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ALEX MYLONA (Greece, Athens b. 1920 / act: Athens)

Alex Mylona Alex Mylona was born on 10 February 1920 in Athens to Thrassyvoulos Bogdanos and Maria Chalkokondyli. Having noticed her talent in art at an early stage, her parents hired an art teacher to cultivate her skills. At the age of twenty Alex married equally young Georgios A. Mylonas (1919-1998), who was later to serve both as Minister of Education and Culture. The young couple had three children. All three are artists: Maria Mylona-Kyriakidi a painter, Eleni Mylonas a multi-media artist based in New York and Athens, and Alexandros Mylonas, a well known actor and director in Athens. Despite motherhood, in 1945 Alex Mylona was admitted to the Athens School of Fine Arts and studied sculpture under Michael Tombros until 1950.

Alex Mylona became a founding member of the Greek Women Artists Union in 1956, and was elected its Vice-Chairman. Alongside painters Yannis Spyropoulos and Alekos Kontopoulos and sculptor Lazaros Lameras, Mylona represented Greece at the 30th Biennale di Venezia in 1960, where she was nominated for the sculpture prize for artists under forty for her work entitled Self Defence. In 1965 Mylona was commissioned to supervise the sculpture installation of the National Bank branch at Kastoria. She has created costume and set designs for Ralou Manou's Elliniko Horodrama and other theatre groups.

From the early 1960s Alex Mylona used to take refuge for months at a time at a studio in Paris, at the rue de la Tombe Issoire. Following her divorce in 1974 Alex settled in Paris near Montparnasse, before moving to Le Marais in the 1980s. During her time in Paris, she met many artists including sculptors Arp, Giacometti and Zadkine, as well as painters Atlan and Schneider. She had a strong supporter in Nico Hadzikyriaco-Ghika, and was friends with, among others: Zongolopoulos, Cristian Zervos, Iris Claire and later with Denise Renee, at whose gallery she had an exhibition in 1988.

In the mid 1990s having gradually withdrawn from Paris in favor of Athens and her village house in Syros, Alex Mylona was looking for a permanent home for her life's work. She accomplished her vision by creating a foundation and inaugurating the Alex Mylona Museum of Contemporary Art in 2003. The beautifully renovated museum building, originally by well known architect B. Tsangris stands on Agion Asomaton Square between Thyssion and Psyrri.

Alex Mylona presented the following personal exhibitions: Light Matter, Paine Gallery, Athens (1955); Zygos Gallery, Athens (1957); Athens Technological Institute - ATE, Athens (1966); Sculpture: Some Architectural Propositions, Polyplano Gallery, Athens (1976); Cyclades, Athens Art Gallery (1984); Alex Mylona: Retrospective Exhibition, National Gallery - Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens (1986); and Galerie Denise René (1988). She also took part in the following group exhibitions: Panhellenic Exhibition, Zappion Megaron, Athens (1948, 1952, 1957, 1967); Cnossos Gallery, Athens (1953); International Exhibition, Sabena Airlines, Brussels (1954); Open-Air Exhibition, Psychiko, Athens (1954); Salon de l'Art Libre, Paris (1955); Museum of Modern Art, Cairo, Egypt (1956); Women Artists Union, Cairo, Egypt (1957); Greek Sculptors, Art Festival, Moscow, USSR (1957); Abstract Art, Kouros Gallery (1958); Workshop Group, Zygos Gallery, Athens (1958); Costume and Stage Design, Institute Franšais, Athens (1958); Contemporary Greek Art, Creuse Gallery, Paris (1959); Vth Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (1961); La Salon de la Jeune Sculpture, Musée Rodin, Paris (1961, 1963); Art Fair, Linz, Austria (1964); Cultural Center, Ioannina (1964); Panathinea Sculpture Exhibition, Hilton Art Gallery, Athens (1965, 1969); International Sculpture Biennial, Philopappus Hill, Athens (1965); International Biennial, Montreal, Canada (1966); Greek Artists, Geneva, Switzerland (1966); Stage Design, Athenian Technological Insitute, Athens (1967); Open-Air Sculpture Fair, Apollonion, Porto-Rafti, Attiki (1973); Toy, Desmos Art Gallery, Athens (1975); Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain - FIAC, Paris, France (1977); Sixty Greek Artists, Zygos Gallery (1977); Small Sculptures, Budapest, Hungary (1978); Contemporary Art Association, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens (1981); Contemporary Greek Sculpture, Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Athens (1984); Contemporary Art Association, Rhodes Island (1984); Memories - Recreations - Exploration, National Conservatory, Athens (1985); Contemporary Art Association, Athens (1985); and Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time, ACG Art Gallery, The American College of Greece, Athens (2008).

Alex Mylona continues to live in Athens.

[Megakles Rogakos 02/2007]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
HADJIKYRIACO-GHIKA, NICO Preface to the Greek Participation in the 30th Biennale di Venezia 1960 Venice
VASSILIADIS, GEORGE Sculpture: Some Architectural Propositions 1976 Polyplano Gallery, Athens
TAKTSIS, COSTAS Cyclades 1984 Athens Art Gallery, Athens
FATOUROS / FERENTINOU / GHIKA / KARAVIAS / LYDAKIS / PAPASTAMOS / PROKOPIOU / SPILIADIS / ILIOPOULOU-ROGAN / VACALO / VALLIER / VASSILIADIS / TAKTSIS / ZIAS Alex Mylona: Retrospective Exhibition 1986 National Gallery, Athens
LABROSSE, CLAUDETTE Museum Alex Mylona 2004 Eworx S.A., Athens

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