Twenty prayers for Metsovo, 2019
Marios Spiliopoulos (Polygyros, Halkidiki, b. 1957) studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts, where he has been teaching since 1991. He represented Greece in three European Capitals of Culture (Glasgow 1990, Madrid 1992, Copenhagen in 1996). 2nd Istanbul Biennale. In 1994 he was awarded the Grand Prix d ’Alexandrie at the 18th Alexandria Biennale. He has presented his works in many solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. His works are in private and public collections in Greece, Turkey, Belgium, France, Poland, England, Germany, Israel, Denmark and the USA.
In response to the two commemorative themes in this exhibition, Marios Spiliopoulos, professor, Athens School of Fine Arts, produced the painting Twenty Prayers for Metsovo, acrylic on canvas with gold dust, silver dust, and cassia. In a vertical rectangle, he painted 20 columns, evocative of bottles, or art on view at E. Averoff Art Gallery. It is a commemorative offering for Metsovo. Symmetrically arranged, there are four columns of five rows. A small cross can be seen at the centre of each column. The 20 prayers are numbered from 1 to 20 at the bottom and framed by two painted outlines, blue on the outside and brown on the inside. The composition is divided into two sections, where the occasion is commemorated. At the top of each column, there are capital letters that form the heading E. AVEROFF ART GALLERY; at the bottom, KATOGI AVEROFF. At the top centre, there is the phrase METSOVO – 1988–2019 and the number 30, flanked by the two dates.
At the bottom, again capitalised, the phrase KATOGI AVEROFF – 60, flanked by 1959–2019; METSOVO, again symmetrically in the centre; below the blue outline, the title, TWENTY PRAYERS FOR METSOVO. Abstract portraits and writing in the background. Everything is meticulously recorded; nothing is missing; there is no uncertainty about the meaning of this work: Spiliopoulos commemorates the 30th anniversary of E. Averoff Art gallery, founded in 1988 in Metsovo, and its unique collection of masterpieces by acclaimed nineteenth and early-twentieth-century Greek artists; also, the 60th anniversary of Katogi wine, produced by Katogi Averoff, launched after Evangelos Averoff planted, in 1959, grapes of the distinguished French variety Cabernet Sauvignon, in the rugged slopes of Metsovo. The 20 prayers, in shades of brown against a grey background, have an abstract quality and can hardly be identified.
Marios Spiliopoulos has produced an abstract work of multilayered, contrasting and pure conceptual and aesthetic propositions. The work was created especially for the group anniversary exhibition “Lands of Creation, A tribute to Metsovo”, which was inaugurated at the E. Averoff Museum in 2019.