200 YEARS GREEKS AND INNOVATION
1939

Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas exhibits his "Grand Panorama of Hydra" at the Panhellenic Exhibition

The first exhibition of Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas (1906-1994) took place in 1928 in the Stratigopoulou gallery. In the 1930s, the painter became acquainted with Dimitris Pikions, StratisDoukas, and the German Klaus Frislander. At the time, he started the process of re-connecting with popular culture: he wandered in immigrant quarters, photographed the modest neighborhoods, tools, objects, and toys. In his studio, his art was influenced by French avant-garde. He acquired his individual style by exploiting a new area: landscape painting.

His meaningful and fertile relationship with the island of Hydra and his commitment to the profound study of the savage landscape of the island enabled him to invent a personal and original medium of artistic communication. The "Grand Panorama of Hydra" (1938), which Ghikas exhibited at the Panhellenic Exhibition in Zappeion, introduced modernism to the Greek public. The painter had finally succeeded in what he had set out to achieve when he arrived from Paris, when he was talking about "Mediterranean" painting: to create a school of "Greek modernism." In 1946, at his first retrospective exhibition, he was finally recognized as one of the most prominent Greek painters.