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Reconsidering the Generation of the 1930s: The Roots and Breadth of Greek Modernism Conference

November 18 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Royce Hall, 314, UCLA + Google Map

Reconsidering the Generation of the 1930s: The Roots and Breadth of Greek Modernism Conference

Saturday, November 18, 2023
314 Royce Hall, UCLA
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Conference organized by Sharon Gerstel (UCLA) and Sofia Pitouli (UCLA)


Areti Adamopoulou, Professor of Art History, University of Ioannina
Abstract title: The “Generation of the 1930s” in Art: Cold War Cultural Politics and Modern Painting in Greece

George Baker, Professor of Art History, UCLA
Abstract title: Yannis Tsarouchis and Anachronic Modernism: Lateness, Counter-Memory, and the Redefinition of the Human

Nikos Daskalothanassis, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History, Athens School of Fine Arts
Abstract title: Theophilos and the Generation of the ’30s (again)

Polina Kosmadaki, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Benaki Museum
Abstract title: Concepts of Artistic “Greekness” in the Post-Junta Period: The Case of the Exhibition of Tsarouchis, Ghika, Kontoglou, Theofilos in the Greek Month in London, 1975

Sofia Pitouli, Ph.D. Candidate in Byzantine Art, UCLA
Abstract title: Toward Greekness: Dimitris Pikionis’ Architectural Fantasies of Japan

Poppy Sfakianaki, Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FORTH
Abstract title: Greek Modern Art in Interwar Paris: Networks Rather Than a Generation

Conference Description:
The conference will challenge the attribution of the term “Generation of the 1930s” (Γενιά του ’30) to artists and writers active during the 1930s and the following decades. The term initially addressed a group of writers and poets bounded by similar experiences and socio-historical backgrounds. However, between 1948-50, artists were also clustered under the term, which
literati employed regularly––and still do––in scholarship. These artists were credited with the creation of modernism in Greece, which was inspired by Western European movements but was also deeply rooted in history, particularly in Orthodox Byzantium. The conference explores the various poles of artistic inventiveness during the 1930s but also negotiates the work of these artists and writers throughout the twentieth century, prompting us to conceive their work diachronically rather than in the confines of a single decade. Given the socio-political circumstances of the nineteenth century in Greece (the traumatic changes resulting from the Greco-Turkish war, the ensuing population exchange, the collapse of the Megali Idea, the dramatic upheavals of interwar Greece, the Metaxas dictatorship, and the Junta regime), the conference examines transnational and cosmopolitan orientations within Greek modernism and the ways in which these intertwined with narratives of nationality and folklore.

Conference schedule to be available soon.

Attendance is free and open to the public. Lunch is not included.
Click here to register

This program is made possible thanks to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and is held under the auspices of the Consulate General of Greece in Los Angeles.

Gefyra (Bridge) is a collaborative program established by the UCLA SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture and the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Gefyra’s mission is to connect students, faculty, and communities along the West Coast of North America with Greek scholars, artists, and other creators, so that they can together explore expansive and imaginative approaches to Greek culture and knowledge production. The program additionally supports academic conferences and cultural projects that bridge the West Coast and Greece.

Thank you to our co-sponsors!

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Parking information to be provided soon.

For inquiries, please contact hellenic@humnet.ucla.edu or 310-825-5323.


November 18
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Gefyra, a partnership between UCLA SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture & SFU Centre for Hellenic Studies


Royce Hall, 314
UCLA + Google Map