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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). In 1964, he participated in the 3rd Panhellenic Exhibition for Young Artists and won first prize. Two years later he presented his first solo show in Athens (Astor gallery, 1966). His work was immediately identified with the sociopolitical tensions of the era and his own explosive temperament as a painter. He lived and worked abroad since 1969, mainly in Switzerland and France, and due to a Ford Foundation grant in 1971, he also worked in the U.S.A. (New York). In 1975, he returned to Greece. In 1988 he was elected professor at the School of Fine Arts, in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where he remained until 2005. He lives and works in Athens. 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 at the Citronne Gallery twenty-one new works 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 colour 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.