LILA ANGELIDOU (Greece, Athens b. 1946 / act: Athens)

Lila Angelidou Lila Angelidou is regarded as one of the most interesting modern Greek artists. She was born on 11 November 1946 in Athens, Greece. Following her graduation from the Arsakeio of Psychiko in 1964, she took drawing classes with the reputed Greek engraver Vassilis Haros (1938-2000) at the Centre of Technological Applications. In 1968 the Organization for the Publication of Educational Books - OEDB commissioned Angelidou to illustrate two books - Experimental Physics by Salteri G. Peristeraki and Chemistry by Alkinoos Mazis. From 1981 to 1983 she studied Fine Arts at the Monterey Peninsula College in California, USA. In January 1983 she presented her first exhibition of paintings at Eagle's Eye Gallery in Monterey. In the same year she organized the Greek presentation for the annual International Artists Day at the National Postgraduate School of Monterey. She supervised the texts, settings and costumes as well as the entire presentation on the theme of The Olympic Spirit, owing to the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, upcoming at the time. The program's cover was adorned by the Charioteer, which is now kept at the ACG Art Collection of The American College of Greece. For the success of this presentation Angelidou received an honorary award. In December 1986 Angelidou participated in a group exhibition at the Italian Institute of Thessaloniki. In March 1987 she presented her personal exhibition entitled Kessariani at the Dada Gallery in Athens, which became the center of attention in the Greek press and media. This exhibition's inauguration was honoured by the attendance of the then minister of culture Melina Merkouri, while all the participating works joined private collections in Greece and abroad. The Municipality itself acquired Kessariani, which was this exhibition's centrepiece and the largest work on display. In October 1987 she participated in a group exhibition at the Municipal Gallery of Athens. In March 1989 she took part in the exhibition entitled Greek Women Painters, curated by art-critic Nikos Grigorakis at Yakinthos Gallery in Kifissia. In January 1990 she part iciapted in a group exhibition at the Cultural Centre of the Municipality of Papagos, a well-to-do suburb of Athens. In October 1991 she presented her next personal exhibition at the Epipeda Galleries in Athens, entitled Woman through Poetry, with artworks inspired by ancient and contemporary Greek literature. In August 1992 she took part in the exhibition entitled Aegean Light, curated by art-critic Dora Iliopoulou-Rogan at Adam Gallery on the island of Paros. In December 1993 she participated in a group exhibition - for her first time as sculptress - at the Epipeda Galleries. In May 1995 she took part along with the most notable Greek artists in the exhibition entitled The May Wreath at Ora Cultural Center of the Municipality of Athens. Her exhibit, inspired from the poetry of Sappho, received great acclaim and became part of a notable art collection. In 2008 Angelidou's Charioteer was presented in Silent Dialoges: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time at The American College of Art – ACG Art, Athens.

Lila Angelidou's work has featured in numerous articles in the Greek press and international magazines. Articles on Angelidou's art have been written notable art-critics, such as Nikos Grigorakis, Dora Iliopoulou-Rogan, Stelios Lydakis, Vassos Koundouridis. On November 1994 the German literary magazine Philia made a homage to the painting and sculpture of Angelidou, with a work from the Kessariani exhibition on its cover. As the arts are known to be interdependent, contemporary Greek poets were inspired by Angelidou's art. The late Nikos Kranidiotis (1911-1997) wrote the poem The Death of Laïs, after the namesake artwork by Angelidou, which is included in his anthology that received the Academy of Athens Award. Another great American poetess, Nathalie V. Cole Johnson (at whose estate in Washington UNICEF had its first meeting), was inspired to write an entire collection of poems after the painting The Spirit Doll. The cover of the namesake anthology is adorned by this artwork and in her introduction the poetess explains the source of her inspiration.

Angelidou has pursued a genuinely idiosyncratic style that expands on the tradition of cubism. Furthermore, her palette is characterized by vibrant and exuberant colors without the gradation of shadows. The sharp distinction of the colors creates the impression of relief, which gradually evolved into a virtual third dimension. She draws inspiration for her themes from her love for ancient and contemporary Greek poetry. With their works the poets sensitized Angelidou, who in turn aimed to manifest the opposite forces that always exist in life and by extension in the arts. Medea, Phaedra, Laïs, and the Crucifixion, are traversed by a constant presence of opposites, which attains a metaphysical dimension in Angelidou's art.

[Megakles Rogakos 11/2005]

STELIOS, LYDAKIS Lila Angelidou: Kessariani 1987 Dada Gallery, Athens [Greek]
CATALOG Greek Artists: 16th-20th Centuries 1997 Melissa, Athens, Vol.1, p.12 [Greek]