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INSIGHT

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.

Ars Longa

Adamakos, C. Gianakos, G. Lappas, Th/poulos, Kyrarinis, Markou
Ars Longa
October 2 - October 17, 2020
Athens

19 Patriarchou Ioakim
4th floor
10675 Athens
Greece

(+30) 210 7235 226

Opening Hours
Tue, Thu, Fr: 11.00-20.00
Wed, Sat: 11.00-16.00

About the exhibition

Citronne gallery Athens presents a selection of artworks by six artists as a preview of its participation in the forthcoming online "Art Athina, 2020".
"Ars Longa", Citronne gallery’s starting point in terms of subject, exhibits and brings together contemporary artworks - painting, sculpture, construction, photography.

The art media used are diverse, the artists come from different eras and backgrounds; however, they form a palimpsest of ideas and creativity which hovers above time and space. What we are trying to demonstrate, to prove, is that Art transcends human limits, and the finite human life.

In our days, humanity is undergoing a great, unforeseen ordeal which is dominated by the fear of the unknown. In parallel or even against this distress, Art raises protective and defensive walls, breaks free from the neurotic rationalism of our days and guarantees the value of continuity, the immortality of Creation.
Yiannis Adamakos and his abstractions, Cris Gianakos of the Diaspora , the transcendental Makis Theofylaktopoulos, Alekos Kyrarinis and his Byzantine obsessions, the post mortem multifaceted George Lappas and photographer Nikos Markou give life to this creative spirit.

Ars Longa is a wakeup call against the current nightmare. Between bloom and wear, between the brevity of life - vita brevis and the longevity of memory, Art had and still has the power to go beyond sensible limits and to withstand time, surpassing human dimension, human state and human boundaries.

Yiannis Adamakos seeks to exhaust the boundaries between the sensible world and the subjective-subconscious reception of reality. He dredges up and explains the traces of memory. He demonstrates that the limits between present and past are forged in Memory. Similarly, the limits between light and darkness, noise and silence, dream and experience, nature and fantasy fuse into colour.

Cris Gianakos, a well known visual artist of the Greek Diaspora. He is interested in architecture, ancient civilisations and human behaviour. He is fascinated by geometrical forms and classical proportions as well as their cultural and spiritual aspect. With the dynamic composition of clear geometric levels, such as the Cross and the Diagonal, it hints at the supremacy of pure emotions.

Makis Theofylaktopoulos, representing Greek expressionism, has created a soaring universe of painting excellence and existential depth, at the centre of which lies the human or human-like form. Given that he constantly reinvents his technique anew, he goes from representation to an almost autobiographical abstraction as it seeks "artistic emission", that is, the power of painting to pulsate irrationally within its viewer With a constantly reinvented technique, he goes from the representation of the form to an almost autobiographical abstraction, in search of the "artistic emission" - that is, the possibility of the painting pulsating horses inside its viewer. The image of a solitary, urban person in such a difficult world, concerns human existence per se.

Alekos Kyrarinis, with a varied visual signature, with personal meanings and collective memories, he continues with his complex, strictly personal quest. Kyrarinis’ painting is a fascinating amalgam of influences that have been so utterly assimilated that they have become difficult to distinguish - from Byzantine semantics to Islamic calligraphy and contemporary visual artists, from Greece or abroad. Space in his works is overwhelmed by varied decorative motifs which stem from a very large time frame ranging from the late antiquity to the byzantine and post-byzantine era moving on to popular marble sculpture and woodcarving. All motifs play an instrumental part in the composition because their use is the result of Kyrarinis’ profound awareness of their symbolism and visual importance.

George Lappas rejects limitations; he is indifferent to "rationality." He is characterised by and expresses the eternal desire of man to exceed limits. His world is composed of metal, plastic fabric, electric lamps. These unexpected materials create a sense of paradox, of the uncanny, which evokes subconscious oneiric connections, and hard-to-apprehend associations. After all, Lappas defies limitations, he is indifferent to rationality. The physical body is abolished; thought, memory and narration work exclusively in their internal rationale. His works are first and foremost a study of the relationship between body and space and time, a reflection on the relations of the past and the future of sculpture, the structural parameters of plastic arts and architecture in relation to location, but also a dive into aspects of the human soul.

Nikos Markou provides a photographic definition of an inner world, an Inner Space. From selected landscapes he shifts to an inner reality. Moreover, from natural rendering he moves to technical mutative treatment. The end result leads the viewer to a “fabricated” reality. These photographs are no longer photographs of landscapes or people, but interior landscapes- namely a transcendent reconstruction whose starting point is assimilated through the photographer’s decisive and subjective interpretation.

Re-emergence

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.

Aegean: Identities + Journeys

About the exhibition

The social and historical reality of today is raising questions and creating acute concerns which we do not fully comprehend or do not comprehend at all. The times we are living through as individuals and as citizens force us to examine issues beyond our experience, and frequently our awareness. In this country, the need for answers, for an analysis, is palpable and increasingly urgent. The transcendent intervention of Art is of the greatest importance.

As an agent in cultural management, Citronne Gallery aims to function as a forum for the exchange of artistic ideas and views. With this in mind, this year we chose a theme, always current, recently enlarged and magnified. The Aegean, our sea, has a long history of life and movement, peace and wars, survival and voyage, work and experience. The exhibition “Aegean: Identities + Journeys” brings together artistic viewpoints on this subject, expressed by nine contemporary artists called upon to provide commentary: Yiannis Adamakos, Michalis Katzourakis, Demosthenis Kokkinidis, Alekos Kyrarinis, Tasos Mantzavinos, Emmanouil Bitsakis, Constantin Xenakis, Sotiris Sorogas, and Jannis Psychopedis.

The artistic works exhibited are accompanied by poems, or extracts of texts, chosen by the artists as an additional representation of reality. At the same time, the poems are independent of the artistic work: that is, they are not the inspiration for the art, but the artists’ stream of conscious commentary on their varied memories and responses to the Aegean. The artistic and the poetic function as a diptych which highlights the crucial significance of the Aegean to the history and the definition of the Greek identity.

The Space Between Us

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

What is interesting about Adamakos' work these days is not the narration as such, but the manner in which he responds to the external world and to human nature, from which all particular forms of work arise. Naturally, one does not look for neo-expressionist elements in his work, but any expressionist painting elicits an almost physical reaction in the viewer. His works express emotional experiences which are rendered in non-realistic colors, with yellows and reds taken from fierce human passion. When one actually feels the physical reaction, this theory is confirmed.

Despite all the subtle alterations in the style of his painting, the images in Adamakos' works are capable of forcing memory to broaden the field of meaning, without obviously distorting the normal shape of the natural landscape. And this is artistic mastery. The perception of place has a psychological dimension as it is closely tied to every viewer's changing moods and that is why it is not a specific, objective technique. The artist adopts traditional forms and tries to use these to convey an objective expression of an inner affair and in this way to give it true existence.