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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.

Makis Theofylaktopoulos, 2019. New Works.

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

19 Patriarchou Ioakim
4th floor
10675 Athens
Greece

(+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.