Houtzoumis Vera (1920 - 2007)

Born in Athens in 1920, she studied literature at the University of Athens till 1946 and in 1948 she moved to Paris, where she studied painting at the Académie Julian (1951-1958) under André Planson. From 1964 to 1966 she lived and worked in New York. She presented her first solo exhibition at the Nees Morfes Gallery (1961).
Under the effect of her Parisian training, her painting focused on modern trends already in the 1960s. She was among the first women painters in Greece to move away from representational art and into abstraction. Her work, with clear traces of Orphism and lyrical abstraction, is characterised by the search for the chromatic expression of emotional conditions and metaphysical preoccupations, with light as the foremost element. Her key motif is clear shapes and colours derived from the prismatic analysis of light. The painter insisted on these forms which she treated through a personal idiom with the emphasis on motion, creating a special rhythmic world. Her compositions give out a strong feeling of dynamic balance and a kind of musical harmony based on the prismatic structure of shapes, the careful tonal gradation of colours and the successful use of complementary hues.
In addition to canvas painting she created designs for fabrics and carpets and practised painting on glass.
She presented her work in two solo exhibitions in Athens and in many group shows in Greece and abroad. She participated in Panhellenic Exhibitions (1960, 1963, 1967, 1971, 1973, 1975) and in several salons in Paris — Musée d’Art Moderne (1957, 1959), Salon des Femmes Peintres (1959), Salon du Prix Ο. Fries (1961), etc. her works can be found in the National Gallery and in private collections in Greece, France, the USA and Canada.