John Christoforou

John Christoforou

Greek / British
1921 - 2014


John Christoforou was born in London in 1921 to parents of Greek and Asia Minor descent. He lost his mother from a very young age, as well as his father shortly after his return to Athens in 1930. In 1935, he began studying at the Athens School of Fine Arts with the financial support of a neighbor. He returned to London in 1938. With the outbreak of World War II, he served in the British Royal Air Force as a member of a rescue team in the Indian Ocean. After the end of the war and of his service, he re-focused on art and became acquainted with modern tendencies. In 1949, he held his first solo exhibition at the Twenty Brook Street Gallery in London. Since 1951, he started living in Paris for long periods of time, and finally settled there in 1956. He continued exhibiting regularly in England, in group exhibitions such as at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (1956) and the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1958). In 1960, he began collaborating with the gallery Rive Gauche in Paris, which represented him until its closure in 1976. At the same time, he collaborated with galleries and presented his work in Sweden, Belgium and Denmark, where he held his first retrospective exhibition at the Randers Kunstmuseum in 1974. In 1985, he held a major exhibition at the Centre National Des Arts Plastiques in Paris. In 1993, La Difference publications published a large monograph of his work and, in 1994, Christoforou held his first exhibition in Athens, at the Athens Art Gallery. In 2002, the Ministry of Culture of Greece organized a retrospective exhibition of his work at the exhibition hall of the Athens School of Fine Arts. His last exhibition was held at the Chateau de Vascoeuil in Normandy in 2012. His works can be found in the collections of the National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum and the Frissiras Museum in Athens, MUMOK in Vienna and other museums and private collections. In the framework of the artistic trends emerging in the 1960s in France, Christoforou is often considered as one of the pioneers of the Nouvelle Figuration movement. He died in Paris in 2014.