PB: Monday, 21 February 2011 NEWSLETTER

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1. Aristotelis Nikolaidis 1987 Athens
2. Tilda, Athena and Telis 1980 Kifissia
3. Athena Kargsten, Tilda Nikolaidou and Lisbeth Lindholm 1980 Svenska Journal, Stockholm
4. Aristotelis Nikolaidis - Selected Poems translated by Kimon Friar 1993 Plethron, Athens

Portrait of Poet Aristotelis Nikolaidis in the ACG Art Collection

ACG Art welcomes 2011 with a significant donation of the Portrait of Poet Aristotelis Nikolaidis created in 1980 by PC1957 alumna Athena Politopoulou-Kargsten. This donation contributes to ACG Art's collection of portraits of significant authors, as varied as Archilochos; Honoré de Balzac; C.P. Cavafy; Alexandre Dumas; Odysseus Elytis; Rigas Fereos; Kimon Friar; Lafcadio Hearn; George Herbert; Homer; Nikos Karouzos; Nikos Kavvadias; Nikos Kazantzakis; General Yannis Makriyannis; Comte de Mirabeau; Benjamin Péret; Pandelis Prevelakis; Sylvia Plath; Yannis Ritsos; Marquis de Sade; George Sarandaris; Takis Sinopoulos; and Walt Whitman; as well as archetypal portraits of authors like in the work by Chôbunsai Eishi; Costas Evangelatos; and Alex Mylona.

Aristotelis Nikolaidis was born on 25 November 1922 in Mytilene, Lesbos Island, the son of doctor Theologis Nikolaidis from Serres and Konstantina, and brother of Nikos Nikolaidis, professor of psychoanalysis at the Université de Genève. During the German occupation he took part in the National Resistance, was persecuted, and was imprisoned by the British after 'the December events' of 1944 until the Varkiza Pact in 1945. After his release he served his military service - for three and a half years - as a reservist. He studied medicine at the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, specializing in psychiatry and completed his doctoral dissertation in 1954 titled "The Depersonalization Syndrome". In 1954 he furthered his studies in Paris with a French government scholarship and until 1974 he traveled and lived in countries in Europe and North America by practising his profession as psychiatrist. As founder of the International Center for Scientific Terminology & Language of Athens (1966) and a founding member of the Greek Language Group, Nikolaidis also engaged with scientific scholarship and literature, working with newspapers, such as To Vima, Journal de Genève, Gazette de Lausanne, Frankfurter Allgemeine, News and magazines such as Elefthera Grammata, I Lexi, Kenourgia Epochi, Doma, Sections, Diavazo, etc. He married the painter Ingrid-Tilda in Paris, with whom he had a daughter, Maria. He died in 1996 in Athens.

Nikolaidis' first appearance in literature was in 1944 with the publication of the poem "Anatomy Lesson" in the magazine Student Art. In 1952 he published the poetry collection "Classifications", while turning to prose in the late '60s with the publication of the novel "The Co-Existing" in Montreal, Canada (1969). In 1976 he received the state award for fiction for his work in "The Disappearance". His works were translated into many foreign languages. The works of Nikolaidis are classified in the poetry of the '30s generation and are fundamentally characterized by his concern about the language and strength it gains when viewed as a value per se outside the conventional semantic framework and reveals influences from the philosophy of Freud and the literary movements of lettrism, existentialism and surrealism. His prose work, resulting of the creative effort in his mature age, falls in post-war fiction. It shares, however, the roots in his poetry, whose main feature is associative writing and the thematic orientation of the author's agony for the future of the world, a distressful state resulting mainly from the experience of the rebuttal of humanitarian ideals following the human adventure of the 2nd World War and the post-war years.

Athena Politopoulou-Kargsten met Nikolaidis in 1965 in an artistic circle that included Kimon Friar, Nikos Karouzos, Takis Sinopoulos and George Hadjimichael. Nikolaidis was endowed with a very strong personality that was dominant in his circle. He was a fervent supporter of the Greek language and collaborated with his brother, Nikos Nikolaidis, on the Greek-French dictionary that was published in Geneva in 1989 to highlight the breadth of its vocabulary. During the Greek junta of 1967-1974 the circle scattered abroad and reunited again in Greece in 1975 while democracy was being restituted. At that time, the Kargsten and Nikolaidis families lived in Kifissia and the artist wives, Athena and Tilda, shared a studio there. Politopoulou-Kargsten admired Nikolaidis for his spirit and knowledge. He had great interest in visual art and - appreciative of her sculpture - commissioned Politopoulou-Kargsten to create his portrait. Nikolaidis' face had classical characteristics on which the sculpture is based. The portrait emerged by observing the physical model in situ. An archival photo taken in the Kifissia studio presents Tilda keeping the two parts of the mold tightly together, Athena preparing the casting of plaster by applying soap in the mold's internal walls, and Telis keeping them company by reciting poetry. Later, in 1984, Nikolaidis wrote the foreword entitled "The Erotic Emersion of Sculptured Time" to Politopoulou-Kargsten's exhibition at Galerie Zygos. He also referred to Politopoulou-Kargsten in the poem Athena in Patmos, published in "Collected Poems 1952-1990" in 1991. There he writes: "Her wisdom was that of Athena, / a friend of mine, a sculptural wisdom; / but in Patmos another question / suddenly / arises, when like Eros wisdom / is not clearly embodied but vaporizes / in the diaphanous Patmian air." [Aristotelis Nikolaidis"Selected Poems translated by Kimon Friar" 1993 Plethron, Athens, p.75].

Megakles Rogakos

INFORMATION: Megakles Rogakos, The American College of Greece - ACG Art
6 Gravias Street, Agia Paraskevi, Athens, GR 15342, Greece, T: +30-210-6009800/1456, E: