The slow arrow of beauty
“We copy reality as we see it in order to express something else that cannot be conceived just with our senses”
Skoufa Gallery is pleased to present Andreas Vourloumis’ exhibition “The Slow Arrow of Beauty”. The opening will be on the 10th June and the exhibition will run until the 3rd July 2021.
“The Slow Arrow of Beauty. – The noblest kind of beauty is not that which suddenly transports us, which makes a violent and intoxicating assault upon us (such beauty can easily excite disgust), but that which slowly infiltrates us, which we bear away with us almost without noticing and encounter again in dreams, but which finally, after having for long lain modestly in our heart, takes total possession of us, filling our eyes with tears and our heart with longing.- What is it we long for at the sight of beauty?”, Friedrich Nietzche. With this text excerpt, Yannis Pappas introduced his best friend’s work at the Academy of Athens in 1981.
Vourloumis was a well- educated, self-taught painter with deep knowledge of the history of the European art as well as the byzantine art and its transition to the Modern Greek painting. He had a unique approach to the themes that inspired him: Athens in the ‘30s, the bliss of nature (the landscape, the mountains and the horizon), the people surrounding him and the small everyday things were rendered into images through his poetic contemplation.
The works of art currently on display at Skoufa Gallery are watercolours, pastels and oil paintings, covering Vourloumis’s sixty years of artistic career. One of his favorite themes was the city of Athens: the neighborhoods, the balconies and the rooftops of the buildings that he could see from the attic of his house on Tsakalof street, the church of Saint Dionysos, Lycabettus hill and mount Imittos, the little streets in Pangrati around his studio, certain aspects of Aegina where he used to spend his summer holidays since 1936, as well as interiors, still lives and portraits.
His compositions, either realistic or abstract, are true accounts of his experiences, stimuli and observations, painted from nature or from retrieved memories. With technical thoroughness, a tranquil color palette and his poetic approach to the human, the landscape or the everyday things, Vourloumis retains his personal creative touch which emanates warmth and intimacy.
Andreas Vourloumis was born in Patras in 1910 and died in Athens in 1999.
His father was a businessman and a politician who supported Venizelos.
His family moved to Athens in 1918. He took private painting lessons with Antoine Pic (a Belgian painting teacher) since he was 12 years old. He studied Chemistry at the University of Athens (1928-1932). Between 1933-1934 he stayed in Paris, painting while visiting museums and galleries. In 1934, he returned to Athens where he spent the rest of his life. He worked for a while as a chemist at a factory. Since 1936, he painted at his studio in Pangrati.
He became a member of the group ‘Armos’ and he participated to exhibitions from 1949 to 1952.
Vourloumis was greatly influenced by the work of Parthenis, Tsarouchis and Kontoglou.
He was interested in Byzantine Art and he painted many portable icons. He contributed to the decoration of churches and he studied byzantine music. He loved folk poetry and he illustrated many books and magazines.
He participated to very few solo exhibitions. His first exhibition was at the Monica Pein gallery, followed by other exhibitions in Athens. A couple of retrospectives were organized at the National Gallery and the Benaki Museum in 1990 and 1999 respectively. He participated to the Biennale in Alexandria (1955) and to the Pan- Hellenic exhibitions between 1939 and 1975.
Many of his paintings can be found at the National Gallery, the Benaki Museum, the MIET, the Leventi Foundation, the Hamilton Gallery in Canada as well as at private collections in Greece and abroad.
Text: Dora Vasilakou