JEANNE SPITERIS-VEROPOULOU (Greece, Athens 1920-2000 / act: Venice - Paris - Athens)

Jeanne Spiteris-Veropoulou Jeanne Spiteris-Veropoulou originally studied at the Law School of the Natioanl & Kapodistrian University of Athens, but went on to study sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts - ASFA (1947-1952) with Michalis Tombros. In 1949 she joined the 'Stathmi' (Level) group, in which she acted as secretary, and took part in its exhibitions from 1950 to 1952. In 1941 she married art critic and historian Tony Spiteris, with whom she lived initially in Venice (1958-1963) and subsequently in Paris (1963-1975), and finally in Athens.

Spiteris-Veropoulou's art is characterised for its progressive evolution from anthropocentric figuration and realistic representation to the simplicity and clarity of geometric abstraction. Even in her early work up to 1959 - a period replete with busts and figurative compositions - it is possible to discern a tendency towards simplification of volume and abstraction of forms. Early in the 1960s Spiteris introduced metal (especially iron) in her sculptural configurations. The dialog between organic and inorganic references is indirect and may be perceived through an expressionist idiosyncracy. Her sculptures are structured upon cross-sectioned axes and traversed planes that emit liveliness and tension. From the mid 1960s her compositions were based on simple geometric patterns distinguished for their plainness and clarity. The rhythmic repetition of the curves and verticals that comprise her compositions accentuates the constructivist legibility of her work. In the 1970s she broadened her vocabulary of materials to include steel, wood and Perspex, and introduced color in her constructions. Thus her art inventively combines the austerity of form with the playfulness of color. Her art also facilitates the interaction between the work and its environment, emphasizing the relationship between light and shadow, as well as perspective and depth. Spiteris-Veropoulou has also engaged with costume design for the Royal Theater of Greece (Clouds in 1951 and 1952).

Spiteris-Veropoulou has presented her work in the following personal exhibitions: Bevilacqua la Masa, Venice (1960); Gian Ferrari, Milan (1961); Il Quadrante, Florence (1962); Art Gallery, Thessaloniki (1963); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal (1965); La Fenice, Venice (1968); The Hilton, Nicosia (1970); Il Giorno, Milan (1973); Polyplano, Athens (1981). She has also taken part in the following group exhibitions: Panhellenic Exhibitions, Athens (1952, 1957, 1965, 1967, 1975, 1987); Argent, New York (1958); Numero, Florence (1958, 1959); 3950, Venice (1959); Mostra Internazionale del Brozetto, Pantova (1959, 1960, 1963, 1967, 1969, 1973); Biennale Internazionale di Scultura, Carrara (1962); Salon de la Jeune Sculpture, Paris (1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1972); and Memories - Remodelling - Research, National Conservatory, Athens (1985). Spiteris-Veropoulou has received distinction with the Second Prize at São Paulo Biennial in 1963 and at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles of Paris in 1963, 1964, and 1965. Works by Spiteris-Veropoulou are kept at The American College of Greece, Athens; National Bank of Greece, Athens; National Gallery - Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens; São Paulo Museum of Contemporary Art, Brzail; and Museums of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, Lausanne and Skopje. Installations by Spiteris-Veropoulou are on display in open spaces, such as the University of Thessaloniki (1963), Nicosia (1971), Evreux of France (1974), Cachan of France (1974). In 1984 Spiteris-Veropoulou donated her library and archive to the Teloglion Foundation of Art.

[Megakles Rogakos 08/2004]