Artist George Kokines (1930–2012) was a first-generation Greek American born in Chicago. Following his studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he earned his BFA in 1960, Kokines’ works adhered to an Abstract Expressionist aesthetic, painting exuberant and employing free-form organic and geometrical forms, abstract figures, and intense spaces of color. He inserted humor, references to Greek mythology, and his own experiences of history into his body of work spanning decades in New York and Chicago. In September 2018, the Nation Hellenic Museum opened the world’s largest exhibition of Kokines’ work in George Kokines: Layers Revealed.
As part of Chicago Cultural Alliance’s ‘Culture at the Intersection’ series, the National Hellenic Museum (NHM) hosts a conversation with Anna Miller (Kokines’ daughter), Dr. Katherine Kelaidis (NHM Resident Scholar), and Jacqueline WayneGuite (NHM Exhibitions Manager) discussing Kokines’ life, artistic expression, and personal journey. They will talk about how the artist wrestled with his immigrant background and how he came to explore his Hellenic roots through his travels and artwork. Following the conversation, join the panelists for a tour of the retrospective George Kokines: Layers Revealed.
In the spirit of the citywide initiative, Chicago Cultural Alliance presents a program series that examines the art and design contributions of immigrant communities in five gateway neighborhoods: Albany Park, Bronzeville, Chinatown, Humboldt Park, and Greektown. Rooted in cultural heritage and local neighborhoods, each event offers art and design perspectives that highlight often-overlooked and ever-changing creative culture in the neighborhoods.
George Kokines: Layers Revealed is presented as part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring Chicago’s art and design legacy, with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
Art Design Chicago is a spirited celebration of the unique and vital role Chicago plays as America’s crossroads of creativity and commerce. Led by the Terra Foundation for American Art, this citywide partnership of cultural organizations explores Chicago’s art and design legacy with more than 25 exhibitions and hundreds of events throughout 2018. Learn more about www.artdesignchicago.org.