With support from the Onassis Foundation USA, celebrated artist Kostis Velonis’s large-scale sculptural work Life Without Tragedy is on display for thousands of visitors on Governors Island.
Developed with architect Christian Kotzamanis, Life Without Tragedy explores the intersection of democracy and theater — two of Greece’s greatest contributions to civilization.
The exhibition will remain open through October 31.
Velonis’ work consists of three wood sculptures that mimic an ancient Greek amphitheater, a place that was a social institution and a site for political discourse as well as a venue for art.
Onassis USA Artistic and Executive Director Vallejo Gantner said the organization is pleased that Velonis’ piece has found its place in an exhibition.
“This work evokes so many values we hold dear — dialogue, debate, participation, and the arts,” Gantner said. “We’re immensely grateful that Life Without Tragedy has found a home on Governors Island, and proud to be partnering with this vital new piece of NYC’s cultural ecosystem.”
Governors Island lies at the heart of New York City’s cultural landscape, providing a platform for artists, cultural organizations and educators to offer various programs.
Public art commissioned by both outside organizations and the Trust for Governors Island has connected hundreds of thousands of visitors with groundbreaking contemporary artworks in an accessible, natural environment.
“We are thrilled to host Kostis Velonis’s work on the Island at Picnic Point, a site deeply connected to NY Harbor’s iconic symbols of democracy and political discourse,” said Meredith Johnson, VP of Arts and Culture at the Trust for Governors Island. “Through Onassis USA’s generosity, hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Island will have the opportunity to engage with this work…”
Life Without Tragedy will be on view every day through October 31. For Governors Island schedules and more information, click here.
About Kostis Velonis
Born in 1968, Velonis is an artist known for exploring the dystopia of unrealized modernist and avant-garde projects. His sculptures, paintings, and large-scale installations are best characterized as craft-based compositions that construct allegories from the complex relations of history, class, identity and the conflicts of the human soul. Velonis holds an MRes in Humanities and Cultural Studies from London Consortium (Birkbeck College, ICA, AA, Tate). He studied Arts Plastiques/Esthétiques at Université Paris 8 (D.E.A) and earned his doctorate from the Department of Architecture, N.T.U.A University of Athens.
About Onassis USA
Founded in 2000, Onassis USA was the first international affiliate of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. The organization dedicates itself to culture, community and education and offers experiences such as theater productions, art exhibits, conversations, and lectures, among others.
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