200 YEARS GREEKS AND INNOVATION
1957

Chryssa settles in New York

The sculptor Chryssa (ChryssaVardea-Mavromichali), one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century internationally, was born in Athens in 1933. In 1953 she left for Paris and attended classes at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere. One year later, she moved to San Francisco and studied at the California School of Fine Arts. She settled in New York in 1957, where she began working on the famous series “Cycladic Books’’ (1957-1962), a compilation of plaster, minimalist reliefs. Very quickly, with her pioneering work, she managed to establish herself in the demanding artistic scene of New York. Her first solo exhibition -where she presented installations with letters and numbers- took place at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1961. Stuart Preston wrote in the Times about the ‘’pure, classic, bright sense of order’’ which defined the Greek sculptor. Gradually, Chryssa began to use materials such as stainless steel and neon lamps in her sculptures, drawing inspiration from the landscape of the big city. ‘’ I saw Times Square with the lights and the letters,’’ she later said, ‘’and I realized that it was as beautiful and as hard to imitate as Japanese calligraphy.’’ She came back to Greece in 1992, and she died in Athens in 2013.