She studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts painting under Nicos Nicolaou and Yannis Moralis, stage design under Vassilis Vassiliadis and typography under Yannis Papadakis. She continued her studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris studying drawing under Vladimir Velickovic and Alain Challier. Since 1990 she has been teaching painting and drawing at Vakalo Art and Design.

Solo Εxhibitions

  • 2004 AΔ Gallery, Athens
  • 2000 AΔ Gallery, Athens
  • 1997 AΔ Gallery, Athens
  • 1995 AΔ Gallery, Athens
  • 1992 AΔ Gallery, Athens
  • 1989 AΔ Gallery, Athens
  • 1986 Artio Gallery, Athens
  • 1982 Syllogi Gallery, Athens
  • 1978 Diastassi Gallery, Athens

Group Εxhibitions

  • 2009 Aside, GAIA Gallery, Pireus
  • 2004 ARCO, Madrid
  • 2003 Art Athina IX, Athens
  • 2001 Toxic, Center of Modern Art DESTE, Athens
  • 1999 Art Athina VII, Athens
  • 1996 The unexpected in communication, Thema Gallery, Athens
  • 1995 Ecce Homo, Gazi, Athens
  • 1994 Art Athina II, Athens
  • 1990 No man’s land, Municipal Art Center, Athens
  • 1989 Painting for a table, Municipal Gallery, Athens
  • 1987 4 women - 4 presentations, French Institute, Athens
  • 1986 Atelier de dessin, Vladimir Velickovic, Paris
  • 1985 Por la Liberation, Malmo, Sweden
  • 1985 Sign - Writting, Artio  Gallery, Athens
  • 1983 International Drawing Biennale, Cleveland, U.K.
  • 1982 Personal  Mythology, Syllogi Gallery, Athens
  • 1980 Solidarity for the Cypriot People, Athens
  • 1975 Panhellenic Exhibition, Athens

Publications

  • A. Gilbert, catalogue, AΔ Gallery 2000
  • K. Gregos, catalogue, AΔ Gallery 1997
  • N. Xydakis, newspaper Kathimerini, 22.01.1997
  • E. Mavrommatis, “K.Mertzani in AΔ Gallery”, newspaper Kerdos, 22.03.1997
  • M. Stefanidis, “Women”,  magazine ANTI, issue 631, 28.03.1997
  • A. Deros, “K.Mertzani-The worth of the unique”, magazine Art Magazine-Net, iss. 03.1997
  • A. Gilbert, “K.Mertzani”, magazine Arti, May 1997
  • A. Xirouchakis, “Having spent ourselves away, we do art with the remainings”, magazine Anti, May 1995
  • E. Kanellis, “What tender wrapping is about”, magazine Idaniko Spiti, issue 5, 1995
  • M. Maragou, magazine Eleftherotypia, 06.05.1995, 13.02.1997, 03.02.2000
  • A. Schina, “Redefinition processes”, newspaper Epochi, 09.04.1989
  • A. Vassilakou, “K.Mertzani”, magazine Arti, issue 10, 10.05.1992
  • P. Arapinis-K. Mertzani-E. Strouza, catalogue, AΔ Gallery, Athens, 1989
  • D. Antonakatou, catalogue, Syllogi Gallery, Athens, 1982
  • P. Makris, catalogue, Diastassi Gallery, Athens, 1978

Mertzani’ s iconography is clear and concise, yet complex. Her images vacillate between attraction and repulsion, the aesthetically appealing and anti-aesthetic. She has managed to create an imaginative landscape of fortuitous pictorial happenings which are impregnated with significance yet open to personal interpretation.

For example, if her work prompts speculations about the ailing human condition, it also offers the possibility of individual meditation. Her imagery is effective precisely because it has the capacity to yield a multitude of different responses and because it permits the viewer to instinctively establish a pattern of association depending on their own predicament. With intelligence and insight, Mertzani skillfully guides her audience and preconditions its mood, but not its response.

Part of the appeal in her work also lies in the fact that the artist avoids being judgmental or adopting a moralizing tone, taking instead a critical but at the same time sympathetic look towards the seemingly meaningless objects that surround and characterize us. At the same time Mertzani deals with a reality that is harsh and uncomfortable, around which she literally weaves a web of consolation in an attempt (for the artist) to be 'able to find a temporary harmony in his state of malaise'. Above all she has created a body of work which is arresting for its restrained mood and meditative atmosphere. She communicates her vision with subtlety, never lapsing into sentimentality, leaving the viewer an open-ended channel of communication.

Katerina Gregos 
Art Historian - Museologist