Greek/American

Photographs by Constantine Manos

May 30-June 30, 2007

Constantine Manos, Watching the Dance, Olympos, Karpathos, 1961-63

The Onassis Cultural Center New York continued its contemporary art series in the Olympic Tower Atrium with an exhibition of work by photographer Constantine Manos. The photographs are taken from two major projects in Manos' career, an early black and white essay A Greek Portfolio made in Greece in the early 1960's and a color essay, American Color, which commenced in the early 1980's and continues today.

A Greek-American born and raised in South Carolina, Manos traveled to Greece for the first time in 1961 as a young photographer eager to explore the culture he knew only through his parents′ stories about life in the village (chorio). The resulting photographs were first published in 1972 in A Greek Portfolio. The images depict slices of the day-to-day life in isolated villages scattered over the Greek countryside.

Constantine Manos won awards for the book at Arles and the Leipzig Book Fair. A new edition of A Greek Portfolio was published in 1999, accompanied by a major exhibition of the work at the Benaki Museum in Athens. Photographs from Manos′ American Color project were first published in book form in 1995. He is currently working on a new edition of the book, American Color 2, which will include a large number of new and unpublished images - many of which are included in the current exhibition. Constantine Manos was born in Columbia, South Carolina and received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina.

His photographic career began in his school camera club at the age of thirteen, and at age nineteen he was hired as the official photographer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Manos′ work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and many others. In 2003 he won the Leica Medal of Excellence from a world-wide entry list of 250 photographers. Manos is a member of Magnum Photos, which is currently celebrating 60 years as an independent photographic cooperative. Timed to correspond with this seminal anniversary, the Magnum 60th Festival is presenting various exhibitions and events which will celebrate the photographs and history of the agency.