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About the artist

Ηe was born in 1952, in Pyrgos, Ilia. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1973-78), under D. Mytaras, Y. Mavroidis and P. Tetsis. He went to Paris for independent studies (1978-81), where he was familiarized with the trends of contemporary art and the great classical works of the past. He has taught drawing and painting in the Chalkida Art Work- shop and the Vakalo College of Art & Design. His work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Greece and other European countries, as well as in New York (Hellenic Foundation for Culture, 2002). In 2008, Agra published the album Yiannis Adamakos: Painting 1977- 2007. He also participated in the 1st Athens Biennale (Destroy Athens, 2007) and in thematic exhibitions (1994: ‘The Loss of Form in Space’, ‘The Art Ephemera’, etc.). He presented his work at the Benaki Museum in 2013.

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.