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Inner Space

About the artist

Nikos Markou (Athens, 1959) studied mathematics at the University of Athens but has been working as a photographer artist since 1980. He has had fifteen solo exhibitions in museums and galleries in Greece and abroad, has participated in over sixty group shows and has won awards and distinctions in photography contests. The oeuvre of Nikos Markou has been published in two monographs: Geometries, texts by Costis Antoniadis & Olga Daniilopoulou, (Adam, 2000) and COSMOS, text by Iraklis Papaioannou (tetarto, 2004).

About the exhibition

In his solo exhibition “Inner Space” at CITRONNE Gallery, Nikos Markou presents a new photographic series as sequel to his show “Monumenta Naturalia” (2012).

Nikos Markou observes, composes and records the "cosmos"—a Greek term whose etymology and evolution over time gives it various interpretations: universe or outer space but also embellishment, humanity, space... In this latest series the photographs on display record and make up a testimony that reflects an inner world; an "Inner Space". The artist "stages" his photographs as composite "landscapes". They depict from the inside the gloom of night, the light of day, the omnipresent nature on Earth as in heaven. They represent the "cosmos", but it is a fictitious, constructed cosmos. The viewer is the receiver who is called upon to decode a photographic language which may be often arcane but is always open to mental associations.

To this end, Nikos Markou uses "objets trouvés", i.e. random elements such as rocks, earth, paper or marbles; he removes these objects from their context, appropriates them, modifies them, stages them and finally he photographs them. The result is a reality that is virtual, immobile and finite. It is a visual exercise between the natural and the artificial, derived from the photographer's own imagination.

The "Inner Space" series is presented at the CITRONNE Gallery as a dialogic sequel to his previous series "Topos" and "Nature Monuments". The exhibition features also a series of videos by Nikos Markou in which the moving image engages in dialogue with the photographs and functions as a link between the artist's latest and previous series of works.

Makis Theofylaktopoulos, 2019. New Works.

Makis Theofylaktopoulos
Makis Theofylaktopoulos, 2019. New Works.
November 28, 2019 - February 22, 2020

19 Patriarchou Ioakim
4th floor
10675 Athens

(+30) 210 7235 226

Opening Hours
Tue, Thu, Fri: 11.00-15.00 &17.00-20.00
Wed: 11.00-15.00
Sat: 11.00-16.00

About the artist

Makis Theofylaktopoulos was born in 1939 in Athens. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Y. Moralis (1961-1967). He lived and worked abroad from 1969, mainly in Switzerland and France, as well as in New York on a Ford Foundation grant he received in 1971. In 1975, he returned to Greece. The human form and its relationship with space predominates in the largest part of his oeuvre. He embarked on exploring the diverse stages of this relationship, by using as starting point, the Motorcyclist, his older and most popular subject matter; in some cases, this figure represents an intimidating symbol of authority, while other times, it signifies a speed addict, who is a victim himself. The external depiction of the moving figure is gradually replaced by a sense of motion within painting itself. This emerging aspect of his personal idiom would become the key to his future development. His figures are usually recognizable and they often stand alone in space, while less frequently, they coexist with few more figures. In his more abstract works, the subject matter is drawn elusively, sometimes only as an outline, yet always preserving the intensity of its presence and its role in the composition. Apart from oil or acrylic paintings, he has produced many charcoal drawings, while in recent years, he often uses crayons and mixed media. His energetic, expressionist style, his elliptical, yet forceful drawing technique, the implied motion of the opulent chromatic texture, and the versatile processing of painting space are the key features of his oeuvre. Depending on the different expressive needs of each work period, the vigor of his brushstroke is being diffused, through these characteristics, either towards the surface of the canvas, or towards its depth. In 1988 he was elected professor at the School of Fine Arts, in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where he remained until 2005. He has presented his work in approximately twenty solo exhibitions and in numerous group shows in Greece and abroad. He participated in the Alexandria Biennale (1977), in Europalia (Brussels, 1982) and in the Traveling Exhibition of Greek Art in Toulouse (1986), among others. His major retrospective exhibition Matter Vicissitutes: 1960- 2010, was organized by the Benaki Museum in 2010.

About the exhibition

Makis Theofylaktopoulos, one of the most important contemporary Greek painters, presents twenty-one new works at Citronne Gallery that radically renew his painterly language and provide a unique example of reflective impulse, risk and experimentation. In this new cycle, Theofylaktopoulos measures himself against hitherto unexpected materials such as indelible marker pens, conquers their textures and tonalities and organically incorporates them into an oeuvre he has developed with artistic consistency and personal anxiety for over fifty years now.

Since the mid-1960s, Theofylaktopoulos has created a heady universe of painterly integrity and existential depth with the human or humanlike figure at its core. However, in the course from the first motorcyclists he presented in 1966 to this day this figure has become gradually unfamiliar as it sinks increasingly into the matter and color of the painterly gesture. Given that with almost every new work Theofylaktopoulos reinvents his technique anew, he goes from representation to an almost autobiographical abstraction as it seeks what he calls "artistic emission": the power of painting to pulsate irrationally within its viewer. His new works constitute a turning point for Greek painting, as creations of an unexpected youthfulness as well as of a robust maturity from one of the outstanding exponents of contemporary Greek expressionism.

"The new works have been moulded as if I've used oil; as if I've used a material I knew but with a new texture which has a different hardness to begin with, and which you cannot imagine you can conquer at first. The quest is always how, working on a material with the means you have, you can reach a moment when the work will become a transmitter. You have to fight against all sorts of spectres and hardships. You cannot force yourself to be more modern than you are. You cannot imitate the new, and you cannot imitate yourself. Things always start from the beginning."

After the significant exhibition "Encapsulation-Mappemonde" of George Lappas, Citronne Gallery continues its presentation of major exhibitions by the exponents of mainstream contemporary Greek art. The new creations of Makis Theofylaktopoulos are exhibited in dialogue with selected works from the painter's production of the last decade. They demonstrate the unity, the consistency but also the ruptures in his idiom and reflect the maturity and the passion of an outstanding artist.

The exhibition comes with a bilingual catalogue that features the artist's conversations with Theophilos Tramboulis, curator of the exhibition and editor of the catalogue.