16 September 2019 until 15 November 2019
George Kordis was born in Makryrrachi, Phthiotis, in 1956. He studied theology at the University of Athens and iconography under the tutelage of Fr. Symeon Symeou. He then continued his studies at the graduate level in theology and in the aesthetics of Byzantine art at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston. He also studied painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in the same city.
Upon returning to Athens, he went on to study printmaking with Fotis Mastichiadis. In 2003, he began teaching iconography at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in the Department of Theology, and also became a visiting professor at Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music, as well as at other academic institutions abroad. Today he teaches on a regular basis as a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame in the USA and at the Mets Arts Centre in Athens, Greece.
The present exhibition showcases a representative sample of the iconographer’s artistic output since 2005. Using egg tempera, ink and digital media, Kordis has rendered images of saints and figures from Byzantium, as well as events directed by Divine Economy, on walls, wood, stone, canvas, handmade paper, and even on a tablet computer!
George Kordis’ artistic idiom, which he calls his artistic native language, enables him to present an entirely contemporary rendering of traditional sacred themes, which is at the same time completely compatible with the liturgical and educational role of religious icons in the life of the Orthodox Church.
His Most Divine All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, has characteristically said of Kordis that he is "truly traditional precisely because he is not conservative, and because he does not look back to the past in search of magical solutions. Nor does he value what is old simply because it is old. Through a process of critical evaluation, he has hit upon what is true in what we have inherited from the past. He has also succeeded in moving the souls of his contemporaries – of our contemporaries – and has convincingly demonstrated the priceless value of the spiritual treasures of our Orthodox tradition in an age which, unfortunately, tends to identify tradition with a sterile conservatism".
The works of George Kordis adorn monumental churches and can be found in the collections of leading museums around the world, as well as in numerous private collections both in Greece and abroad.
Curator: George Mylonas