Athens, Greece.- The internationally renowned Greek-American artist Stephen Antonakos will be coming to Athens on February 5th in order to attend the opening of his exhibition entitled “RECURRENCE, Stephen Antonakos at the Hellenic American Union” in connection with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Hellenic American Union.
The exhibition opens at the Hellenic American Union Galleries (22 Μassalias Str., Κolonaki) on Monday, February 5th, 2007 at 8:30 p.m.
The work “Recurrence”, covering the entire exhibition space, is a representative example of this artistʼs installations in public areas. Stephen Antonakos will be presenting a visual intervention of neon lights and colors to the Greek public, specially designed for the Hellenic American Union premises and dedicated to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of its foundation. Antonakos “intervenes” into this space and utilizes it to display each individual aspect of his work, independently as well as in connection with the room it occupies.
In the words of art critic Denis Zacharopoulos, quoted in the catalogue printed on the occasion of this exhibition “Antonakosʼ work, beyond the logic implied by it as a whole, draws on and evolves within a separate timeframe, this being non-linear, cyclical and repetitive. It develops surrounded by intellectual meanderings and labyrinth-like structures, returning to points and references emerging at the surface of his work, as well as within the exhibit area and the eyes of the spectator. These repeated returns, homecomings, emergences or reappearances constitute the horizon containing the meaning of the title “Recurrence” and the secret thread connecting the whole of Antonakosʼ work with the work on display at the Hellenic American Union. Like a distant horizon, situated between childhood and our first series of impressions and experiencing of reality and the world on the one hand, and the most complex and structured artistic awareness and spiritual knowledge of idiom and culture on the other, the outlook of this work is disclosed, in the eyes of the artist, through retrospective series of meanings, references and senses, and is thus restored to the spectator, who in turn exchanges the position and role of light and shadow with the artist. One becomes the shadow of the other, and each illuminates the other, with the naiveté and knowledge which neither of them possesses, but rather which belong to the potential of this work to return and restore both to a proximity that is measurable only in the present moment.” With the term “Recurrence”, Antonakos wishes to convey the concept of recycling and reincarnation of all the dilemmas concerning him as an artist.
Stephen Antonakos was born in Agios Nikolaos, near Gythion in Lakonia in 1926. His family moved to New York City in 1930, where he has been living and working to this day. A self-taught artist, he began to paint at an early age, exploring the use and application of castoff materials and hence the problems of colors and space. He was the first to use neon lights and advertising panels in order to create color, light and the magic of his abstract works. With over 30 individual exhibits in galleries all over the world and works of his enhancing public spaces worldwide, Antonakos is one of the leading Greek artists of America. He has taken part in numerous group exhibitions and international shows, such as: The New American Realism (Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts, 1965), Documenta (Kassel, 1977), Εuropalia, (Βrussels, 1982), the Biennale in Sao Paulo (1987) and Venice (1997). His work is also prominent in many public buildings and open-air spaces: Fort Art Museum (1974), Hampshire College (1978), Musée d’ Art Moderne (Paris, 1983), Ambelokipi Metro Station in Athens (2000), etc.
The exhibition “RECURRENCE, Stephen Antonakos at the Hellenic American Union” will last until February 28th, 2007.
Mondays – Fridays 12:00 – 21:00, Saturdays 10:30 – 14:30, closed on Sundays
HELLENIC AMERICAN UNION
22 MASSALIAS STREET, ATHENS, GREECE
Admission is free for the public.