CM: Sosso Houtopoulou-Contaratou's Self-Portrait was completed on 26 June 1950, when the artist was still in her twenty-sixth year of her life. In that period she attended course of sculpture at the Académie Henri Paquet with the founder himself as her instructor. Representational works like this one betray the academic origin of young artists, before developing their subjective idiosyncrasy towards modernity, such as abstraction in the case of Houtopoulou-Contaratou. Obviously, the artist sat before a mirror and carved her likeness. The head poses interesting technical difficulties, relating to the skeleton and the substructure of the face, with which Houtopoulou succeeded. As known, self-portraiture presents for every artist the challenge of externalizing an inner world. For this reason Houtopoulou-Contaratou was not content with a naturalistic rendering of her face, but rather invested on a perception of form towards abstraction, as evidenced perhaps not so much on the sculpture's surface as on the inner character evoked by the portrait - a character of stability with confident vision for the future. In Sosso Houtopoulou-Contaratou's archive, diligently curated by Diohandi, are preserved photographs by the artist of the original work's peripheral viewpoints in her studio in Geneva.
[Megakles Rogakos 09/2007]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece, Athens