The British sculptor Henry Moore had exhibited his works in 1951 at the Zappeion.
When more than 70 years ago it became possible to exhibit the works of the famous British sculptor Henry Moore at Zappeio, the public’s conservatism and composure were tested – as they are today in many cases. For many, the conservatives of good Athenian society, Henry Moore’s sculptures were at best incomprehensible misspellings, for the far fewer and informed about post-war art trends the exhibition was hopeless. Henry Moore’s defender against the “provincial” introversion of the Athenians was the technical critic of “Kathimerini” Angelos Prokopiou with his unique professions and articles.
This old story, but always current and indicative of the path that Greek society has traveled, came to life in a chapter of the classic autobiographical book of Nikos Dimos “From Michael Voda to Syros” (published by Nefeli). He had also gone (a teenager at the time) with his friends to Zappeion to see the exhibition. “We laughed a lot. We totally agreed that the guy was working for us. Besides, this explanation was also current for Picasso’s crooked faces.” Nikos Dimou writes about the ironic comments of the newspapers. “‘Woman and Child’ is the name of this crude volume,” they wrote, “and the like.” However, on Sunday “lightning”. He reads in “Kathimerini” the full-page pamphlet of Angelos Prokopios – a hymn to Henry Moore. “I was in a very difficult position. I admired Procopius and religiously read his technical reviews and pamphlets. Well, Moore was kidding us, but so was Procopius? (…) I was shocked. I went back to the exhibition alone, carrying the leaflet with me and trying to see each work through Procopius’ eyes. I felt like a big gate opened.”
Angelos Prokopiou had prefaced Moore’s catalog and had listened to it from the train. He was forced to write the excellent “The Apology of an Accomplice.” Published in Kathimerini, March 13, 1951. A summary of the deepest problem that exists to this day in Greece.