The friends signed in Greek (lower left) pastel on cardboard 46 x 32 cm.
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by the father of the present owner.
Gathered in a tight circle, a group of schoolgirls are having a hushed conversation in a barely defined space, confiding to each other closely guarded secrets - perhaps on matters of the heart. It is as if the little girls holding hands in a circle dancing or playing under the watchful eye of their nannies in the painter's Park series, have kept their friendship now that they have reached adolescence. Alas, an elderly figure entering from the upper right and looking as a diaphanous shadow bathed in an outworldly light, seems to threaten the privacy of their innocent teenage world, conveying a sense of metaphor and underlining the artist's intention to enhance the element of suggestion and emotion at the expense of narrative clarity.
Charged with such psychological overtones, the picture moves beyond the genre and plein-air traditions towards German expressionism, which Triantafyllidis had been exposed to during his studies in Munich. With its austere palette, simplification of form, loose brushwork, intense outlines, sharp contrasts, elevated horizon, absence of facial characteristics, bold use of raw hardboard and a clear predilection for brilliant whites (notice the central figure's collar which firmly anchors the entire composition), this captivating panel perfectly illustrates Triantafyllidis' unique vision and signature style.