Yiannis Spyropoulos (Greek, 1912-1990) Synthesis N  60.5 x 80.5 cm. (Painted in 1959.)

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Lot 97AR P
Yiannis Spyropoulos
(Greek, 1912-1990)
Synthesis N 60.5 x 80.5 cm.

Sold for £ 31,312 (US$ 39,843) inc. premium
Yiannis Spyropoulos (Greek, 1912-1990)
Synthesis N
signed in Greek (lower right)
oil in canvas
60.5 x 80.5 cm.
Painted in 1959.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Bonhams, The Greek Sale, 10 Nov 2008, lot 55.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.

    Literature
    Y. Papaioannou, Yannis Spyropoulos - Monograph, Yannis and Zoe Spyropoulos Foundation, Athens 2010, no. 491b, p. 370 (listed), p. 222 (referred), p. 219 (illustrated).


    A powerful mixture of simplicity and sophistication and a wise conciliation between gestural brushwork and sturdy compositional structure, this captivating work offers a commanding display of technical discipline and intuitive expression. Planes, surfaces and textures are meticulously analysed by dark structural outlines, while intense counterbalancing forces and energetic shapes are articulated into a serene and robust geometrical structure set in motion by circular gestural marks that endow the composition with an improvised yet coherent inner rhythm.1 "The Greek scenery with its architecture of masonry fences, arches, courtyards and dry stone walls, observed from afar as outlined geometrical shapes, constituted the onset of visual stimulation before becoming a painterly proposal."2

    This beautiful canvas also reflects Spyropoulos' deep interest in Byzantine art. Professor C. Christou notes: "The golden-yellow colour that comes to dominate the work of Spyropoulos by 1960 and which in essence reflects nothing more than the presence of sunlight, or rather Greek light, is something he finds around and within himself, in the past from which he hails and the present where he belongs. It reveals the influence of the Byzantine icon painting he grew up with and his familiarity with the Greek light under which he lives, while at the same time his work expresses the intricate nature of modern artistic creation."3

    Yiannis Spyropoulos was the first Greek painter who, while residing permanently in Greece, managed to attain an illustrious international career, highlighted by his participation in the 1960 Venice Biennale, where he was awarded the UNESCO prize. His works, which represent the most advanced and mature aspect of Greek abstraction, have been included in prestigious private collections around the globe -particularly in America where this painting comes from- and exhibited at the most important European and American museums of modern art.4

    1 See E. Ferentinou, "Jannis Spyropoulos" [in Greek], Zygos magazine, no.32, July 1958, p. 18.
    2 L. Tsikouta, "Processes, Influences, Assimilations, Personal Idiom, Birth of an Artwork: The Case of Jannis Spyropoulos" in Jannis Spyropoulos, The Classicist of Abstraction, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery – A. Soutzos Museum, Athens 1995, p. 141.
    3 C. Christou, Jannis Spyropoulos [in Greek], Athens 1962, p. 158.
    4 See H. Kambouridis - G. Levounis, Modern Greek Art, The 20th Century, Athens 1999, pp. 156-158.
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AR Artists Resale Right

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P Owned by a private individual

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