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Lot 226: Yannis Spyropoulos. (1912-1990), In the past.

To be sold at our Fine Art and Antiques Sale Followed by Vintage Clothing and Textiles on 9th Oct 2013

Catalogue Description

Yannis Spyropoulos. (1912-1990), In the past.

 Oil on canvas, 51in (130cm) x 38¼in (97cm) Signed in Greek, lower right, inscribed and titled on the stretcher "Jannis Spyropoules In the past No 7 Athens 1961 (130 x 97)." Framed.

*Purchased from the Molton Gallery, 44 South Molton Street, London W1 in 1961 for the private collection held by Sir Edward Hulton and then by descent.

Provenance (see here)


The Molton Gallery, London L1
Spyropoulos studied in Paris under a scholarship but returned to Greece at the beginning of the Second World War and remained resident in Greece all his life. His first one man show was not until 1950 in Athens. The harsh loveliness of the Greek landscape and the harrowing years of war in Greece are together expressed in his increasingly abstract work - inspired in particular by Cezanne. The more abstract his work the more successful he became internationally. He showed in New York in 1959, London in 1961, Munich in 1962 and the Smithsonian in 1969. He won the UNESCO prize at the Venice Biennale in 1960 and shortly after began work on the series of paintings 'In the Past'.

In the Past 7 is built of many of the elements for which Spyropoulos became most celebrated. His distinctive pallet evokes earth and rock with flashes of Greek sunlight, pressed on in thick white impasto. The canvas is a balance of smooth pale scraped rectangles glimpsed through vibrant dark brushstokes which appear almost to break out of the canvas. As Spyropoulos wrote, 'I spread out the dark to find the light within it.'
Beyond the energetic upheaval of the emerging darks a calmer plain of paint scintillates with nervy little lines scratched into its surface. In several places the artist's thumbprints can be seen. Spyropoulos south to record the act of painting itself. The title evokes the layer of pasts- his recent turbulent decades and a past for distant, profound and elemental.

While he was in London for the Molton Gallery show Spyropoulos met Henry Moor, Lynn Chadwich and Edward Paolozzi - opening for him, another chapter.


Price Achieved: £16000.00

Sale Details

This lot was presented at at our Fine Art and Antiques Sale Followed by Vintage Clothing and Textiles on the 9th Oct 2013

Further Information about the sale:

This sale includes items from the estate of Sir Edward Hulton (1906-1988) whose publications included the Picture Post. Amongst the works available is "In the Past No.7" by Yiannis Spyropoulos (1912-1990) who was one of the most celebrated artists in Greec for abstarct art. Also included is a satinwood Sheraton style display cabinet with painted decoration.

Other Lots in this Sale:

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