GHIKA Evryali Medusa 1948 [R/V/A] - x +

CN: GhiH1948evry

MT: mixed media assemblage: bones and plaster on wooden base (60x25x13)

TX: inscribed with brush at lower part of base <STHENNO / for Kimon / Ghika / Poros / 48>

PR: Mr. Kimon Friar - 1993

IL: Megakles Rogakos 2006, p.16-17

CM: Ghika explains: "Gorgon whetted my appetite, so I picked up a mule's skull, bleached by long immersion in sea-water, and made it into a spectral image of Evryali, Gorgon's sister, for whom Kimon had a similar affection. Then I made Sthenno, the third sister, out of pieces of scrap iron which I nailed onto the trunk of an eucalyptus-tree, but she was dismantled by later occupants of the house." [Ghika 1984]. Though the sculpture bears the inscription "Sthenno / for Kimon / Ghika / Poros / 48" the name may be a mistake not by the artist (it is inscribed with marker unlike the rest of the text, which the artist painted with brush on the plaster). It is clearly mentioned as 'Evryali' in the correspondence between Friar and Ghika. This piece of work stands out as an exceptional example of mixed-media art. Its materials are a skull and other bones joined with plaster resting upright on a round wooden base. The skull of a quadruped is represented in Ghika's painting Animals of 1936, which is a celebration as much of life as of death. It is a fact that in his Athens studio Ghika displayed skulls and bones of animals hanging on the walls and resting on the furniture. Ghika's collection of bones is reminiscent of Moore's fascination with such found objects since the early 1930s (as drawings of his reveal), and especially the famous skull of an elephant, which Lady Huxley gave Moore in 1968, from which he made a suite of etchings. Another artist who is known to have made art using found bones covered with plaster is Germain Richier, whose Chess Board of 1959 is typical. Interestingly, in the present instance, Ghika fixes the mule's skull upright; its muzzle embedded on a foundation of plaster. What is more, Ghika privileged not the skull's typical aspect of the forehead, but its rear. Thus yet another face is formed; its row of teeth suggestive of a peculiarly smiling mouth, its spinal-hole of the nose, and its cheekbones of the empty eye-sockets. With slight additions of bones and plaster Ghika managed to make a total transformation of the found material; he attached a fork-like bone on top of the skull as a crest becoming a semi-deity, and extended the sides of the skull upwards to meet a horizontal bone forming what may well be taken to be Evryali's diadem. Again one can appreciate here Ghika's original take on myth and limitless creative vision. Ghika wrote a poetic text about this sculpture, of which the following is the capitulation: "Such riches [on Evryali] so that the sum of Croessus' treasures may seem to be poverty." [Dr. Iliopoulou-Rogan 1980, p.15]. It is worth quoting from Friar's letter to Ghika, dated October 13, 1964: "I have placed Evryali on a low bookcase against the window, and she becomes more enchanting every day as I catch her in silhouette." [courtesy of Ghika Gallery, Athens].

[Megakles 12/2004]

ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Reincarnated Painting: Sculpture by Ghika 2006 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens [English / Greek insert]