Spyros Papaloukas

Spyros Papaloukas (1892-1957) is a preeminent early 20th century artist who made a major contribution to the development and renewal of Greek painting. He furthered and expanded the work of pioneering artists, such as Konstantinos Parthenis, Konstantinos Maleas, Georgios Bouzianis; alongside Nikolaos Lytras, Michalis Economou and Nikolaos Othonaios, he introduced innovative ways to represent nature.

Papaloukas’s oeuvre is characterised by a constant reflection and a two-way process of understanding the modern element in the light of the Greek tradition and using elements of tradition in the interpretation of modern art.

Born in Desfina, Fokida (Phocis), he took his first painting lessons with a local panel painter and went on to study at the Athens School of Fine Arts; during that period, he met Fotis Kontoglou and Stratis Doukas, both of whom had a formative influence on him. His discovery of modern art during his stay in Paris (1917-1921) was pivotal in his evolution; he seems to have been influenced by the more conservative movements in European painting - the post-impressionism of Les Nabis and a mild version of fauvism.

After his Paris experience, Papaloukas spent one year on Mount Athos, alongside Stratis Doukas. This experience also proved formative for his creative development. He worked feverishly, painting landscapes, monasteries, shipyards and copying frescoes, panel paintings, manuscripts, and miniature art, all of which he later used extensively in the decoration of the church of Evangelistria in Amfissa (1927-1932). He acknowledged the impact that Byzantine art had on him: “It gave me faith in everything I was still looking for. Up there on Athos, I clearly saw that, in all great periods, art is nothing but form and colour in response to a “form” … a set of aesthetic rules whereby each people and each period fulfil the needs of life.’
The places where he lived and worked - Aegina, Lesvos, Salamis, Parnassos, Paros, Hydra - can be grouped in distinct series in terms of style, which reflect the contemporary demands of each period under an overarching principle, that “painting must elicit emotion by means of its materials, rather than its subject.’ Papaloukas also created portraits, nudes, still life paintings, and became involved in set design and book illustration.

The Theocharakis Foundation exhibition attempts to trace Papaloukas’s creative evolution, marked by his sustained and systematic search for his own personal painting style attested by the large number of drawings and preliminary studies he did before beginning the final painting.

From 12/07/2022 to 16/10/2022
Daily 10:00 - 18:00

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