"The artworks of Zenia Dimitrakopoulou activate our ability to see and to interpret. Her paintings, based on a purely lyrical sense, reveal an unusual sensibility. The softness of the color schemes and the way she uses them, show us important traits of her personality and her interest in expressing her emotions."
José Roberto Moreira, gallerist and curator (Colorida Art Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal), 2016
"My creative drive is incessant –and I let it take me where it will each time. Some themes have become obsessions throughout the years and they keep inspiring me over and over again, even though the outcome is different each and every time.
Being born and raised in Greece, my inspiration is deeply interconnected with my natural environment, which sparks and colours my everyday life. Trees and the rhythmic interconnections between them was one of the first obsessions, which opened the way to a more abstract approach. The sea and its colourful nuances is one of my latest obsessions, as I live by the sea during the last few years.
Even though my paintings change throughout the years, as I am changing also, there are some constant values that form the basis of my work. Always seeking harmony of the composition and the colours, always tending towards abstraction, pure forms that emanate clarity, simplicity, and rhythm. Conveying the essence of light is essential, even in the darker paintings.
Usually my paintings express a meditative mood and aim at evoking similar emotions."
Zenia Dimitrakopoulou, 2017
"In my path, the combination of different elements has been desicive. The exact sciences, geometry and mathematics, form the foundation that was set by my initial studies as an engineer. It always acts subconsiously, in the constant seeking of equilibrium through proportions and internal structure. The freedom of personal motion within this innermost frame brings about its own outcome. The motion has been developed through years of occupation with dancing and music, and meditation contributes in the harmonization of the internal rythm with the externalization of its expression.
Since the period of my stydies at the Athens School of Fine Arts, what remains as an endless target is, no matter how elaborated my artworks may be, to maintain their freshness, the energy and the purity of their original sensation, of their birth."
Dr. Dimitrakopoulou Eugenia (Zenia) is a visual artist and an art educator based in Athens.
She originally graduated as a Surveying Engineer from the National Technical University of Athens (N.T.U.A) and had a Masters degree in London (MSc in Transport, Imperial College, scolarship from Eugenides foundation).
She graduated as a visual artist from the Athens School of Fine Arts (1997-2003 with Professor D. Mytaras), where she also attended courses on Art Teaching, Photography, Mosaic Art, Engraving and Sculpture.
She completed an MSc program in "Architecture-Space Planning" at the Athens School of Architecture (N.T.U.A), on “Planning-Space-Culture” (2004-2006). Her thesis concerned a hermeneutical approach of the structure of Vermeer’s works.
Since 2015 she has completed her PhD thesis on the analysis of Vermeer’s oeuvre, his harmonic compositions and the symbolism in his works, in the section of History of Art at the Athens School of Architecture, with a scholarship from the University’s Research Fund.
Artworks by her are included in private collections in Greece, UK, Germany, Russia, Canada, US, Hong Kong.
She gives painting lessons and lectures on art history.
The Sea of Colours, on the Polish MAEM Newsletter
Self-assessments _ "A journey with no end and no beginning" Newspaper "Αυγή", 20/10/2010 (in Greek)
"Painting Lessons with Z. Dimitrakopoulou" babyspace.gr, 17/01/2011 (in Greek)
"Women with a second diploma" Newspaper "Το Βήμα", 17/12/2010 (in Greek)
A Visit to Zenia Dimitrakopoulou's Studio STAR CHANNEL, 19/11/2010 (in Greek)
2 person Exhibitions:
Holland Tunnel Gallery Paros: "Rhythm & Color I", Paulien Lethen - Zenia Dimitrakopoulou, curator Dr. Zenia Dimitrakopoulou, July-August 2018
Colorida Art: Zenia Ddimitrakopoulou, Lisbon, Portugal, May-June 2016 (e-catalogue)
Coco-Mat: 'The Art of Living', Kifissia, May-June 2016 (catalogue)
Open CASE 303 (Center for Arts Science & Education): (mind)scapes, Kifissia, March-April 2015, curators Zenia Dimitrakopoulou and Katerina Partheniou (catalogue)
“Art Space 24” gallery: "Seasons", Athens, March-April 2010, curators Zenia Dimitrakopoulou and Elisavet Sakarelli (catalogue)
Rogakos, Megakles (2010) Zenia Dimitrakopoulou: Seasons, Art Space 24, Athens (catalogue)
Exhibition of the Network for Children's Rights: "The child and its world", at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, January 2020
Athens Wine & Art Festival @ the exhibition space of the Athens School of Fine Arts, September 2019
Holland Tunnel Gallery Paros: "Rhythm & Color II", curator Dr. Zenia Dimitrakopoulou, August 2018
Holland Tunnel Gallery Paros: "Rhythm & Color I", curator Dr. Zenia Dimitrakopoulou, July-August 2018
KYO Gallery, Alexandria, Washington: THROUGH ART -RESIST AND RECOVER, May - September 2018
Holland Tunnel Gallery Paros: "Art & Jazz", curator Dr. Zenia Dimitrakopoulou, July-August 2017
Events Horizon: "The Museum of the Future" Part B "To the Unknown God", Athens, November 2012 (catalogue)
1st Santorini International Biennale of Arts: The Past. History, Time, Memory and Nostalgia, July-September 2012
Events Horizon: "Outopia 3: The Architecture of Dreaming", Athens, May-June 2012 (catalogue)
Chamber of Visual Arts and Athens Municipality 'Technopolis': “Image-Space-Action 2”, Athens Technopolis, January-February 2008 (catalogue)
Alpha Trust: “Birthplace”, Athens Benaki Museum, November 2007 (catalogue)
11th International Contemporary Art Fair of Athens: ART ATHINA, Selini gallery, May 2004 (catalogue)
Gallery "Περί Τεχνών": "Masks-Facades as Objects or as Symbols», Athens, February 2005 (catalogue)
9th Festival of Young Artists: "thru-flows" at the Athens Metro Stations, February 2006
Gallery of the Athens School of Fine Arts 'The Factory', "Graduates 2002-2003", April 2004 (catalogue)
5th Film and New Media Festival "e-φως": LOOKOUT, Athens, September 2003
I don’t know if it is an advantage or a disadvantage to have talent, to be competent, in many and very different things. When, in 1996, I announced to my parents that I would take the exams to enter the Athens School of Fine Arts my mother replied with disappointment: “Are you going to give up your Ph.D. to become a painter?” The word ‘painter’ sounded then particularly small in her lips as compared to the prospect of an academic career as an engineer at the National Technical University of Athens.
I always loved painting but I didn’t know how I could become a professional artist. I had succeeded in passing the national exams and had entered the National Technical University with distinction. I graduated first in my class and won a scholarship for an M.Sc. in the best London University for engineering studies back then. I started to work as a researcher in European community programs and was travelling a lot in different European countries for meetings with partners and conferences. In parallel, I was giving some lessons as a Ph.D. candidate at the University and some of the students were teasing me because we were very close in age.
Nonetheless, when, in my 25 years of age, I started systematic lessons in painting for adults with a professional artist, Panagiotis Belntekos, I felt that this path had more truth and essence for me than anything else. And I finally had the support I needed to follow it –because the exams for the Athens School of Fine Arts were not at all easy. The two summers I spent preparing for the exams, instead of taking some carefree vacations, were just the beginning of my trials.
In the subsequent years I was following a full educational program at the School of Fine Arts, while in parallel I continued to work and to travel as before. When I graduated as a painter, I had a permanent post at the N.T.U.A., with steady working hours –and my painting was cramped in the hours that were leftover. I felt all the more thirsty for creativity and all the more divided when I wasn’t following it. The M.Sc. that I started at the School of Architecture of N.T.U.A., taking an educational leave, was the first way out to more creativity and nourishment for my spirit. When, after some more years of working in a totally dry post I didn’t manage to take an educational leave to work on my Ph.D. thesis in Art History, it was time for me to quit my job.
In Greece of 2007 it was not possible to make a living as a new artist, let alone the years of the financial crisis that followed. I started to give painting lessons to groups of children and in parallel I had a scholarship for my Ph.D. thesis on the oeuvre of the Dutch painter Vermeer. My students were a school of life for me. The hours that I have spent with them are hours of creativity, inspiration and joy –but also of continuous challenges, because every young soul has its own way of understanding, learning and expression, its own peculiarities, and needs a different way of communication and approach.
Having completed my Ph.D. thesis, I feel the need to share knowledge at a different level also, bringing adults into more profound contact with the world of inspiration and creativity through lectures on the oeuvre of great artists. But also through writing a novel concerning the last years of Vermeer, which I hope will be published soon.
My preoccupation with art has opened a road for me, a way of living that is interwoven with inspiration and creativity, an endless fruitful course. I am grateful for its existence in my life and I want to share this spiritual uplift though my work, in all its different expressions.