Diohandi (1945)

She was born in 1945 in Athens. Her first art teacher was Panos Sarafianos. She studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts with Yannis Moralis for a year and in 1965 she left for Rome, where she studied painting and engraving at the Accademia di Belle Arti. In her first solo exhibition in Rome (Galleria Arflex, 1967), she presented abstract monochromatic works, which were exhibited later in Athens as well (Athens Art Gallery Hilton, 1968). From 1970 onwards, she turned to three-dimensional installations. At first she was using series of paintings with abstract geometric shapes in various patterns, like journeys through space. Gradually, her installations were enriched with sculptural and construction components, maintaining their geometric simplicity, but with greater potential for intervention in space. By exploring the relationship geometry-space, she was led to architectural pursuits and attended courses of architecture at the Polytechnic of Central London (1974-1975).
Her works are always designed in detail according to the location for which they are intended, in order to be integrated, not only architecturally but also semantically. The engineering interventions transform the environment without violating it. In fact, they often highlight the site’s special atmosphere, through a kind of dialogue with the existing physical formations or the past functional purposes of the specific site.
In her large scale installations, created mostly in the ‘80s, the works cooperate with space as living presences that recreate the geometrical positioning, while at the same time, they raise past memories and express a view on the present. The selection of materials (usually from local sources) and the sophisticated use of tonal gradations, shadow and light, render a poetic dimension to the artistic effect. Forms are strictly controlled, but they give the viewer a sense of freedom, when moving around or within the installation.
She has presented solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. She participated in major international art fairs, such as, the 7th Biennale of Paris (1971), the 12th Biennale of Sao Paulo (1973), and in most international print Biennales for many years in a row (Ljubljana, Krakow, Fredrikstad-Norway, Tokyo etc.). In 1987 she created the permanent work Seoul – 24th Olympiad at Seoul’s Olympic Park. In 2011, she represented Greece at the 54th Venice Biennale with her work-installation Beyond Reform. Also in 2012, she was awarded the 1st prize of AICA Hellas for her work Eleusina 2010, an installation-journey across seven different buildings of the old oil Factory of Eleusina, with various materials, sound and light, presented under the Aeschylia 2010 festival.