BEIJING, ATHENS, PARIS, PRAGUE and many other cities have hosted the sculptural work of Anna Chromy, over the last 20 years, either through exhibitions or through permanent installations in museums and public spaces. They had thus a chance to get involved with the mystical content of these creations and the universal values which they portray. The reactions of visitors to these exhibitions have been overwhelming.
Anna Chromy’s sculptures are not just aesthetically beautiful, but they all tell a story based on our historic and cultural heritage. They express universal values, such as love, compassion and peace of mind, and portray them in a contemporary way. The locations are carefully selected and each sculpture varies in its meaning according to the location and its “genius locis”.
In this way a Cloak of Conscience installed at Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius, at Salzburg Cathedral or the Prague Opera house is always the symbol of conscience but portrays different aspects of the question, which can lead to various names for the same work of art. In China, where Anna was invited as the first foreign sculptor to join the Chinese Academy of Sculpture, her work is mainly perceived as a message of peace and harmony, whereas in places of Christian worship the Cloak expresses sorrow and compassion.
In Greece and Italy, the cradle of Western sculpture, Anna is seen as a truthful successor to the old masters, combining their aesthetics with today techniques. This sympathetic way of working has gained her the prestigious “Premio Michelangelo”. Many of her themes are based on the Antique Myths, – tales which have kept their relevance in our days. Myths show us functions of the human spirit which existed during centuries in all parts of the world and which can therefore be considered a basic ingredient of human behavior. (Levy Strauss).
Many modern day Ulysses experience the same errant temptations as their illustrious forbearer and the athletes of today’s games are fired by the same will to challenge destiny as the participants of the Antique Olympics. There can be no better place imagined for Anna’s Ulysses than their actual locations overlooking the Mediterranean, and for her Olympic Spirit; the venues of past and future Olympic Games. Her interpretation of Europe, the myth that gave its name to a continent, is obviously placed in the Capitol of United Europe and her Musicians adorn a fountain in the most musical city in the world – Prague. In Prague, where she received prestigious awards, like the Masaryk, Dali and Kafka Prices, Anna is mainly perceived as a worthy interpreter of the ultimate questions posed by the Alchemists, the Golem, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Kafka himself.
A key event in Anna Chromy’s life was the encounter with the “Mythe de Sisyphe” and the “Homme Revolté” of Albert Camus, the French writer and philosopher with the largest international following of any French author. With these two works Camus has defined the modern “hero”, not as somebody who conquers and triumphs, but as somebody who reaches his goal with sheer persistence, “Yes we can”. Anna’s Sisyphus and Prometheus sculptures are moving interpretations of this spirit. Camus’ departure point is the “absurd”, the divorce between the individual and the world, but his guide is his conscience. A conscience which Anna exemplifies in her most important work, her legacy, the Cloak of Conscience, a sculpture which appeals to our sense that “Yes we can… change ourselves and the world”.