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In this video, the Benaki Museum’s Ghika Gallery Archive curator Ioanna Moraitis discusses Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas’ oil-on-wood painting ‘The Washerwomen’, completed in 1946.

We learn that laundry as a motif had already appeared in the artist’s work of the Thirties, yet in this particular painting, and unlike the earlier ones, Hadjikyriakos-Ghika also portrays people, as opposed to merely the results of their labours.

Later still, in the Fifties, continues Moraitis, the artist would evolve the motif of laundry drying on Athenian balconies into the sheer abstraction of geometric shapes.

Hadjikyriakos-Ghika was a leading Greek painter, sculptor, engraver, writer and academic, who studied ancient and Byzantine art, as well as folk art, before becoming exposed to Europe’s avant-garde trends in Paris. He eventually gained recognition as a leading Greek cubist artist.

His works hang in Athens’ National Gallery, the French capital’s Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, London’s Tate Gallery, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as in private collections worldwide.

View the original video here.

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