GEORGE TZANNES (USA, New York City b. 1946 / act: New York and Kythera)
George Tzannes was born in 1946 in New York City, to a Greek father and an Polish/American mother. After having enrolled at Northeastern University in Boston to study electrical engineering, he chose to change his major to the visual arts, and studied figure drawing at the Art Students League in New York with Charles Fogerty in 1968 and lithography at the Pratt University with Jeff Stone and Andrew Staysic from 1968 to 1970. During his studies he worked as an assistant to Bob Cenedella, who was a student of George Gross with influential Dadaist leanings and contemporary art ideas. Subsequently he worked for Jean-Claude Suares, who was an illustrator and graphic designer with a good knowledge of commercial print production. Later, Tzannes worked at the Print Making Workshop in New York with Robert Blackburn and took classes with Frank Visagri.
Excepting Tzannes' printmaking background, he feels his knowledge in art is owed to his contact with fellow artists, independent study, and experimentation. His earliest work, to 1980, consists of prints. After that he also engaged with mixed-media, casting forms in cement and either applying frescoes on them or combining them with found materials.
After a trip to India early in the 1970s - owing to his curiousity about his father origin - he sought his roots at Kythera island, and eventually made there his summer home. What attracted him to Kythera is the island's broad variety of aspects - including painting, architecture, agricultural artefacts, and the landscape - all of which became Tzannes' ultimate source of inspiration in his art.
To complete his self-portrait, it is worth knowing that, Tzannes' home at Kypriotianika, Kythera, is the result of his own labour, and - to his friends - appears to be an extension as much of his aeshetic as of his ideology.
Tzannes has held numerous personal exhibitions in New York City, Florida, and Kythera, and has participated in some thirty international group exhibitions.
George Tzannes currently divides his time between New York and Kythera Island.
[Megakles Rogakos 08/2005]
LOIZIDI, NIKI Greek Artists Abroad 1983 Athens
ALBUM New Voices in Greek-American Art 1990 Cooper Union School of Art, New York
WIJAND, RIEK Schilder op Kythira: George Tzannes 1992 Lychnari, Holland
TZANNES, GEORGE Olive Tree 2008 Zeidoros, Kythera Island