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Stratis Athineos

Stratis Athineos

Stratis Athineos was born in the island of Lesvos, Greece, in 1953. He had liberal studies in drawing, painting, engraving and History of Art. Since 1970 he systematically occupies himself with art. He lives and works in Pireaeus. He is a member of the Greek Chamber of Artists.

Solo Shows

 

2007 Galerie Zygos, Athens

2001 Municipal Gallery of Mytilini “20 Years Stratis Athinaios”, Mytilini

2000 Galerie Armos, Thessaloniki

1999 Galerie Xenia Overasselt, Holland

1998 Pireaus Art Gallery, Pireaus

1993 Gallery 13, Soho, New York, NY, U.S.A.

1993 Peter's Gallery, Cyprus 1992 Pireaus Art Gallery, Pireaus

1991 Fine Arts Gallery, Thessaloniki

1991 Municipal Gallery of Mytilini, Mytilini

1991 Galerie Antenor, Athens

1989 Galerie Zygos, Athens

1988 Galerie K7, Thessaloniki

1988 Vlahoulis Art Gallery, Larissa

1988 Pireaus Art Gallery, Pireaus

1988 Rodian Mansion, Cultural Organization of Rhodes, Rhodes

1987 Homerian Cultural Center, Chios

1987 Istros Gallery, Mytilini

1985 Municipal Gallery of Molyvos, Lesvos

1983 Municipal Gallery of Mytilini, Myilini

1981 Municipal Gallery of Mytilini, Myilini

1981 Municipal Gallery of Chios, Chios

1981 Stoa Technis Gallery, Athens

1979 Art Society of Mytilini, Mytilini

1977 Municipal Gallery of Molyvos, Lesvos

1977 Municipal Gallery of Mytilini, Myilini

Group Shows

2006 Iris Gallery, Athens

2006 Kapsioti Gallery, Piraeus

2005 “Lesvian Creators in Broad Horizons”

Public Theater of Mytillini, ΔΕΠΤΑΜ, Mytillini

2005 “Hellenic Ports”, State Museum of Modern Art, Thessaloniki

2005 Neoria. 3rd International Art Festival, Hania, Crete

2005 “Portrait”, Mytillini, Photographic Society Lounge

2004 “Olympic Games”, Gallery Giagianos, Athens

2004 Neoria. 2nd International Art Festival, Hania, Crete

2004 Art Studio Anonymos, Athens

2004 Gallery “Iris”, Athens

2003 Gallery “Iris”, Athens

2003 Astir of Paros, Paros

2002 Neoria. 1st International Art Festival, Crete

2002 Exhibition of Lesvian Artists, Chamber of Commerce, Mytillini

2002 Gallery SIGMA (Landscapes), Athens

2002 Museum De Arta Cluj, 7 Greek Artists, Romania

2001 Pieridis Gallery “1st Trienalle of Greek Engraving”, Athens

2001 “1st Meeting of Thought, Searching and Creating” Gallery of Mytillini

2001 Hios Gallery, Township of Hios

2001 Gallery Millenium, Patra

2001 Gallery ELEMENTS, Athens

2001 Art House, Milos Thessaloniki

2000 World Fine Art Gallery 15 Greek Artists New York, NY

1999 Galerie Xenia, Overasselt, Holland

1998 Painting Exhibition, Greek Arts Association, Svezzighen, Germany

1998 Art Studio of Piraeus

1998 “Antinor Gallery”, Piraeus

1997 Magna Gallery, Athens

1997 Pavlos Melas' Building, 2nd Art Exhibition, National Bank of Greece, Athens

1997 Art Studio Piraeus, Piraeus

1997 Magna Gallery, Spetses

1997 Exhibition Room of the City of Lesvos

1996 “Contemporal Greek Painting”, City of Pefki, Greek Arts Association, Athens

1996 “Zygos” Gallery, Athens

1996 Pavlos Melas’ Building, 1st Art Exhibition, National Bank of Greece, Athens

1996 Gallery Amargi, “Conjectural Artways 1996”, Athens

1996 Art Studio of Piraeus

1995 “Zygos” Gallery, Athens

1995 Art Thema Gallery, “Four Greek Painters”, Brussels

1995 “Gallery of the South”, Piraeus

1993 Gallery 13, Soho, New York

1989 “zygos” Gallery, Athens, Summer Events 1990

1987 Petits Format au Faudourg Saint-Honore, Galerie Espace Delpha, Paris

1987 “Artists’ Club”, Painters of Lesvos, Mytillini

1987 Athens’ Exhibition dedicated to Peace. Costis Palamas’ Building

1986 XX Prix International d’Art Conteporain, Monte Carlo

1985 Athens’ Centre of Arts

 

Life and Symbols

Soon after his early exhibitions, Athineos’ painting became channelled into two distinct cycles: calm agrarian scenes, seascapes, or realistic landscapes on the one hand, and the imaginary couple of the horse and the woman riding through eternity at a furious gallop on the other. The surprise is legitimate: what do these two cycles have in common? What is the point of this juxtaposition of such dissimilar themes, which intensifies the contrast?

I should like to note, first of all, the obvious symbolic dimension of the themes. The images of the two cycles are proposed as symbols of two stances which quite frequently co-exist or alternate in the same person. The precisely observed and realistically treated landscape depicts the visible, specific place in which human action takes place, with its possibilities and achievements. It also conveys the instinctive drive towards the world and the intention of claiming it. The realism and power with which the image of nature is portrayed emphasise the sense of the real and strengthen man’s involvement with nature.

This stance is altogether negated by the horse and woman rider. Their impulsive and desperate ride attempts to represent extrication and disengagement from the environment of order and repeated rhythms. The idea inherent in the theme is disengagement from regularity and man’s forced expulsion into untamed space.

I should observe that although the figures are conceived as symbols, this is not the attribute most strongly emphasised. It is overshadowed by their bold visual composition and the spirit that animates them.

Works in which a human being and an animal interact are not easy to approach. In addition to the bewilderment of the first impression, they often generate fas­cination mixed with awe. Nevertheless, it is primarily in this category that the artist’s broader concerns are set out, his personal vision is given form and his capabilities are more accurately judged. The origin of the animal figures that inhabit Athineos’ iconography - initially the horse, then the bull, the Minotaur and finally the bird of prey - is easy to identify in mythology or art, but this is of minimal assistance in understanding them, since the animals are introduced here not as figures in a legend, but as symbols of powers with vague dimensions that co-exist or clash. They are, above all, arbitrary visual forms, vehicles of inordinate power that break through natural patterns and boundaries.

The group of a human and an animal is captured at a moment of extreme inten­sity. The figures are depicted in an embrace, catapulting through space in huge leaps, and separating, sometimes forcibly and at others more serenely, each one seeking refuge in the bosom of the other. In the alternating versions of the theme, the organisation of the group changes, as do the movements and configuration of forms, as they are portrayed suspended in the air. Thus the group becomes a composite interpretative study of forms. In these successive depictions, one appreciates the artist’s inventiveness and his ever-increasing boldness, as well as the consistency with which he satisfies the demands of his concepts.

The principles that govern Athineos’ painting and constitute distinctive features of his work are, inter alia, the following: the very close relationship between theme, form and visual treatment, the combination of the concrete and the abstract, the leaning toward distortion as a feature of extreme realism, and the particular usage of colour to signify either movement or space. Examples of applications of this ideogram include the dizzying perspective from which the scene is presented and the amazing foreshortenings and elongations to which the figures are subjected. Also noteworthy are the large, abstract chromatic surfaces that demarcate the space and make it more material, without influencing its abstract dimension. Space results from the group of bodies and extends to the limits demanded by their movements. It is the depiction and emphasis of their movements. And this is achieved precisely by the large swirls painted with impasto colour, the spiral zones, the intersecting lines of light, and the fans of light rays that are occasionally absorbed by the group.

The idiom of Athineos has not suffered the attrition brought about by the care­lessly generalised adoption of the robust idioms of Greek expressionism. Perhaps because expressionism remained just another medium in his work, an instrument at the service of an art governed by a vision. The realisation of this vision can assimilate the rough colour, the gesture that frequently takes the painting to extremes, and the daemonic pace that moves the composition. Another distin­guishing feature of Athineos’ work is the sense of his study of the whole and the details alike, the sense of balance - always very fine - between an instinctual dynamism and a stylistic idea that directs and shapes these forces.

Manolis Vlachos, Art Historian Professor, University of Athens