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Woman with Spindle, 1967



Michael Chr. Kashalos (1885-1974)
Woman with Spindle, 1967
Oil on plywood
AGLC 536 @ A.G Leventis Gallery

Kashalos has his own pictorial language. Self-taught, he remained unaffected by the teachings of formal education, depicting his subject with immediacy and purity, through the eyes of a man who has remained a child. Through his simplistic visual vocabulary he brought to the present recollections of Byzantine, Post-Byzantine and folk art styles, reinvigorating archetypal forms and formats. Kashialos gives a different view of reality as he perceives it. He did not use perspective- the entire scene takes place on the surface of the composition. The figures are depicted in profile, stylized, and immobilized in their activity. They recall figures of the Karakiozi, stuck upon the surface of the work.

The painting Woman with Spindle portrays a shepherdess who has brought her animals to graze in the fields. Making the most of her time, she is spinning wool with her spindle. The composition incorporates all the characteristics of the previous work. The verticality and immobility of the human form is disturbed by the dynamic presence of the sun, which is illustrated diagonally, shooting its scorching rays to the earth.

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About the artist

Michael C. Kashalos was the first Cypriot naïve artist to have made a name for himself. He was born in the village of Assia and he lived there his entire life. He died in Larnaca in 1974, after enduring a serious injury from the Turkish army that had invaded his village. He only went to primary school, where he had some art lessons. He worked a variety of jobs, including shoemaking and pottery only becoming involved in art at around 1960, at quite an advanced age. He drew his themes from the manners, customs, traditions, occupations and habits of his fellow villages. His work depicts the world as he lived it or as he remembered it, and thus contains rich folkloric material.

More paintings of the artist
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