Chryssa (Vardea) (1933 – 2013)

 (1933 Athens )

She studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere (1953-1954) in Paris and the San Francisco School of Fine Arts (1954-1955). She has been living in New York since 1955.
Her first solo exhibition in 1961 in Betty Parsons Gallery, New York was followed by many solo events in Greece and other countries, including the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, the Modern Art Museum in Paris, the National Gallery in Athens and the Cycladic Art Museum in Athens. Her numerous contributions to group exhibitions in Greece and abroad include exhibitions at the Whitney, the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Sao Paulo Biennale (1963 and 1969) and the Venice Biennale (1972), exhibitions at the Modern Art Institutes in Boston and London, «Electra» at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and «Metamorphoses of the Modern» at the National Gallery in Athens.
Chryssa’s sculptural production is characterized by incessant searching as well as the use of accidents. Beginning around 1955 with on-the-wall compositions featuring arrows and letters, showcasing the interplay of light and shadow, in 1957 she entered a five-year period of experimentations. Thus, «Cycladic Books» emerged out of plaster randomly cast into paper boxes – a series considered as the precursor of minimalism. A distinctive characteristic of her work has been her involvement with writing and the exploration of its visual possibilities disregarding the content. Whether engraving capital letters in horizontal bands or creating patterns from a single letter, she focuses on the effect of obscuring the meaning of letters and words, exploring paintings inspired by newspaper layout. Since 1962, she has been working with neon lights, which became her trademark, combining the material with technology as well as impressions inspired by New York. Her effort culminated in «The Gates of Times Square», a collage of diverse materials. Her experiences, emanating from the metropolitan cityscape as well as technology, fuel her inexhaustible inspiration.

Last modified: 30/10/2014