Yiannis Kolefas (1927-1986). Journey in the art of the mosaic
28 March 2007 until 17 June 2007
The exhibition held at the Byzantine and Christian Museum in honour of the artist and conservator Yiannis Kolefas is designed to project his multi-faceted work in the areas of conservation, creative art, and the teaching of the art of the mosaic. In the galleries in the Villa Ilissia, spectators follow Kolefas’s path as conservator, artist, teacher and man, through a significant part of his work.
The first unit is devoted to early paintings by Kolefas, which he executed while a student in Athens, Florence and Ravenna. In the following two rooms, photographs from the archive of the Central Conservation Laboratory of the Byzantine and Christian Museum and from the Kolefas archive are presented to the public for the first time. They provide valuable documentation of the countless journeys to all parts of Greece undertaken by the conservator in order to preserve and restore mosaic artworks. The photographs are accompanied by fragments of important ancient and Early Christian mosaic floors which Kolefas himself conserved, and which testify to his valuable contribution in the sphere of conservation. They are followed by paintings and mosaics from Kolefas’s mature period, which bear the stamp of his distinctive personality and style. The next unit contains copies of resplendent Byzantine mosaics made by Kolefas, which are taken from the Replicas Collection of the Byzantine and Christian Museum. In the unit The Mosaicist’s Workshop, devoted to the tools and materials used by the artist Kolefas, an attempt is made to present the place of his personal inspiration and creativity. The mosaics and paintings from his last creative period, with subjects drawn from his birthplace, Epiros, are displayed in the following room, and the mosaic of his life and creative work is completed by a reference to his excellent mosaic composition in the Main Events Room of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.