Shield by George Zongolopoulos
The work Shield by George Zongolopoulos is located at the foot of the staircase of the main entrance of the Conference Centre. The work was created by the artist in 1986. A water-powered sculpture made of stainless steel, with water flowing from the pipes of the construction and light reflecting on its metal and liquid surfaces, the Shield exudes bright fluidity, motion and unique passion.
The project was presented in Delphi during the Second International Fine Arts Meeting titled The Fine Arts in today’s societies (25-28 August 1989), and has since remained in the European Cultural Centre of Delphi as a gift from the artist.
George Zongolopoulos (Athens, 1903 – 2004)
George Zongolopoulos was born in Athens in 1903 and studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1924-1930). Since 1930 he worked as an architect in the Ministry of Education studying school buildings, churches and museums. In 1936 he married the painter Helen Paschalidou – Zongolopoulou and in 1938 he resigned from his position to devote himself to sculpture.
Georgios Zongolopoulos, “Lense with chimney“, Bernier Gallery, 1990
In 1949 Zongolopoulos was granted a scholarship from the French Government and moved to Paris for further studies at Marcel Gimond’s studio. In 1952 a scholarship from the Greek State Scholarships Foundation took him to Italy where he specialized in bronze-casting techniques. During that period there was a gradual change in his work and a shift from realism to abstraction. In 1953 he became a member of the European Culture Society (Societé Européene de Culture) and from 1960 to 1988 was a member of the Executive Council.
From the 1970s to late 1990s he maintained with his wife Helen a studio in Paris. The couple lived about half of every year in the French capital attending and participating in international events.
The “eternal teenager“, as he was called, searched for the measure and harmony in his art. As an artist he received official distinctions and his works adorn major public spaces in Greece, Europe and America, as well as many Greek and foreign collections and museums. He represented Greece 11 times in Biennales from 1940 until 2001. He participated in all the National Art Exhibitions and in dozens of solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad.
George Zongolopoulos is internationally renowned as a sculptor. Less known is his extensive painting work. Alongside the sculpture the artist never stopped painting, and his evolution from realism to abstraction is apparent also in his paintings.
In 2004 the sculptor founded the public welfare George Zongolopoulos Foundation, established at his residence in Psychiko. He bequeathed all his works to the Foundation, as well as the work of his wife, painter Helen Paschalidou- Zongolopoulou. The George Zongolopoulos Foundation preserves all sculptures bequeathed by the artist and in addition a multitude of paintings, sketches, drawings and architectural designs made in the course of his long life.
He died on May 11th, 2004 at the age of 103.