The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) in Chicago is excited to announce the breathtaking touring sculpture exhibition Hellenic Heads by George Petrides has been extended due to popular demand through Sunday, March 24, 2024.
Hellenic Heads features six larger-than-life busts inspired by key periods in Greek history spanning 2,500 years, and exemplifies NHM’s mission to share Greek history, art, culture and the Greek American story though relevant and meaningful content that connects the past and the present, Greece and America. Petrides does exactly this in Hellenic Heads, presenting a personal exploration into his Greek background and seeking to understand the cultural influences that have shaped him and the people closest to him.
“Inspiring our guests to reflect on their personal histories within the context of the Hellenic legacy is central to the work of the National Hellenic Museum,” says the museum’s Executive Director Marianne Kountoures. “Visitors to Hellenic Heads and throughout the museum have the opportunity to learn about these kinds of connections and consider how they are relevant within their own lives.”
Hellenic Heads by George Petrides is on display at the National Hellenic Museum (333 S. Halsted Street, Chicago) now through Sunday, March 24, 2024. The museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets are $10 and include admission to all exhibits, with special discounts available for seniors, students and children. Admission to the museum is always free for NHM Members. For more information on current exhibitions, events and memberships, visit nationalhellenicmuseum.org or call 312-655-1234.
In Hellenic Heads, globally recognized sculptor George Petrides presents a personal exploration into his Greek background, seeking to understand the cultural influences that have shaped him and the people closest to him. Starting with a rigorous research process including archaeological artifacts, academic sources, family stories and historical photographs, Petrides studied six important periods in Greek history spanning 2,500 years: the Classical Greek Period (510 BC to 323 BC), the Byzantine Period (330 AD to 1453 AD), the Greek War of Independence (1821 to 1829), the Destruction of Smyrna (1922), the Nazi Occupation and Greek Civil War (1941 to 1949) and the Present. Following this research, Petrides sought out sculptural precedents for inspiration, ranging from works from these periods to more recent sculptors such as Michelangelo, Houdon and Rodin. Then he asked family members to pose for him, producing six larger-than-life busts for the Hellenic Heads exhibition, which are approximately three feet in height and stand taller than six feet on pedestals.
Bio for George Petrides
Named a “globally recognized sculptor” by Forbes (2022), George Petrides’ work can be seen around the world, ranging from public sculptures in Greece and Turkey marking the centennial of the destruction of Smyrna in 1922, to a bronze head in the renovated Tiffany’s flagship store at 727 Fifth Avenue in New York. Petrides, who lives and works primarily in New York City, creates sculptures that include figurative and abstract, in sizes ranging from palm-sized to over 12 feet on a base. Born and partially raised in Greece, he is steeped in ancient Greek and Roman sculpture and the later works that were influenced by it (Donatello, Michelangelo, Rodin, Maillol, et al.). Furthermore, modernist sculptors of the mid-20th century such as Giacometti, and contemporary sculptors who reference ancient Greek sculpture such as Ray and Bhabha, have played an important role in his work. His primary artistic interest is in the human experience in the form of the body and the head, exploring the beauty and the imperfection of people and of life.
Growing up in a family of artists and business people, Petrides’ first career was on Wall Street. He took his first art class at age 32 and continued taking art classes for some 20 years before committing to make art full-time. He studied drawing, painting and sculpture at the New York Studio School (whose famous students include Christopher Wool and Cecily Brown), at the Art Students League, and at the Academie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. In 2017 he dedicated himself to making art full-time. He has had solo shows in Brookline (Mass), Dubai, Monaco, Mykonos, Southampton (NY) and Washington, DC; and he has participated in multiple artist or group shows, including an exhibition with the important Greek American artist Nassos Daphnis in New York. For more information, visit petrides.art.
About the National Hellenic Museum
The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) has a mission to share Greek history, art, culture and the Greek American story. NHM preserves the Hellenic legacy and makes this rich heritage relevant today through its extensive collection of more than 10,000 physical artifacts, hundreds of oral histories, exhibitions, educational programs, and special events. Originally founded in 1983 and located in Chicago’s historic Greektown neighborhood since 2011, the museum provides lifelong learning for the community and sparks inquiry and discussion about the broader issues in our lives and society. Regular museum hours are Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Learn more at nationalhellenicmuseum.org.