Aglae Liberaki

Aglae Liberaki

1923 - 1985


Aglae Liberaki was born in Athens in 1923. She grew up with her grandfather, the important Greek publisher Fexis, but it was her father who introduced her into small-sized constructions, her first ones being eagles, flutes and gyroscopes. In 1943, she was accepted at the Athens School of Fine Arts, where she studied sculpture under Michael Tombros. In 1947, after a short trip to Paris, she married painter Yannis Moralis. The following year, she gave birth to their son Konstantinos, a fact that influenced her in creating a series of plaster works on motherhood, while also working on wood engravings. In 1949, she held her first exhibition at the Zappeion Megaron exhibition hall in Athens with the group Armos, where, having the human form as a starting point, she presented life sized full body compositions with abstract volumes. A year later, she started making pebble and wire jewelry and she met sculptor Henry Moore at her studio, who encouraged her sculptural activity. In 1952, she started creating large and colored plasters and, since 1955, she divided her life and work between Hydra and France. At that time, she utilized brass and, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, she composed her first welded sculptures that mainly depict birds such as owls, billy goats and other imaginary forms characterized by intense shapes, bulges and abstractions. Since 1963, Hydra’s landscape became increasingly apparent in her sculptures, as she formed angular, aggressive and dense figures with antennas, streaks and claws sometimes representing caves and others referring to morphological elements of the island. Since 1964, she gradually started to abandon brass processing and focused on immediate stone and marble carving with traditional tools, radically changing the quality of her surfaces and producing smooth, curved forms. The exterior parts of her sculptures, either as sharp, exuberant shapes, or as comfortable and soft volumes alternated with flexibility around the center. In 1972, she added the element of cracks to her creations and, after 1978, the structure of the node, enriching her work with the subject of space. In 1976, she participated at the Venice Biennale and, in the same year, she received the title of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of France. The main characteristics and plastic directions that are evident in her practice and established her are emphasis on inwardness, abstraction, the utilization of light and movement. She exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions in France, Italy, the United States, Greece, Canada, Denmark, Belgium and Portugal, at venues and institutions such as the Iris Clert (1957), the Tartaruga (1957), the Galerie de Verneuil (1962), the Galerie de France (1970), the Musée Fabre (1974), the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1962), the Musée Bourdelle (1971), the Grand Palais (1979) et al. She participated in international competitions, including the Biennale of Carrara (1967), the Ravenna Biennale (1972), the International Biennale of Small Bronze Sculptures in Padua (1981), Europalia in Belgium (1982), the Sculpture Biennale in Jouy sur Eure (1984). Her works can also be found in public places such as the Hilton Hotel in Athens (1962), the Astier Technical School in Aubenas, France (1979) and the Jules Verne Technical High School in the Mondeville community of Normandy (1980). Her last major exhibition was organized by the National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum of Athens in 1986.