Times Square - Chryssa (Vardea)

Chryssa (Vardea) (1933 - 2013)

Times Square, 1970 - 1973

Mixed media and Plexiglas, 275 x 245 x 22 cm

Donated by the artist and Nikolaos Goulandris

Inv. Number Π.5775
On view National Glyptotheque

A Greek of the diaspora, Chryssa settled permanently in New York in 1955. There she soon came into contact with avant garde currents. This fact unquestionably contributed to the focus of her interest right from the beginning of her career on non-traditional ways of expression, ones not connected to figurative depiction. Thus her first works in the mid-Fifties, called “Studies of Static Light”, consisted of large plaster or metal reliefs based on asymmetrically placed arrows and letters which were transformed by the play of light. The series “Cycladic Books” were derived from the prints made by cardboard boxes on randomly poured plaster. Subsequently she began to make repeated use of various communication motifs on a variety of combinations making repeated use of the elements, and the antitheses of light and shadow, thereby creating a plastic language of signs. The result is similar works which arise from an original idea and finally come to form entities, using materials that are used in contemporary technology, such as neon tubes, aluminum and plastic.

“Gates of Times Square” is a colossal allegorical composition which arose from the assemblage of various elements and materials used in communication. This work was the motivating force for an entity of works based on elements of the initial composition, such as the relief construction with the ideogrammatic rendering of the motifs in plastic exhibited at the National Glyptotheque, which renders with a different look the polychromy and phantasmagoria of Times Square.