The painter, writer, translator and doctor Kyrillos Sarris has passed away. He was a deep connoisseur of art history in general, and not only of modernism. He was systematically and artistically involved with Joyce’s work and devoted himself from an early age to the creation of artist books. He was a close friend and collaborator of Agra Publications for more than forty years.

He collaborated for decades with the painter George Hadjimichalis, with whom they co-signed works, organized exhibitions and lectures.

In February 2024, he managed to realize a lifelong dream that seemed like an absolute fantasy: in the midst of heavy treatments, he organized and curated an exhibition of original works by Marcel Duchamp at the gallery of Eleftheria Chelios, with the encouragement of artist friends and private collectors around the world. For the occasion, he published in a booklet a dense introduction to Duchamp’s work: Kyrillos Sarris, Marcel Duchamp [ 28.7.1887 – 2.10.1968 ] (Agra Publications, February 2024). This booklet closed a publishing cycle that began in 1989 with the publication Marcel Duchamp – The Engineer of Lost Time – Conversations with Pierre Cabanne, which he edited and in which he composed a more than 80-page afterword with texts by Apollinaire, N. Calas, Richard Hamilton, R. Rauschenberg, M. Duchamp, John Cage and others. (trans. by Lillian Stead-Daskalopoulou, Agra Publications, 1989).

He also introduced the Greek edition with texts by N. Calas of the American period of Art in the Age of Stakes (essays on the avant-garde of the 1950s and 1960s, trans. Andreas Pappas, Agra Publications, 1997).

He compiled an excellent afterword to Oliver Banks’ crime book The Caravaggio Obsession, with a text by a detective detective-art historian, a text by John Berger on Caravaggio and the Vatican’s police file on the painter (trans. Andreas Apostolidis, Agra Publications, 1990 and 2023).

Kyrillos Sarris was born in Nicosia, Cyprus in 1950. At a young age (1963-1969) he studied with the Cypriot painters Lefteris Economou and Telemachos Kanthos. He then studied medicine at the University of Athens (1970-1976) and has since worked as a medical oncologist in Athens.

His presence in the field of visual arts began with his first solo exhibition, entitled Notes (1986, Nees Morfes). During the same period he began to participate in exhibitions of Visual Poetry. His works are usually presented in the form of installations, containing visual and written notes, constructions and videos. The thematic content, the formal treatment and the way each section is presented allude to the process of creating a book-artwork, which is offered to the reader-viewer as a visual and intellectual stimulus.

The artist was concerned with the communicative dysfunction of art in today’s cultural environment. The critical approach to this problem from the theoretical side is combined with the practical artistic proposal. The contradictory elements inherent in such a project are poetically incorporated into the work itself, becoming part of its aesthetic dimension and enhancing its expressive effectiveness.

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