Erotic Scene - Papayannis Theodoros

Papayannis Theodoros (1942)

Erotic Scene, 1979

Marble, 150 x 45 x 50 cm

Inv. Number Π.5872
On view National Glyptotheque

Thodoros Papayannis made the human figure practically his exclusive subject, but liberated from any trite naturalistic stylization. His knowledge of ancient Greek civilization and the broader Mediterranean region, Greek folk tradition and his post-graduate studies in Paris later on, nourished, by the stimuli they offered him, the formation of his style.

The image of the couple, in a standing or seated pose, but locked in an erotic embrace as well, was from early on one of his particularly favored subjects for sculpture. The erotic embrace was the spark for the creation of a series of compositions such as “Erotic Scene”, where the figures of the couple are entangled and thus tectonic compositions are created, formed of geometric volumes. These compositions echo the cubist sculpture of Henri Laurens, Ossip Zadkine and Jacques Lipschitz while at the same time borrowing elements from images of nature taken from old memories: “…I often recognize in my erotic compositions specific landscapes from the volumes of the mountains I drew at one time…I see the female body being transformed into an adventure, beckoning collection of hills and valleys…” he characteristically writes, describing his work.