warrior from Knossos, modern Greek warrior, and map of Candia

Nikolaou Nikos
Artwork date:
acrylic on canvas
420 X 420 τρίπτυχο cm
Nikolaou Nikos

Nikos Nikolaou was born in Hydra in 1909. In 1929 he enrolled in the Athens School of Fine Arts, where he studied painting under K. Parthenis and Umv. Argyros. He presented his first works in 1932 in the exhibition of works by the students of the Athens School of Fine Arts. In 1935 he joined the group “Free Artists” and took part in an exhibition held at Parnassos Literary Society. In 1937, he and his fellow student and friend Yiannis Moralis went to Paris and Rome to continue their studies after having shared Moralis’ scholarship. In Paris he was exposed to the art of Galanis and Derain but the outbreak of WWII forced him to return to Athens, where he worked making valuations and conservations of works of art. After the war he was among the founding members of the group “Armos” and held his first solo exhibition (1948, Romvos art gallery). At the same time he painted murals (egg tempera and fresco) in various public buildings, including the Panteion School of Political Sciences (today’s Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences).

From 1954 onwards he worked as a stage designer and collaborated with the Karolos Koun Greek Art Theatre, creating sets and costumes for several plays. In 1964, he settled in his house in Aegina where artists and intellectuals would often meet. In the same year he was elected professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts, where he taught for a decade. At the same time he worked on engraving and book illustration. He presented his works in solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He took part in international events such as the 1946 Cairo International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale (1936 and 1964), the Sao Paulo Art Biennial (1957), the EXPO 1970 (Museum of Fine Arts, Osaka, Japan) and the Salon de Mai in Paris (1973). His works were included in major exhibitions of contemporary Greek art in Greece and abroad, including, the tribute to Greek art Grekisk Konst, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm (1947), An Exhibition of Eleven Greek Artists, at The Robertson Galleries in Ottawa, Canada (1953), Mostra di pittura ellenica contemporanea, at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (1953) and 16 Artistes Hellenes, Mali-Kalemegdan in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (1954), etc.

Nikos Nikolaou died in Athens in 1986. His book The adventure of the line in art was published shortly after his death (Athens, 1986). Retrospective exhibitions of his work were held posthumously at the Museum of Cycladic Art (1989), at the Athens School of Fine Arts (branch of Hydra, 1989), at the National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum (1991), at the Benaki Museum (2005), which was also organised in Berlin by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture and in 2017 at the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation. He was a member of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece.

Artist's artworks