photographic representation of his living-room with the sixteen Indian ink drawings of India. The rest of the exhibition sections are represented through sculptures, books and prints with incorporated extracts from the relevant editions. Four screens placed on four of these drawings are showing studies, texts and material from the artist’s travel. 
Three sculptures are exhibited, influenced from the Odyssey by Homer, depicting Odysseus, coming out from the bush in front of Nausicaa, and the two girls with the skipping rope, friends of Nausicaa. All three sculptures were done in plaster in 1948 and later casted in bronze. 
Also three of the books that illustrated are presented: The Poems by Cavafy, which include a frontispiece with the portrait of Cavafy and 43 drawings in hematite, the bucolic novel Daphnis and Chloe, with cover and five watercolors by the artist and The Step-poems by Odysseus Elytis with a frontispiece by Ghika depicting pebbles. Finally, a selection of the illustrated editions by Ghika is shown on a large screen at the end of the exhibition. 
This significant exhibition highlights once more the identity of the Athens International Airport. Beyond its role to offer functional and efficient infrastructure to the travellers, the airport is a space of constant cultural exchange and interaction, presenting and diffusing the Greek cultural heritage to millions of passengers and visitors every year. More than 80 exhibitions and cultural activities have been displayed and hosted in the airport areas to date, reflecting the role of the airport of Athens as a vital part of the city and an integral element of Greek society.  
Exhibition curators: Ioanna Moraiti (Curator of the Archives of the Ghika Gallery) and Constantinos Papachristou (Curator of the Ghika Gallery).
* “Art & Environment” / Departures Level, Mezzanine Floor, Entrance 3; free access to the exhibition area on a 24-hours basis for all passengers and airport visitors.
About the illustrations work of Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika
Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika began to work regularly with book illustrations from the 1930s until the 1990s. He created covers and frontispieces for poetic collections, novels and literary magazines, while he illustrated fully the Odyssey by Nikos Kazantzakis, The Poems, by C. P. Cavafy, Daphnis and Chloe by Longus and Lysistrata by Aristophanes. In most cases, he supervised the design of the entire publication himself and meticulously studied each image to be sure it would reflect the style of the text or poem.
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