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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.