Transcending Boundaries: The Art of Anthony Quinn
Ended May 2016
The National Hellenic Museum pays tribute to the legendary actor and artist Anthony Quinn, who brought to life one of the greatest and most life-affirming literary characters of our time – the irrepressible Zorba the Greek. The depth and breadth of Anthony Quinn’s creative genius is showcased in an exhibition of more than 80 of his emotive paintings and powerful sculptures.
Anthony Quinn’s uncanny ability to transcend ethnic and cultural boundaries cleared the path to more than 200 film roles spanning a broad spectrum of ethnicities. Each was performed in such perfect pitch that several cultures claim him as the embodiment of their cultural essence.
Of Mexican and Irish heritage, and not fully accepted by either; he was an immigrant in the world of Hollywood, whose values he never embraced. Anthony Quinn built himself a parallel universe, finding solace and refuge in the rules of the creative process. “Art is my ethnicity,” he would often say.
Just as in acting, so in his art, Anthony Quinn defied category. As a painter, sculptor, and jewelry designer, he saw art and creativity as part of everyday living, and went about his craft the way most of us go about breathing. The world was his inspiration, in which Anthony Quinn saw beauty that normally eludes most of us. Self-taught and led by the eye of his soul, Anthony Quinn never came upon a rock or an oddly shaped and snarled piece of wood or even a precious stone that he could not tame into beauty with his wide array of tools and his patient and eager hands.
This exhibition presents the works of an artist and a man, whose life challenges and his determination to overcome them impress and inspire. Visitors will see reflections of Anthony Quinn’s life experiences, traces of his proud Mexican heritage, his love of cultures throughout the world, and the impact of his long friendship with the Greek people.