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Nicolas Sphicas chess paintings decorate the Grand Prix venue
Nicolas Sphicas chess paintingsNicola Sphicas' paintings and watercolors on the theme of chess are exquisite and immensely intriguing. His decorative details and mosaic like patterns (reminiscent of Klimt) are compelling and original and while ancient sources inspire his work, he has introduced his personal elements, which are innovative and unique.

His work is characterized by a marvelous range of expression and his style plays noble homage to the grand Greek classical figurative tradition, including that continued by Chirico. At the same time, it calls to mind the delicate sparkle of Byzantine mosaics as well as the decorative patterns of Gustave Klimt and even the colorful lyrical abstraction of Kadinsky watercolors, and all of these with his own stamp of originality.

The connection he has found with the game of chess and so many others facets of art and life is really impressive and extremely interesting. However, his work is so varied and one can definitely distinguish the Egyptian influence in them, as the painter was born and raised in Egypt.

Denise McColgan
Curatorial Assistant
Department of Paintings and Sculpture
Yale Center for British Art

Biographical Note of Sphicas Nicolas

Born in Cairo in 1961.
1980-85 Studied at the School of Fine Arts of the Helwan University of Cairo. He obtained his Ph.D degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Fine Arts, Department of Visual & Fine Arts.
1982 Won the first prize for painting at Helwan University.
1983 Awarded a cash prize in the All Egypt Art Competition for his artwork Tourism on the Banks of the Nile.
1985 Highly commended by the School of Fine Arts for the series of painting in a group exhibition titled Drought in Africa.
1989 Nominated by the Steering Committee of the Greek Community in Cairo for the special prize of the Greek Ministry of Culture for distinguished Greek Artists living abroad.
2000 Awarded with the honorary prize of the Greek Literary Union for “his substantial contribution in the promotion and development of Modern Greek Culture”.
1985 Worked with Dr. Isaak Fanous’ team on a mural in the Museum of the Mohammed Ali Mosque (Cairo Acropolis).
1994 Published the Retro-Shah Album “A theory for the metaphysical dimension of painting and chess based on the space-time evolution of movement on the chessboard”.
2000 Awarded with the honorary prize of the Greek Literary Union for “his substantial contribution in the promotion and development of Modern Greek Culture”.
2006 Awarded with the honorary prize of the Municipality of Thessaloniki for his development of Art in Chess. Also awarded with the honorary prize of the Greek Emigrant Civilization K. P. Kavafis.

Chess Paintings

One-man show exhibitions
1984 French Cultural Center, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
1986 Greek Center, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
1990 Ruth Balmer Gallery, Berne, Switzerland.
1990 Odos Athinon Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus.
1990 Gallery Opus 39, Nicosia, Cyprus.
1994 Vafopoulio Cultural Centre, Thessaloniki, Greece.
1994 Chroma, Cultural Café, Thessaloniki, Greece.
1995 Spiti tis Kyprou (Cypriot Cultural Centre), Kolonaki, Athens, Greece.
1995 Art , Capricorn, Thessaloniki, Greece.
1997 Exhibition Space-Byzantine Tower, New Fokaia, Chalkidiki, Greece.
1998-1999 Sports Museum, Thessaloniki, Greece.
1999 Aenaon, Katehaki, Athens, Greece.
2000-2001 Gallery Opus, Limassol, Cyprus.
2003 Municipality of Stavroupoli, Thessaloniki, Greece.
2004 Aenaon, Katehaki, Athens, Greece.
2005 Porto Hydra, Ermioni, Greece.
2006 Porto Hotel, Thessaloniki, Greece.
2008 Municipal Art Gallery of Thessaloniki. Retroaction Exhibition 1984-2007.
2008 Gallery Kypriaki Gonia, Larnaka, Cyprus.
2011 Gallery Opus 39, Nicosia, Cyprus.
2012 Booze, Athens.
Has taken part in many group exhibitions (as  2000 Biennale International d’ art Miniature, Ville-Marie, Canada - 2000 Pieridis Foundation, Athens-Greece, 2001 Month of the Fine Arts, Technopolis, Municipality of Athens-Greece).

Many of his works can be found in private collections and Art Galleries.

Is a member of the Artistic Chambers of Greece and Cyprus and of the ICOM (International Council of Museums).

Ioanninon 87, K. Toumba, 546 39 Thessaloniki, GREECE.

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