Spyros VASSILIOU Greek, 1902-1985
Spyros Vassiliou was born in Galaxidi in 1903 and died in Athens in 1985.
In 1921 he enrolled at the School of Fine Art, Athens to study painting in the workshops firstly of Alexandros Kaloudis and later of Nikolaos Lytras, graduating in 1926.
In 1929, Vassiliou held his first solo exhibition. In 1930 he was awarded the Benaki Prize, from the Academy of Athens, for his design of Agios Dionysios Areopagitis church in Kolonaki, Athens (1936-1939).
With the money he received from the Benaki Prize he travelled to Europe in the early 1930s. During his travel he became acquainted with the work of Francesco Guardi, Claude Lorrain and Pieter Bruegel that fascinated him and influenced his later work.
Vassiliou is one of the most important of a group of artists, who are collectively referred to as the ‘Thirties Generation’. The group is attributed with having created a renaissance of Greek art in the Interwar years, combining the teachings of the European avant-garde with references to their Greek heritage. Furthermore, Vassiliou is considered one of the first Greek pop-artists.
He represented Greece at the Venice Biennale (1934 and 1964), the Alexandria Biennale and the Sao Paolo Biennale (1959). In 1960 he was the recipient of the Guggenheim Prize for Greece. In 1975 and 1983 his work was presented in significant retrospective exhibitions at the National Gallery of Greece.
He has designed the stage sets for more than sixty productions of the National Theatre of Greece and films such as Michalis Cacoyannis’ ‘Elektra’ (1962).
His work can be found in The National Gallery of Greece, the Municipal Gallery of Athens, the Averoff Gallery, the Leventis Gallery, the National Bank of Greece and many other public and private collections.