NHM presents “Beyond Antiquity in the Work of John ‘Yanni’ Fotiadis”

By Dr. Katherine Kelaidis, Director of Research and Content at the National Hellenic Museum


Beyond Antiquity in the Work of John “Yanni” Fotiadis opened at the National Hellenic Museum on May 12. The collection of more than forty works explores the theme of antiquity in the work of Greek American architect and artist John “Yanni” Fotiadis. The show, which contains more than forty works, is a mediation on the role of antiquity, not only in the life and understanding of the artist but also in our broader consciousness and contains both traditional neoclassical drawings sketched with pencils in notebooks and metaphysical, almost surrealistic, digital images created on a computer screen.

It was my pleasure to curate this exhibition. As a Classicist by training, the process of curating this exhibition, not to mention working with this incredibly talented artist, got me thinking about Greek antiquity and its afterlife in a way that I have not in a long time. Namely, it made me look once again at the extraordinary afterlife of what was, but a moment in time in a very small part of the world. Classical Athens only lasted two centuries (if one is being very generous), a small city and its client states, hugging the Eastern Mediterranean. Yet so much of what has come after is a reflection on or reaction to this brief, fleeting world.  And even then, it is a small, though visually dominate part, of the Hellenic legacy. Our collective relationship with classical Greece, forces us to ask fundamental questions about history and its meaning. It asks us if it is ever possible to move beyond antiquity.

If you want to see Beyond Antiquity in the Work of John “Yanni” Fotiadis and the rest of the thought-provoking exhibitions at the National Hellenic Museum, you can visit us at are historic Greektown location, Thursday- Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM. Or arrange for a tour for your group by emailing, info@hellenicmuseum.org.

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