Illiopoulou Irene (1950)

Born in Athens in 1950, she studied literature at the University of Athens (1969-1975) and painting at the ASFA (1977-1981) under G. Mavroidis. She continued in Paris on Greek- and French-state scholarships at the École des Beaux-Arts under L. Cremonini (1981-1985).
In 1986 she presented her first solo show at the Galerie Étienne de Causans in Paris, featuring wooden angel figures of medieval inspiration. Her first exhibition in Athens was held at the Titanium gallery in 1988, with works created in Paris at an abandoned theatre and a disused Metro station. Her subjects were based on the long observation of her selected spaces and the close rapport she established with them. During the next period, in the same spirit, she painted the vineyards, rice fields and swamps of southern France where she lived from time to time. Until 1999, her subjects were mainly landscapes and still lifes; the human figure only appears in 2000, placed in natural or urban settings. A strong narrative mood combined with a poetic remoulding of reality characterises her painting. The scenes take place in coffee houses, open-air cinemas or merry-go-rounds or sometimes in dreamy settings of memory and desire, with the human figure occasionally playing a decisive part in the narrative. In more recent works, however, there is a clear move away from the narrative and a switch to a more direct rendering of seascapes and rocks (Mare Mineralis, 2015), mainly through an aquarelle technique that emphasises the fluidity of the image.
She has presented her work in 15 solo exhibitions in Athens and Paris, and has participated in group shows in Greece and abroad (France, Belgium, England, Finland). She was included in the exhibitions Vers un nouvel humanisme by curator Marina Lambraki-Plaka (Centre Culturel de Villejuif, Paris 1990); Peintres et Sculpteurs Grecs contemporains en France (Maison de l’Europe, Paris 1994); Greek Landscape Painting, 19th – 20th c. (National Gallery, Athens 1998). Her works can be found in public and private collections in Greece and abroad.