September 26 – November 26, 2023
Exhibition curators: Christoforos Marinos & Kali Petrochilou
The City of Athens, through its Culture, Sports and Youth Organisation (OPANDA), is hosting a significant modular exhibition that celebrates the works of Greek women artists. Named “In the Shadow,” the exhibition recognizes the contributions of women in 20th-century art. The exhibition showcases artworks by 120 painters and sculptors born between 1871 and 1941, including Thalia Flora-Karavia and Opy Zouni. All the pieces on display belong to the City of Athens Art Gallery collection.
In the first part of this exhibition triptych, we are introduced to the works of artists born between 1871 and 1910. These pioneers played a significant role in the Interwar period of the 20th century. Some of the notable artists include Maria Inglesi, Sofia Laskaridou, Maria Lytra, Koula Stefanou, Athena Tarsouli, Fifi Ziller, and Angeliki Hatzimichali. The exhibition also features the works of creators who left a strong impact in the 1950s and 1960s, such as Lili Arlioti, Koula Maragopoulou, Aglaia Papa, and Celeste Polychroniadis. Additionally, there are exceptional cases of self-taught painters, including Efi Micheli, Ioulia Papanoutsou, and Eleni Prevezanou-Lelekou. Visitors can also admire the mosaic composition by Elli Voila, the fabric collages by actress Sotiria Iatridou, and the floral paintings by Marina Haikali-Skarlatou.
It’s worth noting that a lot of these artists have previously exhibited together at various locations, such as the Lykeion ton Ellinidon, the Zappeion Panhellenic Exhibitions, the Intellectual Cooperation Agency, the Hellenic-Soviet Association, and various Municipal Library halls. Some even participated in the same artist group and its exhibitions, like the Art Group and the Lykeion ton Ellinidon. Based on their works’ style and subject matter, Greek landscapes were their primary inspiration, and they focused on ordinary objects that could spark creativity. They have a deep interest in various subjects, particularly those that are genuine and truthful. These include the rural areas of Attica, historical monuments, monasteries, authentic Greek islands, still life paintings, traditional Athenian homes, flowers, portraits, and daily life scenes. Their artistic approach incorporates various styles, such as impressionism, fauvism, neoclassicism, expressionism, and abstraction, with ease and skill. Additionally, they are greatly intrigued by folklore. At the same time, it’s impossible to ignore the influence of artists such as Konstantinos Parthenis (particularly in drawing), Georgios Iakovidis, Spyridon Vikatos, Nikolaos Lytras, and Dimitris Galanis.
The exhibition showcases artwork that was initially displayed at the first Panhellenic Art Exhibitions, as well as in private galleries such as Zygos and Stratigopoulou. The City of Athens also purchased some of these works, along with pieces personally requested by artists like Efi Micheli. Women artists, who were often undervalued and had their works sold for less than their male counterparts, began to demand recognition and equal treatment. Over time, they gained more confidence and started to assert themselves. In 1939, Athina Tarsouli, on the occasion of the second Panhellenic Exhibition, wrote in “The Woman” magazine that Greek women’s aesthetic production rivalled that of their male peers in strength and performance.
The exhibition “In the Shadow” aims to bring attention and acknowledgement to artists who have been overlooked or forgotten. It also showcases the impressive collection of the City of Athens Art Gallery, providing the opportunity for the public and scholars to discover “the other half of the sky” or “the other side,” honouring at the same time the memory of art critic and poet Eleni Vakalo, who championed many of these artists through her column in the “Nea” newspaper and supported them with her encouraging words. Vakalo’s voice served as a unifying link between these artists and their diverse perspectives.
The first part of the exhibition “In the Shadow” presents works by the artists:
Maria Anagnostopoulou-Vranika, Amphitriti Anagnostopoulou-Petrea, Maria Apostolatou, Eleni Argyropoulou, Jenny Lyber-Argyrou, Lili Arlioti, Erato Asprogeraka, Maria Verdesopoulou, Efthymia Vlassopoulou-Satha, Elli Voila-Laskari, Maria Voukidou, Theoni Voutira-Stefanopoulou, Eleni Georganti- Boziki, Nausika Georgiadis-Moussouri, Dora Grafiadou, Iosifina (Fifi) Dima-Ziller, Penelope Diamantopoulou-Gavala, Thalia Diplarakou, Eleni Zongolopoulou, Eleni Iliadou, Sotiria Iatridou, Maria Iglesi, Elli Kapaitzi, Mina Koletti, Eleni Konstantinidis, Sofia Laskaridou , Rhea Leontaritou , Nitsa Makarona, Ioanna (Jenny) Manousi, Koula Maragopoulou, Artemis Melissaratou, Efi Micheli, Koula Bekiari, Elpis Biskini, Katia Nataridou, Aglaia Papa, Iulia Papanoutsou, Dora Potiri, Eleni Prevezanou-Lelekou, Penelope Economidis, Ira Economidou, Eleni Pitari-Pangalou, Celeste Polychroniadis, Falina S Mr. Papoula , Elli Souyoultzoglou-Seraidari (Nelly’s), Lela Stathopoulou, Angeliki (Koula) Stefanou, Pallas Strongyli, Ioanna (Zannet) Schins, Athena Tarsouli, Thalia Flora-Karavia, Lela Florou-Polykandriotou, Marina Haikali-Skarlatou, Isabella Harbouri, Angeliki Hatzimich ali , Maria Hors-Lytra, Titsa Chrysochoidis
The exhibition has been carefully curated by Christoforos Marinos, an experienced art historian and curator of exhibitions and events for OPANDA, and Kali Petrochilou, a talented Visual Artist and curator for the City of Athens Art Gallery. The exhibition has also benefited from the valuable contributions of Kostas Nikakis, the art conservator of the Gallery.Contributors:
Photography: Eleftheria Kousiaki,
Captions/documentation: Stasis Ventoura, Katerina Sakha
High resolution photos can be downloaded here.
The exhibition is scheduled to open on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
Duration : September 26– November 26, 2023
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 – 19:00 , Sunday 10:00 – 16:00. The exhibition will remain closed on Mondays.
City of Athens Art Gallery :
Leonidou & Myllerou Str. Avdi Square, Metaxourgeio
Information: 210 5202420 | www.opanda.gr