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About the artist

Yiannis Adamakos was born in Pyrgos in the southern Peloponnese in 1952. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts between 1973 and 1978 under G. Marvoides, D. Mytaras and P. Tetsis. He lives and works in Athens and in the island of Tinos.

About the exhibition

“I am searching for the magic of the darkness, the shadows, the misty and the obscure. A hidden beauty, faint as in a dream.” Yiannis Adamakos

The artist chose the term INSIGHT to describe the artworks he produced between 2019 and 2021 collectively and as a total. This series comprises works on paper and canvas created in parallel and share a common artistic approach. They complement each other and differ solely in size and material. The exhibition held in CITRONNE gallery features drawings on paper made exclusively with graphite pencil. The works are not studies on other larger ones. They constitute independent and, at the same time, integral parts of a broader series.

Yiannis Adamakos is a profoundly reflective, and insightful artist. He observes; but, at the same time, he adopts an abstract approach. He dreams; but, at the same time, he resorts to geometry. He documents; but, at the same time, he foresees. This solitary procedure integrates experiences turned into images and the ensuing emotion. The painter turns to his personal inner codes in order to filter, process and, ultimately, to transform reality. The formidably balanced synthesis, a composition of thesis and anti-thesis, provides a reflection of the perceived and sensuous impact of the outer world.

His works are not level. The graphite pencil actually engraves on paper and gives tonality and textures. Light and darkness –two opposing impressions– add volume, perspective, depth and three-dimensionality. Surfaces increase and decrease, they fluctuate, just like our breath. Depending on the pressure applied by the artist while using the graphite pencil on the paper, the white-black composition becomes layered; alternating tonalities emerge and create a peculiar sense of colour. Adamakos treats the surface with targeted incisions, a technique which modifies texture and adds depth and perspective.

The starting point for almost all of Yiannis Adamakos’ works is a landscape. However, this landscape cannot be positioned or delimited. It does not evoke a specific or identifiable locus because it is stripped of all elements of topicality and reformulates itself in a fusion of imagination, dream -like reminiscing, past experiences and, predominantly, alternating emotions. The purpose is not the mere rendering of the natural environment. Instead, it is all about the shadow, the imaginary existence. The artist appropriates landscape on his own terms.


About the artist

Yiannis Adamakos was born in Pyrgos, in 1952. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts under the painters Dimitris Mytaras and Panayotis Tetsis (1973-1978). He continued his independent art studies in Paris (1978-81). He has taught drawing and painting in the Chalkis Art Workshop and the Vakalo College of Art and Design. In 2008, his monogram, Yiannis Adamakos: Paintings 1977-2007, was published by Agra Publications. Since 1978, he has exhibited his artwork in solo and group exhibitions, in Greece and abroad. His artwork is in both private and public collections. He lives and works in Athens and the island of Tinos.

About the exhibition

Starting from the same point of departure, Yiannis Adamakos always heads for the same destination. His ‘Frontier of Memory’ seeks to exhaust the boundaries between the sensible world and the subjective-subconscious reception of reality. It dredges up and explains the traces of memory. It describes surrounding nature and its basic element of the sea; not only because the liquid element is governed by a latent uniformity and is boundless, but also because it brings to mind primordial memories and various correlations.

This years’ exhibition is made up of large-size oils and small aquarelles. The large works aim at extending into space, not allowing, that is, the viewer any latitude for being distracted from the painting, from the work. The small aquarelles function independently but at the same time as designs-studies for the large works, as if in security for the future. In his recent works Yiannis Adamakos also introduces a new element, the geometric organisation of pictorial space. Yet it is this element that belongs to the context of an abstract visual idiom: as always, the painter at first seeks to create an atmosphere freely, without being bound by realistic restrictions. This choice can be traced through time in all of his creations. The visual trajectory of the artist begins with expressionism, that is, with creations-cries and incrementally ends in dreamlike immobility, in silent creations. The works under display move on the notional frontier between muffled sound and ear-splitting silence.

Yiannis Adamakos defines himself and sets himself within the limits of landscape—a landscape however that is not necessarily recognisable. He passes from light to darkness and vice versa; the ‘frontier’ is the shadows. The same palindromic movement is represented between dream and experience, nature and fantasy. The sea, water, provides the artist with a valuable medium, since it reflects and simultaneously refracts the optical angle of the landscape. The night, even when (poorly) lighted, makes this sensation more pronounced, because it flutes the volume, homogenising heteroclite elements and beautifying the environment. Visually speaking, human beings are absent; but they exist by allusion since the landscape and atmosphere are products of the subconscious and associative memory. The midpoint, the ‘frontier’ between the existent and the fantastic is defined by colour, a deep blue with nuances that again recall memories, personal or collective.

The visual point of view, the interpretation of human reality is based in greatest measure on a series of associations and subjective references. The truth—aletheia—of Yiannis Adamakos fetches to mind its original meaning, namely the banning of forgetfulness, the triumph of memory.