Chryssa

Chryssa, Cycladic Books, 1957, plaster, twenty works, Collection National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), installation view, ANTIDORON. The EMST Collection, Fridericianum, Kassel, photo: Mathias Völzke

Chryssa, Cycladic Books, 1957, plaster, twenty works, Collection National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), installation view, ANTIDORON. The EMST Collection, Fridericianum, Kassel, photo: Mathias Völzke

Since the beginning of her career, Chryssa has obeyed an intuition to generalize: the Cycladic Books already constitute a complete work, an end in itself. It is the encounter with New York, the shock, that is the immediate point of departure: in 1957 the Cycladic Books appeared. These are reliefs in plaster, the image T-shaped, and corresponding to the mold of the inside-fold of a cardboard packing box. The inside-fold of the carton, once it was cast, produced the purified and stylized geometric relief characteristic of Cycladic sculpture. Chryssa had had an intuitive vision of this tablet hinting at a Cycladic face (the horizontal fold suggests brows and eyes, the vertical ridge the nose) while looking at the bottom of one of those countless cardboard boxes that are symptomatic of our consumer society.

The Cycladic Books are not encumbered with discourse. They are “letterless.”

Apart from their intrinsic beauty, the objects are fascinating because of the definitive, irrevocable, axiomatic aspect of their presence. Chryssa’s first work is already a complete one, proposing a total image, a conclusive process.

From Pierre Restany, Chryssa (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1977)

Posted in Public Exhibition
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