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Four Decades of Greek Artistic Presence in Paris (1970-2010): Theory and Interpretation

Authors: Sapfo A. Mortaki


This article examines the presence of Greek immigrant artists (painters and sculptors) in Paris during 1970-2010. The aim is to highlight their presence in the French capital through archival research in the daily and periodical press as well as present the impact of their artistic activity on the French intellectual life and society. At the same time, their contribution to the development of cultural life in Greece becomes apparent. The integration of those migrant artists into an environment of cultural coexistence and the understanding of the social phenomenon of their migration, in the context of postmodernity, are being investigated. The cultural relations between the two countries are studied in the context of support mechanisms, such as the Greek community, cultural institutions, museums and galleries. The recognition of the Greek artists by the French society and the social dimension in the context of their activity in Paris, are discussed in terms of the assimilation theory. Since the 1970s, and especially since the fall of the dictatorship in Greece, in opposition to the prior situation, artists' contacts with their homeland have been significantly enhanced, with most of them now travelling to Paris, while others work in parallel in both countries. As a result, not only do the stages of the development of their work through their pursuits become visible, but, most importantly, the artistic world becomes informed about the multifaceted expression of art through the succession of various contemporary currents. Thus, the participation of Greek artists in the international cultural landscape is demonstrated.

Keywords: Artistic migration, cultural impact, Greek artists, postmodernity, theory of assimilation.

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