Curriculum vitae

Helen Paschalidou - Zongolopoulou
(Istanbul 1909 – Athens 1991)

Helen Paschalidou was brought up in an urban family environment in Istanbul, where she as well as her sisters were nurtured with art and culture. Helen’s mother, Despina, influenced her towards drawing and thus she began drawing at a very young age. Helen’s generation (56 first cousins) produced many well-known artists including Yiannis Pappas, Helen Pagkalou and Andreas Vourloumis.

Helen Paschalidou studied at Zappeio Girls School which was a fertile cultural environment that developed her aesthetic and artistic criterion. By the time Paschalidou-Zongolopoulou completed her Gymnasium studies she had already decided to devote herself to painting. Her three foreign languages, French, Italian and English proved useful as she was to travel frequently. In 1922 her family moved from Istanbul to Bulgaria, then soon after to Thessaloniki and finally to Athens, where they settled permanently in 1925. In 1928, Helen Paschalidou enrolled in the Athens School of Fine Arts where studied drawing with Konstantinos Parthenis. In 1933 after the completion of her studies, she began her association with the sculptor George Zongolopoulos. In 1936 they married, sharing the same love for life and art for the following 58 years.

In 1937 Helen Paschalidou-Zongolopoulou went to Paris, where El Greco' s work captured her interest. Paschalidou-Zongolopoulou took part in the International Exhibition in Paris and was awarded the silver prize. Her exposure there to Pablo Picasso' s work led her toward creative abstractivism in her art. In 1939 she took part in the International Exhibition of New York, where she was honored for her participation.

In 1949 Helen Paschalidou-Zongolopoulou studied at Andre Lhote's School in Paris. André Lhote was an advocate of contemporary art and Cubism. In 1953 she received a scholarship from the National Scholarships Foundation and thus she continued her studies in drawing in the Academia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy.

From 1953 and on her travels in Spain, Italy, England and France influenced on her drawings. Helen Paschalidou-Zongolopoulou focused on abstract and aniconic drawings and paintings.

In 1973 Helen and George Zongolopoulos bought a studio in Paris in order to live in the center of contemporary art trends as well as to closely follow the movements in the Arts.

Paschalidou-Zongolopoulou worked passionately and participated in all the Pan-Hellenic Exhibitions up to 1965. She also took part in solo as well as group exhibitions up to 1986.

She was an active member of the Société Européenne de Culture in Venice from 1956 as well as a teacher of many younger artists. Her works can be found in many private and public collections in Greece, Europe, U.S.A. and Israel. Indicatively in Greece her works are held at the Public Athens Library, the Ministry of Education, the National Bank of Greece, and the Greek Contemporary Art Museum I.Vorres. Major art works of hers in Greece are the wall paintings for the railway station of Korinthos (1955) and for the Medical School of the University of Athens (Goudi, 1961).

Helen Paschalidou-Zongolopoulou died on February 16, 1991, in Athens.