“It is with great pleasure that we inaugurate, today, the exhibition “Mihalis Oikonomou, the alchemy of painting”, another pioneering exhibition, organized by the Averof Gallery, which, this year, closes 35 years of multifaceted and valuable contribution to Art”.

With these words the Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni opened the retrospective exhibition of Michalis Oikonomou at the Averof Art Gallery in Metsovo in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Parliament Konstantinos Tassoulas. According to today’s announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the minister referred to the case of the honored artist, “a self-luminous, unclassifiable, solitary case in modern Greek art, a special and extremely talented artist. With a short life of 45 years from 1888 to 1933, and a shorter period of creation, twenty-two years, from 1909 to 1931, with a unique work that remained for years in the shadows, if not in oblivion.” To then emphasize that “today, the Averof Art Gallery is restoring this injustice by organizing the first major retrospective exhibition of Michalis Oikonomou, presenting his well-known and unknown works, which have emerged in the last twenty years”.

The Minister of Culture focused on the style of Michalis Oikonomou “the artist, who transfers to the canvas the modern searches of color and light, which he conquers and shapes according to his own experiences and with the stamp of a sui generis talent” adding that “the diffusion of colors and light, which dissolve the flexible lines of the contours, place the subjects that inspire him in a poetic and romantic atmosphere.”

Lina Mendoni underlined the importance of the exhibition hosted at the Averof Gallery, one of “the first museums to receive the Recognition mark from the Ministry of Culture, through the Hellenic Museum Recognition and Certification System”. “A broad and comprehensive reform intervention by the Ministry of Culture, with the aim”, as the Minister pointed out, “of the overall upgrade and adaptation of the country’s museum sector, to the needs, demands and all kinds of challenges of the 21st century”, adding that ” from 2026, the Ministry of Culture will financially support only recognized museums”.

The Minister of Culture made a special reference to the founder of the Gallery, Evangelos Averof-Tositsa, “the eupatridis who, during half a century, with calculation and planning, created not one, but two important collections of paintings, aiming to create, with the his beloved siblings, Michel Averov and Mika Siniosoglou, Gallery in memory of their parents”, pointing out that “the Averov family continues to offer a lot to this place, with a lot of personal work, creative thinking and an emphasis always on quality. On the path he carved.”

The exhibition is hosted at the Averof Gallery from October 1, 2023 to January 15, 2024 and will then be transferred to the Theocharakis Foundation. Lina Mendoni pointed out how important this synergy is between the two Foundations, which give both the Epirus region and Athens the opportunity to get to know the wonderful work of Oikonomos, a “forgotten” painter.