An illustrator’s Athens through pencil on pad

The illustrations by longtime Kathimerini contributor Elli Solomonidou-Balanou have captured Greece’s artistic scene over the past 40 years. Through her work, the newspaper’s readers have recognized her own talent, perception of other artists, and the aura pervaded by actors or dancers – all as captured with pencil on pad. Of Solomonidou-Balanou’s prolific output, only a fraction has been published by Kathimerini. Over a decade ago, selections of the artist’s work were culled for a publication titled «30 Years of Illustrations, Theater, Music, Dance» (L. Brazioti publications, 1988). Just days ago an exhibition, «The Athens of Elli Solomonidou-Balanou,» was launched at the City of Athens Museum. Its curator, Professor Stelios Lydakis, gave an opening speech on the artist’s particular approach to the city. Solomonidou-Balanou’s sketches of Athens capture the city’s finer details, buildings, roads, and people for a collection of works that depict the Greek capital’s postwar evolution. The admirable nuances inherent in her work present an urban landscape and look upon Athens with nostalgia, intensity, assuredness and warmth, distinctive traits that have made her sketches an integral part of Athens. Runs through November 30. City of Athens Museum, 7 Paparigopoulou, Klafthmonos Square.

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