Glass Artist Yorgos Papadopoulos Breaks through the Surface

Glass artist Yorgos Papadopoulos is known for his innovative approach to his medium.

Hero image

Glass artist Yorgos Papadopoulos is known for his innovative approach to his medium. Rather than approaching his fragile material with caution, he confronts it with violence: he often smashes, drops, shoots, and electrifies it, creating surfaces marked by breakage. ‘Glass is my canvas, hammers are my brushes,’ he says. His 2004 book ‘Lamination’ explains how he deforms, colours, and textures sheets of industrial glass and then re-laminates them, creating works that are surprisingly durable. In ‘Breaking the Surface’, his exhibition opening at Anassa on 16 August, Papadopoulos showcases new works that exhibit literally broken surfaces along with works that signify his re-surfacing on the Cypriot art scene. After two decades working from his home in North London, Papadopoulos has returned to his native country and set up a larger studio where he can explore new materials and scales and rethink Cypriot iconography. Three kinds of work feature in the show. His ‘New Icons’ series addresses the Orthodox icon through his innovative technique, using breakage (and its randomness and uncontrollability) to tell the story of modernity’s confrontation with tradition. In the ‘Stratified Jewels’ series, Papadopoulos reimagines the figures of ‘matopetra’—circular blue and white amulets thought to ward off the power of the evil eye—and conceives them as conveyors of good; these works are realised in unbroken, fluid forms yet break through the surface of their symbolism. Remaining works in the exhibition explore the theme of ‘Nostos’—homecoming by sea—in connection to the artist’s repatriation. The show continues through 22 September.