Study for Bathers at Kyrenia
gouache on paper
27.5 x 22 cm
collection of the artist
acquired by the present owner
Christoforos Savva, “Artistic Avant-Garde as a dialogue with tradition”, 16 March - 9 May 2010,
Gallery K, Nicosia
‘Christoforos Savva’,” Artistic Avant-Garde as a dialogue with tradition”, 2010, p. 41 (illustrated)
In his career Christoforos Savva made numerous drawings on paper that allowed him to master this medium. This particular work is exemplary of the explorative studies that the artist created for the work Bathers at Kyrenia. Although it is a study for a larger work it does not cease to stand alone as an art work. Here Savva showcases the techniques that he learned during his studies in Paris at Andre Lhote’s renowned studio. He depicts three female nudes using sinuous lines and vibrant colours. Contrasting these sinuous shapes, he uses rigid lines for the background to convey space, achieving a balanced composition. This work on paper is a prime example of the artists ground-breaking work which has been crucial to the development of Cypriot painting.
He served at the Cypriot Regiment during Second World War.
In 1947 he went to London and studied Art at St. Martin’s School of Art and at Heatherley’s School of Art since 1953. He returned to Cyprus in 1953, but in 1956 he left again for Paris, where he studied at André Lhote Academy till 1959.
In 1955 he founded the “Art-Lovers’ Society” and in 1960, after he returned to Cyprus, he co-founded Apophasis Gallery with Glyn Hughes, the most important cultural center of the newly-founded Cypriot Democracy.
He is considered one of the most influential modernist Cypriot artists of his time having taken part in several important exhibitions in 1958 at Mariac Gallery and Jordan Gallery in Paris, in 1960 at Beirut, in 1967 at the Panhellenic Exhibition, in 1968 at Venice Biennale, in 1962 at “Art in the Commonwealth Today” exhibition which took place at Commonwealth Institute in London, in 1970 at “Contemporary Cypriot Art” at Commonwealth Institute in London, in 1979 at “Demetria” of Thessaloniki and at “Contemporary Cypriot Painting” at Athens National Gallery.
After his death, seven posthumous exhibitions were organized by the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the latest being the representation of Cyprus in the Venice Biennale in 2019 with a retrospective of Savva’s work.
His work can be found public and private collections in Cyprus: at State Gallery of Contemporary Cypriot Art; Nicosia Municipality; Cultural Centre of Popular Bank; Bank of Cyprus Cultural Centre; George der Parthogh collection; and Louki Papaphilipou collection.
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