VASSILEIOU Spyros (1902-1985) “Missolonghi”, 1968

Missolonghi (1968)

A restless figure on the Greek art scene, even in his student years at the School of Fine Arts in the 1920s, Spyros Vassileiou was at the forefront in the struggle for a freer form of creative expression, beyond the conventions of academic teaching. During the 1930s, he played the leading role in shaping the new Greek art that played out between modernism and Byzantine or folk tradition. With a profound conviction that modern art can benefit from ethnic heritage in creative and enlivening ways without unconditionally submitting to it, he succeeded in reshaping historical material and refashioning it in artworks that contain evident principles and interpretations of modernist painting. Byzantine memories, particularly in his depiction of depth and perspective that does not follow the geometric system of guidelines leading to a vanishing point, are evident in much later works in which the surrealistic space is designated via unconventional interventions that help create a metaphysical, poetic atmosphere.