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In memory of the painter Nikos Nikolaou | A. G. Leventis Gallery

‘I saw nature through an idea that I created by observing the Greeks’ – Nikos Nikolaou
Nikos Nikolaou studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts having as his teachers Umvertos Argyros and Konstantinos Parthenis. It was there that he met the painter Yannis Moralis with whom he created a long friendship. After finishing his studies, he left for Rome with Moralis and later on, with a scholarship granted to him by Prince Nicholas in 1939, he continued his studies in Paris, returning to Greece after due to the war.
In Nikolaou’s paintings, as within the work of many artists of his generation, we can observe the pursuit of a Greek identity. His work reflects his attempt to fuse European modernism with Greek tradition. We can note the influence of expressionism and ancient Greek and Egyptian tradition in his nudes and portraits; Matisse and Picasso were two key artists that plated a role in the development of his artistic language.
The two-works found at the A. G. Leventis Gallery, an oil painting ‘Head of a Young Man’ and the watercolour of his home Hydra, are examples of his early work. In these paintings, we see the beginning of his journey as an artist, shortly before he leaves Greece with his friend Yannis Moralis, in search of his personal artistic expression.
To honour Nikos Nikolaou’s exquisite oeuvre, we chose the work ‘View of the Village of Kala Pigadia on Hydra’, 1936, ink and watercolour on paper, from the Greek Collection of the A. G. Leventis Gallery.


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