In the spring of 2023, the “Ioanna-Giovanna-Jeanne Spiteris” exhibition was inaugurated at the Teloglion Foundation of Art in Thessaloniki. After completing its successful presentation in the area, part of it travels outside Greece. Giovanna Spiteris (1920-2000) “returns” to Italy, this time in Trieste, in a collaboration between the Teloglion Foundation of Art, the Municipality of Trieste and the Hellenic Foundation for Italian Culture, with the participation of the Greek Orthodox Community of Trieste.

The exhibition includes sculptures by Giovanna Spiteris, in copper, marble, wood, constructions, drawings, engravings, models, which reveal a gifted, restless woman, progressive for her time, with a strong awareness of the social importance of art, the difference that art can make, which invites the public to a continuous dialogue with her work.

The title derives from the way the artist signed her works and reflects the three languages, the three countries, ultimately the three cities of her most permanent residence, Athens-Venice-Paris, where she created almost all of her work.

Giovanna Spiteris studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Michalis Tombros.Already in her early works, the main element that distinguishes her can be discerned: the intuition of volume and the right relationship with space that leads her to a monumental perception of sculpture (René de Solier).

Giovanna Spiteris

Two different periods can be distinguished in her work. In the first one in Venice (1958-1963) she works with iron using the oxygen welding technique. Sharp shapes, with strong dynamism and expressiveness, apparently aggressive forms, reveal an inner anguish transforming it into phases of a plastic tragedy (G. Mourelos). In his review in the newspaper La Voce di San Marco (13/06/1959) Manlio Alzetta compared her work to that of Emilio Vedova, who was considered one of the most important artists to appear on the art scene of his country after WWII ‘ World War.

In the second phase in Paris (1963-1976) her work is transformed on all levels, in materials, in morphology, in the general perception of sculpture. Its starting point is the relationship between sculpture and architecture. Geometric clarity, simplification, structural elements lead to infinite combinations, without mechanical repetition. The main element in this phase is color, completely intertwined with the sculptural form, without competing with it, suggesting the positive side of life, a heartfelt offering for human contact.

The most active period of her career, in terms of her participation in exhibitions and competitions abroad, was until 1976. In 1977 she returned to Greece and continued to work in Athens. Her production decreased due to her age, but the artist did not stop participating in international exhibitions and competitions, as well as exhibiting her work more often in Greece.

Giovanna Spiteris and her husband Tonis Spiteris, the distinguished thinker and art critic, made together in Teloglion Foundation of Art, already in the 80s, a large and valuable donation: their archives, their library, their collection and the whole of the artist’s work. The exhibition, like the large bilingual catalogue, is a tribute to the great sculptor and a contribution to contemporary art. The approximately 90 works and artifacts presented in the exhibition represent her entire body of work.

The exhibition is accompanied by a rich bilingual edition (Greek-English), which is available at the Carlo Schmidl Museum – Palazzo Gopcevich.

Opening: Friday, July 21, at 12:00

Duration: 21 July – 17 September 2023

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00-17:00, Mondays closed


Additional Information:

Palazzo Gopcevich

via Gioacchino Rossini, 4

34121 Trieste TS

Tel. +39 040 675 4039

Hellenic Foundation for Italian Culture

Via del Lavatoio, 5

34132 Trieste TS

Tel: +39 040 639 339

email: [email protected]

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