George Hadjimichalis, From the First Chapter 1939 – 1951

George Hadjimichalis – The Painter A.K. – A Novel

Athens Conservatoire

The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens presents from November 9th, 2011 until March 18th, 2012 the new work by George Hadjimichalis titled George Hadjimichalis. The Painter A.K. – A Novel in the framework of the series ΕΜSΤ Commissions 2011, with commissions by the Museum that are realized with the kind support of Bombay Sapphire gin.

George Hadjimichalis’ new project, entitled The Painter A.K. – A Novel, is an installation that consists of 265 small and medium-sized paintings, 27 photographs, a structure and a video, which comprise the retrospective exhibition of an imaginary painter. Adopting the practice of a novelist, Hadjimichalis envisions a fictional person and creates his artwork, telling a story. It is a work open to multiple readings and includes a plethora of references and correlations. In this work, Hadjimichalis connects the personal to the collective, the experiential to fantasy, fiction to reality, identity to otherness, and the self to the Other. The work also contains an underlying autobiographical element, as the life of the imaginary painter inevitably meets that of the novel’s creator. In this narrative piece, George Hadjimichalis addresses issues such as the human body and the human soul, illness, loss, memory, psychosis, and death.

The title of the project and, by extension, the title of the exhibition, is, in essence, the information given about a book. George Hadjimichalis is the author, the painter A.K. its title, and the type of the book is a novel. It clearly concerns a visual novel, which isn’t written in words but images, mostly painted but also photographic and moving (video), which took approximately four years to make.

Through A.K.’s psychological state, Hadjimichalis tells us, indirectly, about his own story, his own journey through art, his own thoughts, desires, needs, phobias and preoccupations, revealing secret moments from his own life. A quest for the self through the Other, as well as of the self as the Other, is ultimately the raison d’être of the entire project.

Curated by Daphne Vitali


With the kind support of: