Monographic catalogue dedicated to the life and practice of Christoforos Savva, whose oeuvre was unparalleled in the incipient Cypriot art scene of the 1960s (catalogue of the exhibition at the Cyprus Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, honoring the 50th anniversary of the artist's death).
The book Christoforos Savva: Untimely, Again is
published on the occasion of the participation of the Republic of Cyprus
at the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale. Untimely, Again is a
posthumous exhibition of works by Christoforos Savva (1924–1968) presented
at the Cyprus Pavilion.
The publication focuses, in a very precise but also circumscribed manner,
on a specific aspect of Christoforos Savva's work that is beyond the
artist's control: the artwork's presence in the world. The moment the work
leaves the studio and goes into the world is, quite often, when artists
themselves find out whether it has sufficient autonomy and strength. In
Savva's case and particularly in the case of such a fragmented
photographic archive – and, therefore, so fascinating and suggestive – as
the one presented in the book, the glimpses of his work in contact with
the world over time silently witness and reflect the transformations of a
society. Looking at, often blurred or slightly crooked, amateur
photographs is a way to reaffirm that what matters, when one faces the
work of Christoforos Savva, is not only or not so much individually
looking at each painting, yfasmatography, or relief on its own, but also
looking at the world around them.
The exhibition of Christoforos Savva's work at the Cyprus Pavilion at the
58th edition of the Venice Biennale is part of a long-term research
project on the artist's legacy and the ways in which the main themes
observed in his life and work continue to reverberate in local and
international artistic production.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at the Cyprus Pavilion at the 58th International Exhibition of visual arts – La Biennale di Venezia, from May 11 to November 24, 2019.
Christoforos Savva (1924-1968) is widely acknowledged as one of the most
artists of the 20th Century. Having spent a great deal of the '50s in
Paris and London, Savva settled back in Nicosia in 1960 and in a
relatively short period of time produced an impressive and highly diverse
body of works, ranging from paintings to sculptures, experimentations with
wire, cement, and leftovers from fabrics—apart from forays in the field of
furniture design and
architectural interventions. The coexistence of styles and the wide range
of themes and references that appear in Savva's work seem to suggest that
strictly formal questions were not his main concern. It could be said that
the core of his practice constantly shifted toward a place that was beyond
both the form and the content of any individual work. Taking his activity
as a whole, there is a sense that this "beyondness" encapsulates his role
in Cypriot society and in the local artistic system that was being
organised at the time. In 1960, Savva founded, together with Welsh artist Glyn Hughes, Apophasis [Decision], the first independent cultural center of the newly established Republic of Cyprus. In 1968, Savva was among the artists representing Cyprus in its inaugural Pavilion at the 34th Venice Biennale.