I made a mention of this exhibition in a previous post, so I feel obliged to come back. We went to visit the exhibition at
(138, Pireos St., till 13 March 2011) on Greek civil engineer, landscape architect and painter Dimitris Pikionis (1887-1968). He is mostly credited with constructing the landscaping work (paths and corridors) around the Acropolis and for finding inspiration in the traditional, Greek building norms and materials and nature and incorporating them into his own work, even though he lived in an era that the modernist architectural movement was at its peak. He even constructed a couple of modernist-inspired works himself. We both thought that the exhibit was of interest mainly to architects and other specialists in the field. A documentary film was only in Greek (no subtitles). If you are not an architect / landscape architect I think we can safely say that you won't be impressed with what you'll see, although there are several paintings / mostly sketches or water-colour paintings that some might find of interest. Painting was Pikionis' true love as he himself had confided to people, but he couldn't make a living out of painting so he chose architecture instead. It seems to me he almost intentionally downplayed his painting, by sketching only in small pieces of paper (max. 60x70cm) and keeping his painting works hidden for most of his life. Benaki Museum
Anyway, you’ll be better off walking around
and trying to discover Pikionis’ works themselves, instead of spending time in the exhibit. Here is a list of his works in Metro Athens, with info on how to get there (few other works of him are to be found anyway as he made a living as a university professor): Athens
1) Paths leading up to the Acropolis Hill and the adjacent Filopappou Hill. His most famous work for which he received, post mortem, in 2003, the International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens. This was created in 1954-57.
|Path up to Filopappou Hill (aka Muses Hill)|
|Path up to Filopappou Hill - Detail|
2) Aghios Dimitrios Loumbardiaris church, on Filopappou Hill, and the "Filopappou kiosk" (1954-58) next to it, facing the Acropolis. The kiosk -which operated as a cafe / snack restaurant has been closed since 2005.