press release

Lehmann Maupin is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by George Lappas. This will be the first exhibition in the United States by this Greek artist who has exhibited his work widely in Europe for over fifteen years. Lappas gained international exposure when he took part in the Aperto of the Venice and Sao Paulo Biennials of 1988. He then represented Greece in the Venice Biennale of 1990. He is currently working on a series of outdoor sculptures to be installed along the Champs-Elysée in Paris.

George Lappas creates work somewhere between sculpture and installation. The central work of this exhibition is a large scale work titled "Elbo". The body of this figure is an iron framework dressed in sheets of dura-trans film and illuminated from within by fluorescent tubes. The use of light and dura-trans film sheets (used in illuminated outdoor signage) are two main elements in this new series of Lappas' work.

These sculptures play with scale and volume to create a very perceptible, energized luminous field. The relation between the viewer, the work and the immediate environment is key. In a discussion published in the exhibition catalogue, the artist describes the poetic foundation for the atmosphere of his sculptural installations:

The creatures whose movements I like to watch and fathom are stray dogs, people and demons. I always attach tremendous importance to the movements of stray dogs in cities or neighborhoods, because I have realized that they can tell you more about the city people's relation to art than anything else can. Happy stray dogs are always the best indicators. So I consider the figures I create as stray dogs in a land of demons.

George Lappas was born in 1950 in Cairo. He studied at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He then attended the AA School of Architecture in London, the School of Fine Art, Athens and the Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. He now lives and works in Athens.

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George Lappas