Andreas Vourloumis’s sketches

It is often in preparatory drawings, rather in the finished oil paintings, that an artist’s spontaneity finds its best moments. An artist’s «notes» – the initial drawings – are the window to his method and work process. They are the closest the public can get to an artist’s thoughts. This sense of intimacy is what makes an exhibition on the drawings, gouaches and pastels of the late Greek painter Andreas Vourloumis both unusual and interesting. Organized by and held at the National Bank Cultural Foundation in Thessaloniki, this «large» exhibition on the artist’s «small» works reveal an unknown side to the artist’s work. Vourloumis is mainly known for his paintings of portraits, interiors and landscapes which he drew in a figurative style. He paid special attention to color and his studies in chemistry in the early 1930s enabled him to produce unusual hues. He also endowed his colored surfaces with a luminous effect, an aspect of his work that shows his admiration for Byzantine art. This, in turn, explains the artist’s apprenticeship to Fotis Kontoglou during the ’40s. What is perhaps less known is that Vourloumis made hundreds of small drawings on notebooks and scrap paper which in some cases he carried with him on a daily basis. Many of these he used as preparatory drawings for his larger paintings. Sketches that show views of his homes in Kolonaki, his workshop in Pangrati and views of the city around the area of Lycabettus Hill are the artist’s impressions from his daily strolls. They are shown in the exhibition along with images of Aegina, which was his favorite island, still-lifes, his friends and passers-by. Notes on color and light are often found on the side of the drawings. Compiled for the present exhibition, these sketches are an artist’s daily, visual observations of his surroundings. They are the rough material of an exhibition on detail, passing thoughts, fleeting impressions and a persistent work method. At the National Bank Cultural Foundation, 108 Vassilissis Olgas Avenue, Thessaloniki, 2310.295.170, through December 12.