Centuries after their creation, ancient art continues to inspire generations of artists. Architect and designer Santiago Calatrava presents his interpretation of Ancient Greek statues in an ongoing exhibition at the Glyptothek Museum in Munich. Titled Beyond Hellas: Santiago Calatrava at the Glyptothek, this series of contemporary sculptures and paintings are juxtaposed with the Neoclassical architecture of the museum and real-life examples of ancient art.
Unlike their older counterparts, Calatrava's sculptures are not made of marble or any other kind of white-colored material. Each of these striking sculptures is crafted from wrought iron. As a result, there is no confusing Calatrava's vision with those of thousands of years ago. Their metallic material sets them apart as well as their minimalist, modern style. “In my work, I tried to take in the perfume of antiquity and use it as my inspiration,” Calatrava explains. “I apply the rules often observed in classical art, as well as in nature itself—always keeping the natural balance and movements of objects in mind. I look to classical works to not only learn from their sources but to reinterpret them.”
This exhibition has been a long time in the making, dating back to the artist's first visit to the museum 30 years ago. “I have great respect for the amazing classical works exhibited at the Glyptothek Museum,” he says. “I never intended to exhibit my work there but, after a conversation with the museum, the idea of showcasing my works there came up and we subsequently decided to make an exhibition out of my sculptures.” Placing Calatrava's art side-by-side with the original inspiration allows viewers to see how he reinterpreted these iconic silhouettes, aesthetics, and poses. He managed to find the essence of each piece and produce a new sculpture from that idea.
Beyond Hellas: Santiago Calatrava in the Glyptothek is on display at the Glyptothek Museum in Munich, Germany, until October 23, 2022.