The catalogue of the exhibition “Medousa Art Gallery 1979-2017” that was hosted in the Benaki Museum this spring.

Medusa Art Gallery 1979-2017

Text: Danae Tal | Photos: Nikos Zappas

As I’m writing this text, with Lefkes lying at my feet and the windmills around the village crowning my head, I’m wondering how to fit 40 years into an article.

Meanwhile, the unsuspecting reader wonders about the connection between Lefkes and Medusa Art Gallery, and from 1979 to 2017 for that matter. A painting exhibition of the same title was held at the Piraeus Str.-based Benaki Museum in the spring of this year. “Medusa was the name by which I used to be called at school,” said Maria Dimitriadi, the gallery’s owner, in an interview she gave a few years before her passing. “If I had a helicopter, I would run the Lefkes to Athens route every day,” she told us, laughing, in her interview here, at Parola.

In the exhibition, the two ends of this route were in fact united into a new space featuring in its entirety in the exhibition catalog. 57 artists, worthy representatives of contemporary art in Greece, Maria Demitriadis’ timeless overviews, and notable texts signed by the project’s contributors make up a rare publication, directly associated with Paros, even if Maria Dimitriadis didn’t get around to getting a helicopter during her brief passage through life.

She managed to bequeath her personal collection to the National Gallery, though, for all to see, and this, apart from being a generous gesture, is also an invaluable donation, since Maria Dimitriadi, inspired by the people and life on Paros, as she had confessed in her interviews, singled out, supported, admired and loved the most groundbreaking visual artists in our country.

As I’m writing this text, the village church clock is striking the time, the sun has long crossed the Byzantine path, while the hay around it is turning into volumes of gold swaying in the wind. At the same time, canvases of every hue, sculptures of every imaginable kind, and Maria Demitriadi-Medousa’s glowing figure are emerging from the pages of the publication, and so the island’s open horizon, meeting the sea in the background, is getting inextricably linked with 40 years of visual artistic dreams, fitted and actualised in the semi-basement of Xenokratous Str. in Kolonaki.