Christoforos Savva

Christoforos Savva (1924-1968, Marathovounos) lived and worked in Nicosia. After serving in the Cypriot Regiment of the British Army during World War II, he moved to London for studies at St. Martin’s School of Art and the Central School of Art, before enrolling at Heatherley’s School of Art where he studied until 1953. During the next two years, he spent time in Cyprus where he presented his first solo exhibitions and became involved in the local artistic milieu, while being one of the founders of the Pancyprian Union of Art Votaries. In 1956, he returned to London and later moved to Paris for further studies at the Académie Montparnasse, under André Lhote. The end of the decade found Savva settling in Nicosia, where he quickly established himself as one of the leading artists in a vibrant art scene, both through his own art practice and through the activities of “Apophasis” [Decision] Gallery, Nicosia. “Apophasis” which he founded in 1960 in collaboration with Welsh artist Glyn Hughes, was the first independent cultural centre of the newly founded Republic of Cyprus. As a space where creative synergy and exchange could take place, the gallery was soon to become the epicentre of intellectual and cultural activity on the island, hosting numerous exhibitions, lectures, plays and film screenings. In 1968, Savva was one of the artists selected to represent Cyprus in its inaugural Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, but only a few weeks after the opening, he died suddenly in Sheffield, UK. On the occasion of a double fifty-year anniversary associated with the participation of Christoforos Savva in the first official show of the Republic of Cyprus at the Venice Biennale in 1968, as well as the subsequent death of the artist in the same year, his work will represent Cyprus at the 58th Venice Biennale of Art.

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