WHAT IS WRITING THE LIGHT?
A way to uphold and express a Byzantine approach…
Athens-based iconographer Dr. George Kordis is considered one of the most influential international contributors to the contemporary revival of the Byzantine icon. As a master artist, he continues to shape the lasting significance of the icon well beyond the borders of the Eastern Orthodox church and is interested in challenging our expectations with the icon — bringing life and on-going continuum to the Byzantine icon tradition within a modern framework.
Creating a unique kind of visual liturgical poetry with his icons, Dr. Kordis artistically renders anew the sacred biblical themes and personages through a sensitive balance of rhythm and light, conveying a radiant and harmonious presence gifted through time and space.
The opportunity to learn, study and continue to evolve the important dialogue on the connections between the time-honored Byzantine art tradition and the beauty of the contemporary iconographic image alive in the modern context is possible through Kordis’s skillful mentorship, and is what Writing the Light aims to accomplish through its educational outreach.
Dr. Kordis is deeply dedicated to his calling of equipping the next generation of artists and iconographers alongside his on-going artistic practice of extensive international iconographic work for churches, galleries and museums.
A few simple words about the Icon…
The Orthodox icon is regarded as a lasting testament to the Christian faith, understood to both convey spiritual reality in visual form and serve as a tangible threshold into the vast mystery of the sacred. Ultimately aiming to unite the beholder to interior transformation through the contemplative aspirations of repentance and prayer, the icon delivers a pictorial meeting face to face with the saints, angels, ascetics, holy people, and sacred themes — specific revelations presented through rhythm, line, shape and color. They are meant to be a celebration of the holy Incarnation, and of Divine Light itself.
Having endured for more than ten centuries, the distinctive legacy of Byzantium has influenced vast contributions of religious pictorial work throughout the world with its unparalleled artistry, bringing a high standard of beauty to religious painting. It is through this lens of the traditional Byzantine icon that George Kordis brings a vibrant and renewed perspective. He has masterfully combined the ancient Byzantine standards with his own distinct personal vision as a prolific contemporary artist.
GEORGE KORDIS BIO
Born in Greece in 1956, George Kordis studied theology at the University of Athens. He then pursued his studies in theology and the aesthetics of Byzantine painting at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, gaining an MA in Theology. In 1991 he was awarded his Doctorate in Theology at the University of Athens. In 2003 he was appointed to the post of Lecturer at the same university where he served as assistant professor in Iconography (Theory and Practice).
In addition to his academic work, Dr. Kordis periodically lectures as visiting professor and teaches icon painting courses at his new Ekonourigia Institute in Athens as well as in the US (Yale University & University of South Carolina), Romania (School of Theology of Bucharest), Ukraine (Pedagogical University of Odessa), among others.
Dr. Kordis is a prolific author. “Icon as Communion: The Ideals and Compositional Principles of Icon Painting,” has been translated into English by Holy Cross Orthodox Press, with other titles awaiting translation.
Dr. Kordis has painted many churches and cathedrals world-wide. His most recent commissions in the US include: Holy Trinity Church, Columbia, SC; St Sophia, Valley Forge, PA; Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Carmel, IN; Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Pittsburg, PA; St. George, Antiochian Orthodox Church, Fishers, IN; and St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church, Braintree, MA.
Exhibiting his works internationally on a regular basis, Dr. Kordis will have a large retrospective of both his sacred works at both the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine Museum in Athens in 2020.
You can see more of his work on his personal gallery website: http://kordis.gallery/