George Lappas, Blue Sculpture
The Blue Sculpture by George Lappas is one of the most iconic pieces in the Alpha Bank Art Collection. It is a reference to the concept of the family, and its role as the primary and most fundamental source of socialisation and education. Moschoforos (Calf Bearer), a masterpiece of ancient Greek sculpture, served as the iconographic model for the piece.
An imposing sculpture
The Blue Sculpture is an imposing sculpture made of painted iron, 6.5 m high.
Lappas finalised the shape of the sculpture after a number of trials. The male front figure, developing vertically, is prominent, with the female figure on top of it. The female is sitting on the shoulders of the male figure, forming the foundation for another 5 smaller figures. One is sitting on her right leg and 4 more on her shoulders.
Moreover, 4 smaller figures are hiding on top of the sculpture.
Family and the educational process
The combination of the 2 figures brings to mind the concept of the family. What is more, according to the artist, an old family photograph served as a source of inspiration for the piece. The photograph is of him, as a child, sitting on his father’s shoulders in a similar manner.
The piece is a reference to the family as the primary and most fundamental source of socialisation and education. At the same time, it serves as a symbol of solidarity and team spirit, the components that should form the foundation of any teaching and learning endeavour.
The influence of ancient sculpture
The iconographic model for the Blue Sculpture is found in one of the masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture, the famous Moschoforos, the Calf Bearer (570 BCE), a work of art greatly admired by Lappas.
His work Responsibility has a similar form. The sculptor uses the shape of stacked figures in both pieces.
His life in a nutshell
George Lappas (1950-2016) was born in Cairo. He has studied:
- Clinical Psychology at Reed College, Oregon, USA (1969-1973).
- Architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London (1975).
- Sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts, under Giannis Pappas and George Nikolaidis (1976-1981).
- Sculpture at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts of Paris (1984).
From 1992 until his premature death in 2016, he was a professor of Sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts.
Influences and features of his work
Lappas was awarded a scholarship from the Watson Foundation in 1974 and travelled to India. There he studied Indian sculpture and architecture. He travelled throughout his life and was influenced significantly from his contact with other cultures.
His pieces reflect his thought process on the relationship between sculpture and space. They have an intense scholastic, surreal and mystical side to them.
In 1990 the artist’s technique and themes changed. He turned to more people-centric works, creating life-size figures. These figures feature metal mechanisms made of assembled parts. This allows them to change position and move.
A recognised artist
Lappas participated in the Venice Biennale in 1988 in Aperto. Other significant participations include the Biennale des Jeunes Artistes (1982) in Paris, the Europalia Arts Festival in Belgium (1982), the São Paulo Biennale (1987), the Venice Biennale (1990), the Gwangju Biennale (1995), the Documenta 14 (2017) in Athens and the ANTIDORON exhibition.
His works are found in many private and public collections in Greece and abroad.
An important asset
Standing 6.5 m tall, the Blue Sculpture by George Lappas is one of the most iconic pieces in the Alpha Bank Art Collection.
The work of art in our publications
The Blue Sculpture by George Lappas is referenced in the following Alpha Bank publications:
- Mazi magazine (issue 26, April 2016).
- The Works, the Landscape, the Buildings. Works of Art at the Alpha Bank Premises in Agios Stefanos (only available in Greek). The publication consists of rich photographic material and accompanying texts on modern art pieces included in the Alpha Bank Art Collection.
The photograph of George Lappas with his father in Egypt, which served as the iconographic model for the Blue Sculpture, was included in the artist’s exhibition “From Here to Eternity”. The exhibition was hosted by the Municipal Art Gallery of Chania in 2018.
The Blue Sculpture is located in the Alpha Bank building at Agios Stefanos. It is not possible to visit the sculpture.