Christoforos Savva

Christoforos SAVVA  Cypriot, 1924-1968

Christoforos Savva was born in Marathovouno, Cyprus, in 1924, and died in Sheffield, England, in 1968. He is regarded as one of the most influential Cypriot artists of the 20th century.

He relocated to London in 1947 and began his studies at St. Martin’s School of Art (1947) and then continued at Heatherley’s School of Art (1948-1954). In 1954, he returned to Cyprus but left again in 1956 to Paris so that he could continue his studies at the André Lhote Academy until 1957.

Christoforos Savva and Glyn Hughes co-founded Apophasis Gallery in May 1960 to bring contemporary art to Cyprus. Savva’s home on Sophocleous Street housed the gallery, and exhibitions were held in the courtyard outside.

The gallery relocated to Apollo Street in September 1960, where Hughes and Savva displayed their own work as well as that of other artists. They organized performances, readings of poetry, film screenings, and discussions with guests like the renowned Russian director Sergei Bonderchuck.

While working with Hughes at Apophasis, Savva created art influenced by the European avant-garde, including paintings, sculptures, cement reliefs, and fabric collages. Cyprus’s 1960 declaration of independence was a great time for creativity.

Savva has shown his work in many solo exhibitions such as in 1954 at the British Council Hall, Nicosia, in 1955, 1957, 1959 and 1960 at Ledra Palace Hotel, Nicosia, in 1956 at Art-Lovers Society, Nicosia, in 1958 at the Municipal Hall of Limassol, in 1961, 1962 and 1963 at the Apophasis Gallery, in 1962 in Beirut and the Municipal Hall of Paphos, in 1965 at the Municipal Hall of Nicosia, in 1967 at the Hilton Hotel, Nicosia and in 1968 at the Goethe Institute, Nicosia.

Savva also participated in several group shows, including those held in 1958 at the Mariac Gallery and Jordan Gallery in Paris, 1960 in Beirut, 1967 at the Panhellenic Exhibition, 1968 at the Venice Biennale, and 1962 at the Commonwealth Institute in London’s “Art in the Commonwealth Today.”

Posthumously his work was exhibited in 1970 at the Commonwealth Institute in London in “Contemporary Cyprus Art,” in 1979 at “Demetria” in Thessaloniki, and in “Contemporary Cypriot Painting” at the Athens National Gallery. He represented Cyprus in 2019 at the Venezia Biennale.

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Christoforos Savva

Agadir | oil on hardboard | 49 cm x 39 cm