Christina Lambrou

Research Group: Visual & Material Culture Research Centre
Award studied: PhD

Project title

Negotiating Modernisms: the case of Adamantios Diamantis

Abstract

An exploration into the construction of the figure of Adamantios Diamantis (1900 – 1994) as the "father of modern art in Cyprus" this research project aims to provide a reading that will bridge the aesthetic and the socio-political, in order to support new perspectives into the possibilities of modernisms as they appear outside of the western canon.

Diamantis' work is taken as a case study in exploring the complex relations between modernity, art and modernism within a postcolonial framework. At the same time the project aims to re-negotiate his work within modernist practices, investigating the personal trajectory of Diamantis as it intersects with the aesthetic, social and political framework of his time. A central aim is to relate Diamantis' cultural practice to the developments and questions that arise alongside modernity: colonialism and nationalism, the idea of modern life, the search for authenticity, modernism, anti-colonialism and cultural resistance.

The project investigates the visual and cultural production of A. Diamantis from the early '30s to the mid-1970s – a period characterised by the peak of modernisation and urbanisation in Cyprus, and as a result, witnesses the formation of intense binaries. These 'modern' tensions mark the life and work of the Cypriot painter who is seen here as a transitional figure, negotiating the ambivalences of a modernity in which he participates both as actor and observer.

Supervisors

Paper

Birkbeck University of London | University of Nicosia, 2016
'Ambivalence and appropriation in the work of Adamantios Diamantis', for the conference 'Troubled Contemporary Art Practices in the Middle East: Post-colonial conflicts, pedagogies of art history and precarious artistic mobilization'