Houliaras Nikos (1940 - 2015)

He was born in Ioannina in 1940. He studied sculpture and scenography at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1962-1967), under Y. Pappas and V. Vassiliadis, but he eventually opted for painting. His first solo exhibition as a painter was held in Athens (Astor gallery, 1969) and he was awarded with the 'K. Parthenis' prize for painting excellence.
His early works were rather abstract with undefined forms, resembling astral bodies on white background.
Memories of his homeland's landscapes invade his painting in the ‘70s. He creates paintings of desolate sites, where he stresses the line of the horizon, conveying an evocative atmosphere - an allusion to the image of the Ioannina lake.
In his next phase, after 1979, the particular temperament of this painting style will be completed, with the ultimate dominance of a figurative first person narrative. The paintings are inundated with figures that narrate stories about people, recount memories, fairytales and dreams or express existential anxieties, sometimes vividly and sometimes in a grotesque vein. The autobiographical dimension of the narrative is enhanced by the persistent repetition of the figure of the artist, which features a large part of his work. The images are often accompanied by handwritten texts, which complement at times the content of the work in terms of meaning, but mainly function as structural components of the composition.
His presence in the greek art scene is not limited to his painting work. Very early in his career, he gained recognition for his song writing and singing (he has released 7 music albums). He has also published many of his writings, as well as 14 books of literature (mainly by Nefeli publications), many of which have been translated into several european languages. He has been involved in book design and illustration for years and was awarded twice at the international book fair of Leipzig (1978 and 1983).
His work has been showcased in solo exhibitions in Greece, at the Biennale of Alexandria (1969) and in several group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. His comprehensive retrospective exhibition was organized at the Benaki Museum in 2011.