Andrikopoulou Nelly (1921 - 2014)

She was born in Istanbul (Constantinople) in 1921. She moved to Athens with her family in 1936. In 1939, she entered the preparatory department of the Athens School of Fine Arts, where she studied drawing under Dimitrios Biskinis. In 1943, after an interval due to the War, she continued with sculptural studies at ASFA, under Michalis Tombros.
In 1945, she participated in the transportation of 200 young Greek scholars of the French state to France with the ship ‘Mataroa’, at her own expense, a story recounted later in her book “The Voyage of the Mataroa” (2007). She settled in Paris, where she attended sculpture lessons under Marguerite Lavrilleux, and also at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière under Ossip Zadkine. Her sculptural work reveals the influences of her teachers and the cubist trends of Parisian art. Despite her original intention, she managed to extend her stay in the French capital beyond 1947, when she returned to Athens. Since then, she focused mostly on painting and drawing.
In 1949, she joined the artistic group “Armos”, and in 1950 she married Nikos Engonopoulos, with whom she lived until 1954. During that period, her work received Engonopoulos’ influence, with evident references to Byzantine painting and surrealism. In the following years, she worked in tourism, mainly as a tour guide. Many landscapes from her travels are depicted in her painting.
A large part of her themes reflects moments of her life, as well as people and places from her familiar environment. She often portrays important artists and intellectuals of her time, with whom she maintained friendly relations. The freehand drawing of her subjects, the chromatic harmony, and her profound perception of individual facial features, are some of the main distinctive characteristics of her oeurve.
She also developed significant writing and translating work, since the late 1980s.
She participated in group exhibitions in Paris and Athens. In 2014, only a few months before her death, her retrospective exhibition was held at the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation in Athens and Thessaloniki.