Known for his calligraphic drawings, Antonis Donef captures in his works a new, diverse and colorful personal view of Knowledge. His detailed drawings unfold on archival material such as newspaper clippings, pages from books, dictionaries or encyclopedias, while his recent works incorporate also his son's drawings.
The labyrinthine character of the iconography and the calligraphic way of drawing give Donef’s works exceptional dynamism and the multi-layered possibility of interpretation. In the form of automatic writing, his works reveal, among other things, elements of personal memories and feelings, individual and collective knowledge. These elements project, consciously or unconsciously, through the intricate paintings on the surface of the printed pages. The artist’s collages and intricate drawings create palimpsests that hide successive levels of stories, a parallel universe of concentrated knowledge and information, the interpretation of which always lies in the personal reading of the viewer.
In his new series of works presented in his solo exhibition at Kalfayan Galleries, Donef investigates the multifaceted meaning of the concept of ‘Time’. As the artist comments:
“Time is relative. Personally, I can’t identify it in the three-dimensional reality that I perceive. In addition to the spatial dimensions: height, width and length, there is a fourth dimension, time. This dimension cannot be perceived by man. But we can feel it if we give over to our senses and emotions.
The fourth dimension, time, includes the past, the present and the future. This is exactly what I try to infuse into my new works: more time concentrated on one artwork. This new series of works started in reality about three years ago with numerous sketches that I made wherever I went. I did not have a central idea or specific reasoning, I just draw and painted with whatever material I had available at that moment, wherever I was.
Eventually, I decided to put together all these drawings in one project, regardless of whether they matched or not. Thus, I believe that I introduced the parameter "time" more strongly in my recent works. This, of course, is something that has always preoccupied me, even in my older works, some of which I worked on for up to two years. At the same time, by adding more color in the work, I believe that different emotions are released even more easily and it makes it easier for someone to perceive the dimension of ‘time’ in my paintings.
In almost every work there are drawings of my son, Christoforos - Maximos. I felt the need to include them in my works because these designs were usually made in parallel with my own. After all, my son is in a way my sequel. I believe that it is very important to encourage the new generation to create and produce. Even the simplest material or a children's sketch, adds something unique to each work of this new series. It is good for young people to understand that each one of us can create something important, as long as we get passionate and put all our being into what we do. In this regard, I hope my new works can encourage the younger generation to create without fear”.
Antonis Donef was born in 1978. He lives and works in Athens. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts and the University of Fine Arts in Madrid. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in Greece and abroad, such as AMETRIA (Curated by: Nicoletta De Rosa, Alessandro Pasini, Tomaso Piantini, Polina Kosmadaki, Yorgos Tzirtzilakis), Organised by DESTE | ‘Now and Then’, European Central Bank, Frankfurt |‘Hell As Pavilion’ (curated by Nadia Argyropoulou), Palais de Tokyo, Paris et al. In 2005 he was one of the six graduates of the School of Fine Arts to receive an award in the framework of the “A Great Moment for Culture: The Presentation of New Creators – Eurobank Private Banking”. In 2010 he was honored with the Art House Shanghai Award, Ailing Foundation (ArteFiera Bologna, Kalfayan Galleries), accompanied by an artist residency in Shanghai. In the same year, he was a finalist for the "AUDI Award" for his solo exhibition in ‘New Positions’ section as part of the Kalfayan Galleries' participation at Art Cologne. Works by Antonis Donef are in distinguished collections in Greece and abroad.