National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens
Cityscape Times Square # 2


Cityscape Times Square # 2


The work is displayed as part of the permanent exhibition

Sculpture/ 3D object

Wall mounted installation

Cell-form aluminium, metallic colour and neon
223.52 x 314.96 x 73.66 cm
Permanent lending by the artist, 2002
Inv. No. 468/02

For the most part of her life, Chryssa resided and worked in New York. Ever since the early stages of her career she experimented with different materials and techniques, and developed a signature artistic idiom which was internationally acclaimed. In her work, she systematically dealt with topics such as writing and the urban landscape, adopting a conceptual approach. Beginning in the mid-1950s, and as part of her artistic experimentations, she used discarded cardboard boxes as casts to produce plaster panels, on the surface of which imperceptible engravings and folds evoke traces of writing. The artist, after having completed them, named these works Cycladic Books on account of their similarity to the Cycladic figurines. The Cycladic Books were Chryssa’s first milestone work, which the artist revisited at later stages of her career, creating variations with different materials. As from the late 1950s —within the context of her work with symbols of written and mass communication— Chryssa introduced paintings inspired by the structure and layout of newspapers (Newspaper Book). During the same period, she began working on another major thematic of her work —cityscapes (1957–1995)— through which she proposed her own renderings of images of contemporary metropolises. Her large, minimalist, wall-mounted sculptures —made mostly of aluminium, steel, Plexiglas, and neon lights— incorporate elements of Chryssa’s artistic vocabulary, such as Chinese typography and calligraphy. In 1961–62, fascinated by New York’s neon signs, the artist used neon lights —a material that was meant to become a major trait of her later work— for the first time. In 1992 Chryssa returned to Athens, where she worked for a period of time, turning the abandoned Oasis Cinema, behind the FIX factory, into her atelier. In this period’s works, which assemble all her artistic achievements, forms become independent touching abstract sculpture. A typical example of this development is the wall-mounted sculpture Poseidon, a title meant to pay tribute to ancient sculpture.
Eleni Ganiti, ENTER EMST: Collection and history, A short guide, 2020

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