The work is displayed as part of the permanent exhibition
Tempera and acrylic
65 x 900 cm
Donated by the artist, 2010
Inv. No. 690/10
In the late 1960s the Greek art scene witnesses the emergence of a critical kind of representational painting with its focus on the social function of the artwork in a contemporary mass culture of commercialisation that was spreading in Greece. This tendency found its most systematic expression in the activities of the “New Greek Realists” (1971–1973), a group comprising Yannis Valavanidis, Cleopatra Dinga, Kyriakos Katzourakis, Chronis Botsoglou, and Jannis Psychopedis. One of the outstanding works of “critical realism” is Frieze (1972), a modular work by Chronis Botsoglou included in the exhibition Five Greek Realists at the Contemporary Art Workshop of the Goethe Institute in Athens. The eighteen panels of Frieze make up a series of episodes reminiscent of cinematic stills and illustrated stories. Frieze comes out as a contradictory portrait of a fragmented contemporary reality through a mixture of personal and collective narratives that emerge in the 1970s: the world of spectacle, the police state, football, the Press, consumerism, and everyday violence are intertwined with an autobiographical account. The artist stands critically against the dominant ideology of mass culture and its effect on shaping individual and collective identities, at the same time exploring the potential role of painting in the contemporary visual culture.
Tina Pandi, text from the permanent exhibition guide ENTER EMST : Collection & History, A short guide, 2020