Solo exhibition
"Painting & illustration"
Centre of Contemporary Art
Museum Of Modern Greek Art
Rhodes 2-18 March 2001

text also available in Greek


The text that follows
is written by the art historian
Polly Hatzimarkou, as an introduction
to the exhibition catalogue

Lejos de la escultorica sapiencia del caballo / 2000 / 30 x 40 cm / oil-pastel on paperF
irst time I saw Spartalis’s work was during the exhibition “Poet in New York-Paintings based on F.G. Lorca’s poems”. Simple geometrical shapes and photoanalytical arrangements repeated in the background (a reference to the mosaic technique and the “comedia del arte”), and in the foreground there was the exceptional poetry of Lorca embodied into peculiar, ambiguous anthropoid portraits and horses.

The cat / 1993 / 70 x 100 cm / oil on canvasHowever, these surrealist statements do not arise from this series of paintings. From his early works one can recognize these purely symbolic insinuations.

The picture within a picture (second representation inside human bodies or the “Cat”) dominates and creates successive games with the unconscious.


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installation "Acrobats" / 1999 / 200 x 600 cm / acylic on canvas and mechanismsIn 1999, Spartalis enters into a new kind of creative production. This links us to T.S. Elliot’s statement: “…the art of the past includes the ability for the creation of new art, but also, new art can model and transform our ideas for the art that came before it”. The artist sets up the “Acrobats”, an installation of 2x6 m (painting with mechanisms) presenting three hyper-inflated figures one on top of the other; in the background, the familiar colors of a circus marquee and right below a tiger that seems to watches for its prey. It is a translucent symbolism of the human’s tragic state in our contemporary society. The fragmentation of the human body and the construction of its mechanistic, dysfunctional replica, does not only emerge from the “Acrobats”, but also from the illustrations “Troades”, “Death” and the most recent work of the artist.

The angel / 2001 / 50 x 70 cm / oil-pastel on paperIn the new series of artworks, the “Angel” echoes Schopenhauer when he wrote that the human is placed in “…countless spheres that float in the vast space without knowing where he came from or where he is going and he is just one of those infinite similar creatures that are reproduced and disappear in the un-ruled, perpetual time, where nothing is in constant”. Such un-ruled, Spartalis explores the vague zone between the two-dimensional and three-dimensional, and by using intense color -which has an effective role- he brings out the dramatic substance of his heroes. This occurs in two sections: the first -the comic- one reflects the secret aim of the artist to entertain the viewer (color tricks and a coherent mature childishness in the fable-created figures). The second axis -the tragic section- declares an opposition to the beautified intercourse between models and media. The artist slashes an ironic cut in the aesthetic evolution of our post-modern times and, finally, separates each of his models by using familiar and -at the same time- odd silhouettes, enigmatical riddles which become charmingly decadent.

The crazy man / 2001 / 50 x 70 cm / oil-pastel on paperThe supernatural, out of proportion human forms (“Nude with Lemons”, “Nude and Shadow”, illustration “Hedonistic Poems”), often cartoon-like distorted representations, try to transmute the way with which we approach the “real” and “artificial” body and identity of the contemporary person (post-modern hybridism). At the verge of delusion and reality, Spartalis caustically interferes with the “negotiation” of many years between the individual and the impersonal or mass-orientated, the serious-looking and the humorous. By absorbing an eclectic blend from various art trends (pop illustration, new realism, geometrical abstraction, comics, new expressionism, naive) he is expressed by a range of standpoints -often heterodox- in his artistic practice.


It was a great joy for my associate Mr. Zafiris Skandaliaris and myself to curate this exhibition. The visitor will have the opportunity to stroll around Spartalis’s most recent works (from the “Poet in New York” till present) as well as poem illustrations. We consider this series of artworks to be a completion of all his artistic experimentations and a personal “springboard” for new artistic dives.

Polly Hatzimarkou
Árt historian
Curator of the Museum of Modern Greek Art


List of presented artworks


Nueva York 2000
___30 x 40 cm, oil-pastel on paper

2. Lejos de la escultorica... 2000
___30 x 40 cm, oil-pastel on paper

3. The swimmer 2000
___200 x 150 cm,  oil on canvas

A Vision 2000
___200 x 150 cm, oil on canvas

5. Woman in the window 2000
___70 x 170 cm, oil on wood

6. Man on the staircase 2000
___70 x 135 cm,  oil on wood

Woman on the stairs 2001
___60 x 45 cm, oil-pastel on paper

8. Nude & shadow 2000
___50 x 180 cm, oil-pastel on paper

9. Nude with lemons 2000
___50 x 180 cm,  oil-pastel on paper

10. On the Road 2001
___50 x 70 cm, oil-pastel on paper

11. Jamaica Monster 2001
___50 x 70 cm,  oil-pastel on paper

The crazy man 2001
___50 x 70 cm, oil-pastel on paper

13. The angel 2001
___50 x 70 cm, oil-pastel on paper

14. Woman in love 2001
___50 x 70 cm,  oil-pastel on paper

The hug 2001
___50 x 70 cm, oil-pastel on paper

16. The gang 2001
___50 x 70 cm, oil-pastel on paper

17. The state 2001
___50 x 70 cm,  oil-pastel on paper

Rehabilitation 2001
___50 x 70 cm, oil-pastel on paper

illustrations (36 parts from the following illustrations)

1. Self-illuminated light 1998
___10 parts, 12x16 cm, acrylic on paper

2. Aphrodite 1999
___10 parts, 12x16 cm, acrylic on paper

3. Standing Man 1998
___6 parts, 12x16 cm, acrylic on paper

4. Troades 1999
___6 parts, 12x16 cm, acrylic on paper

5. Desire 1999
___6 parts, 12x16 cm, acrylic on paper

6. Death 1999
___7 parts, 12x16 cm, acrylic on paper

7. The inner harbour 1999
___7 parts, 25x35 cm, acrylic on paper

8. Blue poems 2000
___14 parts, 10x14 cm, oil-pastel on paper

9. Hedonistic Poems 2000
___14 parts, 10x14 cm, oil-pastel on paper


Press Articles & Remarks

1. newspaper "RODIAKI", 28/02/01
newspaper "DODEKANISOS", 01/03/01
3. newspaper "PROODOS", 01/03/01
4. newspaper "RODIAKI", 03/03/01
5. newspaper "DIMOKRATIKI",  04/03/01
6. newspaper "DRASIS", 05/03/01
7. newspaper "PROODOS", 11/03/01
8. newspaper "PROODOS", 15/03/01
9. Journal "POLITIS TOU EGEOU", March-April 2001

1. newspaper "KATHIMERINI", 04/03/01
2. newspaper "ELEFTHEROTIPIA", 20/03/01

1. newspaper "POLITIKA" (Belgrade, Yugoslavia), 01/03/01



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