Since its unveiling in 1946, and its highly visible 1993 Venice Biennale debut, “Umbrellas” has become George Zongolopoulos’ most iconic and photographed work. As a result, the installation has become a reference point for Greek contemporary art; synonymous with the city of Thessaloniki.
The work was first presented in Egypt as part of a survey during the 1946 Cairo Biennale. However, it wasn’t until the 1993 Venice Biennale, that the work gained international recognition, when he presented a remarkable hydrokinetic version of the sculpture. The same year Zongolopoulos won first-place at a sculpture competition held at the European Union’s Council of Ministers Building in Brussels. This led to the permanent installation of his work at the building's Cour d'honneur.
Almost 72 years later, the iconic steel umbrellas with ethereal domes continue to bridge the gap between Greek culture and the rest of the world. Emaar Properties has commissioned the George Zongolopoulos Foundation to realize a new version of the work.
Now returning to Egypt, the work finds a new home at the restored historic Alamein resort, originally built in 1960 at Sidi Abdel Rahman Bay. Emaar Hospitality Group has redesigned and restored the property, while maintaining its cultural context and heritage. The all-new Al Alamein Hotel, managed by Vida Hotel and Resorts, is located centrally in Marassi, the master-planned lifestyle and tourism destination by Emaar Misr.
About the artist:
George Zongolopoulos (Athens, 1903-2004) was one of the most important Greek artists and representatives of the so-called “Generation of 1930s” with diverse and internationally recognized work. The work of the artist, who was often named the “eternal teenager,” extends across the unusual vector of time of almost eight decades, and its rich range of subject matter is characterized by incessant renewal.”