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Takis Mavrotas, “Theofilos: ‘The Evzone of Painting'”
This lecture, co-sponsored by the Embassy of Greece, will be introduced by Her Excellency Alexandra Papadopoulou, Ambassador of Greece to the United States
The acclaimed folk artist Theophilos represents the tradition of Greece and its people. Born in ca. 1870 in a village close to Mytilene, his father was a cobbler while his mother, Penelope Hatzimihail, was the daughter of an icon painter. In 1897, he settled in the town of Volos on the Greek mainland, and worked as a freelance painter, creating murals in inns, houses, and shops in various villages in the area. His paintings fall into two categories: those inspired by life and those inspired by Greek mythology, history, and religion. His work was fundamental to the Generation of the 1930s, whose artists viewed his paintings as the essence of Greekness. This year, the B. & M. Theocharakis Foundation in Athens has organized a large retrospective, including loans from the Municipality of Mytilene and the Theophilos Museum. The ninety-four exhibited works manifest the artist’s spirit and soul, his inner truth that always served and respected the nation’s needs – a nation that has lived both glorious as well as tragic moments. Our event begins with greetings from the Foundation’s General Manager, Dr. Fotis Papathanasiou, and its Board Advisor and Contemporary Curator Marina Miliou Theocharakis, who will both make a short presentation about the Foundation. Exhibition curator Takis Mavrotas will lecture about the painter and his work. Finally, Evangelia Efthimiadou (Exhibitions Project Manager) and Irene Alexandrakis (Education Manager) will take us on a virtual tour of this important exhibition.
Takis Mavrotas is Director of Visual Arts at the B. & M. Theocharakis Foundation. He has curated numerous individual and group exhibitions, including: “Views of Magna Grecia” by Enzo Crea (National Bank of Greece Educational Foundation, Athens, 1987); “Takis-Chryssa” (European Cultural Centre of Delphi, 2000); “Pillars and Columns” (European Cultural Centre of Delphi, 2005); “The Cyclades through the Lens of 20 Contemporary Artists” (Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, 2005); “Giorgio de Chirico and Greece: A Journey through Memory” (Athinais Cultural Center, Athens/Onassis Foundation, New York, 2007); “A Forest of Sculptures—The Simon Spierer Collection from the Darmstadt State Museum” (Athinais Cultural Center, Athens, 2008); “35 visual artists stand for Democracy” (Zappeion, Athens, 2009); “Leonardo Cremonini” (Athinais Cultural Center, Athens, 2010); “C. P. Cavafy: Pictured. 40 Contemporary Greek Artists” (Theocharakis Foundation, Athens, 2013); “Dimitris Mytaras: Painting” (European Parliament, Brussels, 2014); “Picasso-Cocteau: Pioneers of Modernism (Theocharakis Foundation Athens, 2015); “Odysseas Elytis: Poetry and Painting” (Telogleion Arts Foundation, Thessaloniki, 2016); and “George Seferis: When the light dances, I speak fairly” (Telogleion Arts Foundation, Thessaloniki, 2019). He has published books, catalogues, and has written numerous articles and reviews on the visual arts.
This lecture is also co-sponsored by the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University.
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