The retrospective exhibition of Chalepas at the National Glyptothque posed an extraordinary challenge in Modern Greek sculpture. It is for the first time that most of the artist's surviving works go on display under one roof, along with a substantial number of his drawings. This unique occasion provides an opportunity to re-assess the importance of his work with respect to the period in which it was produced, but above all from the point of view of contemporary art.
The bibliography on Chalepas is vast, and many distinguished scholars have studied his life and work. Nevertheless, his works of the second and third period continue to puzzle us. The relation between his work and contemporary Greek or European sculpture in general also remains problematic. The question is still open, what it is that makes Chalepas' work relevant and topical. Does it go beyond mere historical and museological interest? Can it sustain a valid dialogue with the present, or is it an isolated, distinct creative body, confined within the time-line of the artist's work? [...]
Professor, School of Fine Arts, Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki