VENIA DIMITRAKOPOULOU Bas-Relief of Dimitris Mitropoulos (1896-1960) 1999 [R/F] - x +

CN: DimV1999mitr

MT: fired clay in wooden frame (43x34x3 / F:46x38x4)

ED: 1/20

TX: incised at lower right in Greek <1/20 VENIA DIMITRAKOPOULOU>

DN: Dr. Friedrich Michael Seegy - 2005

LC: ACG Art Center

CM: Venia Dimitrakopoulou created the Bas-Relief of Dimitris Mitropoulos (1896-1960) out of her love for music. When she was a student at the Athens Conservatory, she would every time encounter at the main entrance the head of Mitropoulos in its sculptural version by Thanassis Apartis (1899-1972). Dimitrakopoulou feels that subconsciously this work may be produced out of guilt for abandoning music in favour of sculpture. The source for this relief is Nelly's (1899-1998) photographic portrait of Mitropoulos from around 1950. Of many photographic portraits that Thodoros Papayiannis had offered to his students to experiment with sculpture as part of the curriculum at the Athens School of Fine Art, Dimitrakopoulou spontaneously chose Mitropoulos. This portrait was the first study in relief by Dimitrakopoulou. Though relief is an undermined form of art, it was very much appreciated by Dimitrakopoulou and led her to develop a specialty in it. Especially the profile is a challenge for the artist, whereby the various levels are kept as low and close as possible. Being moved by the personality of Mitropoulos, Dimitrakopoulou carried out this portrait with great affection. Mitropoulos had the madness of creative genious. This portrait conveys eloquently the vision of Mitropoulos, a man who looks ahead in advance of his time. Apart from this, Dimitrakopoulou was attracted to Mitropoulos' physiognomy, which has a remarkable sculptural interest. The portrait is life-size. She liked his skeletal face, which is characterized by open lines, and the forms of its constituent parts, such as the ear, the eye and the nose. All of its elements interrelate to compose the powerful image of Mitropoulos through the hands of Dimitrakopoulou, a maestro of portraiture. [Megakles 09/2006]

"I created the Bas-Relief of Dimitris Mitropoulos primarily out of my love for music. When I was a student at the Athens Conservatory, everyday I came across and stood before the bust of Dimitris Mitropoulos, made by Thanassis Apartis, whom I also admired. My father began to engage with sculpture in Apartis' studio but he gave sculpture up in favor of law... I in turn gave up music in favor of sculpture... and then came a time when everything came together and connect, they blend and weave into one another. This relief originated in a photograph and resulted out of my first engagement with this artform, which is a bit neglected. Since then I created many reliefs of familiar faces, portraits of politicians and children. The relief demands such an affection and mastery of the hand that all of the procedure involved touches upon the boundaries of meditation. Therefore, this relief became part of my life. I have made reliefs ranging in size from one meter to a palm, others in profile, other in three quarters, trying out the possibilities of this artform, which George Seferis called 'reliefs of a humble art'" [Venia Dimitrakopoulou to Megakles 20/09/2006]