For Spyros Papaspyrou colour is very important. His serigraphies are articulated with geometric shapes and clear surfaces. He is an artist of detail, extraordinary attention, strict processing of his original idea, of the many tests and drafts. His work needs patient and sensitive viewers : those who will not stay at the first impression but those who will look for tensions that can not be seen at a glance , balances and harmonies that exist but do not scream of their existence, the figurative experiments that, although clear in their expression, are not suitable for a quick and indifferent approach.

In painting, the predominant art of two dimensions, the illusion of real space has traditionally been of great importance. Empirically or based on mathematical principles, painters have painted the world for centuries as they saw it or as they understood it through the education of linear or “atmospheric” perspective. Painting was a representation of reality. Modern art, on the other hand, has attributed colour, not space, sovereign –almost an existential -role in painting practice. In addition, the abstract art expressions of the 20th century, permanently dissociated painting from the need to depict a recognizable theme, because it depicts an actual or possible existing scene or story described in a literary source. In the second half of the century large surfaces could be covered by a single colour, without mixing, without toning, without reference to reality, without three-dimensional performance claims in the two-dimensional space.

Papaspyrou was taught this evolutionary historical course of painting, as all the artists of his generation, who now accept undeniably and without considering it a pioneering step in their art monochromatic surfaces and geometric abstraction. Interesting in his case is that this tradition appears in his work edited and seen through his personal experience and search.

In Papaspyros’ serigraphies geometric shapes are filled with pure colours and the visual surface gains dynamism and intensity through the organization of shapes and the careful selection of tones. No illusion lurks no subject that reminds people the intake, with vision, of the world exists to make any connections with reality. However, the artist deviates from the demands of monochromatic abstraction. There are various methods that eventually integrate the actual space into its surfaces or to produce space through the surface.

Repeating shapes with different tones each, but in the same colour, through a studied choice, create visual surfaces that invite the viewer to explore aspects of space created by their presence and absence. A blank, white, is not only a reminder of the two-dimensional surface, but also a structural element of the image. In the same way the gaps work, in contrast to the full elements, in modern sculpture. Raster in dark tones or unexpected metallic acrylics, create tension in the plaques colour surfaces.

Plexiglass printing creates a different intake condition and viewing. The coloured opaque surfaces in the transparent material, its placement away from the wall through the thickness of the frames or printing on sequential surfaces and their placement in space give the works another dynamic. Space is contained because of the shadow (and not the shading, a typical feature of the painting tradition) who is created according to the circumstances of the lighting, but also the angle of observation. The two-dimensional shapes acquire volume, ephemeral and unexpected, but essentially visually present.

Even one uniform square to a symmetrical synthesis, aided by the dithering created by the passepartout, creates with the help of light unexpectedly smaller squares and shapes through natural shadow in the real space.

For all these reasons, these important details, the work of Papaspyrou needs careful observation. To identify composite experimentations of the artist, to reveal the random dimensions of his recording of the three-dimensional space in the two-dimensional, to see how surface talks with depth, not necessarily premeditated in every detail, but always as a result of a thorough processing.

Ioannina, November 28, 2018.

Areti Adamopoulou

Associate Professor of History of Art,

School of Fine Arts,

University of Ioannina