In Memoriam: Efi Strousa

In Memoriam

Efi Strousa died in January 2019

Efi Strousa, critic and curator, was for many years a very active board member of AICA, as President of AICA Greece, Vice-President of AICA International and more recently as Treasurer, a role she took when her predecessor, Haydee Venegas sadly died before the end of her term. Efi brought to AICA a rich cultural background, coming from a country that was the cradle of Western civilisation. She studied art history at the Courtauld Institute, London,  was  a brilliant linguist and spoke several languages, including English and French in which she was fluent. With the collector Dakis Joannou and Adelina von Fürstenberg, she was a co-founder of the Deste Foundation, Athens. She curated many exhibitions in Greece and abroad, at the Venice and Sao Paulo Biennales. She lives in our memory as a warm and generous colleague and friend. She leaves us a legacy in her many publications as a critic, especially on Greek modern and contemporary art.

Lisbeth Rebollo Gonçalves, President of AICA International

Eli Strousa is gone. The news about her death has arrived via a post by an AICA colleague this morning. For several years she was a member of my "AICA family". Without her AICA would not be as vibrant as it is today. I will remember her foremost as a brilliant and wonderfully complex person, fearless in fights for causes she cared about - and she cared about many things. She spoke many languages not only fluently, but with elegance and sophistication, which for me was a sign of her great humanism and curiosity. 
This picture was taken at my summer house in Aegina in 2013. Efi was among first people to visit it. She liked this photograph a lot. That was and always will be a great summer in our lives.

Marek Bartelik, Honorary President, AICA International

The Board of Directors of the Association of Greek Art Critics AICA Hellas is deeply saddened by the loss of Efi Strousa, one of the most important and internationally recognised members of the Association. With her texts and curatorial work, Efi Strousa left her pioneering and creative mark on Greek artistic history, from the heroic years of the 1970s until today. She collaborated closely with the artists on bold and innovative exhibitions, wrote texts that exhaustively analysed important artistic research projects in Greece and in Europe and got the recognition of the International Association of Art Critics, of which she was a Board member (International Section). As President of AICA Hellas for long periods and with unprecedented passion, she took initiatives that made our Association significant in forging the historical spirit of contemporary Greek art. With regards her personal activity, she was the creator of the artistic current that was formed in 1977 and since then dominated the Greek art scene first with the exhibition Myth and Reality in Bari, Italy, and then, with the Avant-Garde and Experimentation (Points of Enquiry, Points of Reference) in 1978, in Modena and Venice.
These exhibitions featured artists that today constitute the main expression of artistic research in the field of theory, methodology and technical functioning of artworks in the city's landscape. Her participation in the Europalia Arts Festival 1982 with the exhibition Emerging Images in Antwerp, was a catalyst for the emergence of a postmodernist stream of Greek artists who have since excelled in the European and later the international artistic arena. Additionally, she was one of the first collaborators of Dakis Ioannou at the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, for which she curated the exhibition 7 Greek Artists: A New Journey. The exhibition was transferred to the Famagusta Gate in 1983 and contributed positively and creatively to the reconfiguration of the Cypriot physiognomy in the area of contemporary art after the moral disappointment and the human and material disasters caused by the Turkish invasion. Omitting the important exhibitions that followed, we shall focus on her crucial work, AICA Hellas’s contribution with the show Athina by Art, an event that was literally her work, with the emergence of more than 80 artists presented by 15 art critics, members of AICA Hellas, on the streets and public spaces in Athens.There is a great number of other initiatives she took, among which the establishment of the AICA Hellas Award. We will remember and always honour her bold spirit, her love for artists and her active social engagement, co-operation and respect for her colleagues. Her texts are now part of the Greek artistic history.

Emmanuel Mavrommatis, President of AICA HELLAS