Hilton|Asmus Features Artists ‘Inspired by Antiquity’

“Inspired by Antiquity” at Chicago’s Hilton|Asmus Contemporary, showcases the work of several talented artists inspired by Greek art, architecture, and history.



Sculptor Blake Ward says he challenges "the traditional figure, creating a characterization of the Spirit; a metaphor to our inner world that might encourage us to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves." COURTESY HILTON|ASMUS CONTEMPORARY
Sculptor Blake Ward says he “challenges the traditional figure, creating a characterization of the Spirit; a metaphor to our inner world that might encourage us to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves.” COURTESY HILTON|ASMUS CONTEMPORARY



Hilton|Asmus Contemporary

Nestled in the heart of Chicago’s gallery district in River North is Hilton|Asmus Contemporary, a collaboration of Artist/Poet Arica Hilton and her art collector husband, Sven Asmus. Since opening in 2012, the gallery has featured many Chicago-based artists, plus internationally-known artists, such as Kostis Georgiou. Exhibits have featured contemporary works on paper, textiles, painting, and photography. Hilton|Asmus has done many pop-up exhibits in Chicago, and has been the site for many fabulous events.


‘Inspired by Antiquity’

For more than 2500 years, the art of Ancient Greece has inspired artists, writers, and poets; Picasso painted the Minotaur many times; Cy Twombly put ancient Greek words in his paintings; Renaissance painters and sculptors were inspired by Greek art as well. Even in the 21st century, the the timeless influence of Greek art, architecture, and mythology is evident in contemporary works. With this exhibit, Hilton|Asmus Contemporary celebrates this “unbroken line of inspiration”. Arica Hilton explained how this exhibit came about.


“When we heard about ‘The Greeks’ coming to the Field Museum, we were inspired to present the influence of ancient art in a more contemporary context. We weren’t interested in showing antiquities, but rather to show, in a parallel exhibit, how artists have been inspired by ancient art, and how their work has evolved.”


Arica elaborated on the influence of ancient art.


“Artists from every culture have been inspired by the love of Greek culture and art. Without ART, there would be no history. The Romans wanted to emulate the Greeks with their art and architecture, and it was an incredible time in the evolution of the human being– philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, and the like. We can take it and learn from it. Even 2000 years later.”


Three sculptors and three painters are featured in this group show.


6 featured artists in this show-within-a-show

“Inspired by Antiquity” features six artists. Because their work is so varied, and to give them their own time and presence, Hilton|Asmus Contemporary spotlights their workn in a “show-within-a-show” format. Each artist has their own opening, and a period as the “featured” exhibit.


Terry Poulos, WindyCity Greek’s Sports & Media Correspondent, is also an artist, inventor, and historian. Terry’s sculptures are inspired by Archimedes’ Antikythera Mechanism. At his January opening, he introduced his latest piece.


Terry Poulos pays homage to the Antikythera Mechanism. COURTESY HILTON|ASMUS CONTEMPORARY



Chicago sculptor Jyl Bonaguro is also an author and playwright. She creates sculptures that look like fragments of ancient statues. She said the figures are purposefully fragmented with parts left unfinished in order to expose the fallacy of immortality. Her opening was held in February, where she also unveiled a new sculpture.


German-American painter Eve Ozer delights in working in mixed media, because “anything goes”. This self-described non-traditional artist has been inspired by frescoes and panel portraits that adorned the temples of ancient Greece and Rome. Eve has also revived an ancient method used by Greeks — encaustic (wax) painting. Meet Eve and learn about her work on March 11.


Born and raised in Canada, Blake Ward studied in Paris and has a studio in Monte Carlo. Inspired by classical figures in sculpture, Blake newest works build on the techniques of figurative sculpture developed in antiquity, challenging the classical figure by “opening up the interior space of the human form as a way to search our inner selves”.  His opening is scheduled for April 7.


Born in Hungary, Peter Sorel developed his love of photography as a young boy. In 1959, as a new immigrant to the US, he became one of the film industry’s most sought after photographers, documenting movie sets and creating stunning poster images for more than 120 films, including “Easy Rider,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Life of Pi” and more. He moved to Chicago in 2008. His show, which will take place in early summer, examines beauty in form and fashion. Date to be announced.


Greek-born painter Manolis Tzortzakakis’ abstract paintings are infused with the spirit of the myths. They’re inspired by his birthplace and his new home in Chicago. His show opening is yet to be announced.



In his work, Manolis Tzortzakakis attempts to convey a direct “view” of the sense or essence of the world. COURTESY HILTON|ASMUS CONTEMPORARY
In his work, Manolis Tzortzakakis attempts to convey a direct “view” of the sense or essence of the world. COURTESY HILTON|ASMUS CONTEMPORARY



The range of the artists and the diversity in their work is exciting. Arica said that ancient art is timeless, and its influence is limitless, due to the power of the human mind.


“Anything is possible in art and in life. The human mind is so incredible, it can create at anytime, whether 2000 years ago or 2000 years from now. The human mind is magical.”

For more information on all the artists and complete event information, visit the Hilton|Asmus website. Hilton|Asmus Contemporary is located at 716 N. Wells, in Chicago. 312.852.3200.


Maria A. Karamitsos

Maria A. Karamitsos

Founder & Editor at WindyCity Greek
For 10 years, Maria served as the Associate Editor and Senior Writer for The Greek Star newspaper. Her work has been published in GreekCircle magazine, The National Herald, GreekReporter, Harlots Sauce Radio, Women.Who.Write, Neo magazine, KPHTH magazine, and more. Maria has contributed to three books: Greektown Chicago: Its History, Its Recipes; The Chicago Area Ethnic Handbook; and the inaugural Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal.
Maria A. Karamitsos

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