Spyros Koukoulomatis was a painter with a strong vision who pushed the boundaries of his art throughout his life. At first he embraced abstraction and expressionism, but later he turned to surrealism as a means of commenting on his contemporary society. He worked to express the spirit of his time through symbols and allegories in his paintings, because, as he passionately stated, "the usefulness of the painter lies in the composition and formulation of the generally accepted mythology of his time". To bring his image of Greece to life, he used symbols from Greek mythology and infused his creations with his deep interest in contemporary social issues and human nature. The retrospective, currently on show at the Melina Mercouri Cultural Centre, presents around a hundred works from his oeuvre. This is a rare opportunity to see his work up close, as it is the first exhibition organised in Athens since the painter's death in 1995. While at it, check out the centre's permanent exhibitions, a diorama of Athens at the beginning of the 20th century and a large collection of shadow puppets.