Vietnam - Kapralos Christos

Kapralos Christos (1909 - 1993)

Vietnam, 1967

Bronze, 190 x 120 x 97 cm

Former Christos and Souli Kapralos Foundation

Inv. Number Π.10445
On view National Glyptotheque

Christos Kapralos shaped his personal style by assimilating the teachings of ancient Greek and folk art together with European avant-garde tendencies.

His first sculptures were simplified realistic figures in terracotta and plaster, inspired by his immediate environment. He began using bronze in 1957. The human body became transformed into Victories and mythological figures, ancient hoplite soldiers, couples, and mothers with children. At the same time, Kapralos’ compositions became highly abstracted and often fragmented. The fragmented rendition and the intentional, exaggerated distortion gave his work its dramatic character, or emphasized that quality. In some cases this dramatic quality is immediately recognizable, whereas elsewhere it manifests itself indirectly, provoking a variety of associations in pieces that are simply titled “Composition”.

“Vietnam” is characteristic from this standpoint. It is yet anoth Composition, whose content is eloquently declared in the inscriptions engraved on the piece itself: “VIETNAM” and “DICTATORSHIP SHAME”. Kapralos thus expressed his protest against a catastrophic war and a dreadful period in recent Greek history that coincided with it chronologically. The two converging, mutilated figures support one another and, despite their tragic deformities, remain upright like symbols of hope and victory.