Zouni (Sarpaki) Opy (1941 - 2008)

She was born in 1941 in Cairo (Egypt). Before she permanently settles in Greece (1963), she attended painting, pottery, and photography classes in Cairo, where she also presented her first solo exhibition (Nile gallery, 1962). Then she came to Athens and studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1963-1969), painting with Y. Moralis and stage design with V. Vassiliadis.
Her earlier works (painting on cardboard or carved cork) were dominated by an expressionist style. However, over the ‘70s, her art shifted decisively towards geometrical compositions. Initially, the simplicity of form and the harmony in proportions prevail, with particular emphasis on the way the surface relates to light and colour (Desmos gallery, 1973). Following an almost natural pattern of development, her visual experimentations extend to three dimensions, focusing mainly on perspective, refractions of light, contrasts among surfaces and on all those elements which create a sense of movement. Colour is used to stress the constructions’ geometrical purity, and often, the texture of miscellaneous materials is also utilized.
In 1976, she became member of the art group Processes–Systems, created by art historian Emmanuel Mavromatis, with artists of similar trends. After 1980, and following a consistent pattern of development, her constructions were closely associated with space, and evolved to installations. The particular atmosphere characterizing her work springs partly from the coexistence of linear strictness and the freedom of emotive interventions.
Her visual art creations include also series of prints and multiples, experimentations with the use of technological media, photographic interventions, video, etc.
Her work has received international attention. She presented over 70 solo exhibitions in Greece and abroad. She participated in international conferences and hundreds of group exhibitions. She attended the international Printmaking Biennials and Triennials regularly. After 1980, she also participated in international exhibitions of Mail Art and Visual Poetry. She was awarded the State Prize at the Festival International de la Peinture of UNESCO (Cagnes-sur-mer, 1971) and the 1st prize at the International Biennial Impreza (Ukraine, 1989). One of her works has been placed at the ‘Egaleo’ station of the Athens Metro.
Her last retrospective exhibition entitled, The present and the last twenty years, was held at the Cycladic Art Museum in Athens (2006-07).
Monographs on her work were published in 1997, 2003, 2006 and 2007. She died in Athens in 2008.