Varvara Roza Galleries and The Blender Gallery are proud to present “Ideal Lines”, the first major UK solo exhibition by the renowned artist Ioannis Lassithiotakis. The exhibition will take place at Gallery 8, 8 Duke Street, St. James’s, Mayfair, from 2nd to 23rd October.
In his exhibition “Ideal Lines”, Ioannis Lassithiotakis presents mainly large-scale works, austere in their rendering and focused on the conceptual and aesthetic importance of monochrome surfaces on which a primordial, archetypal element of human expression is often inscribed: the line.
The works on show come in two series: in one the paint is spread on the surface in an abstract manner to produce pious monochromatic rites; the other series seems to be defined by drawing, with the outline sometimes surrounding the entire canvas or elsewhere, with large shapes of black and white coexisting in a harmonious yet enigmatic relationship with one another.
This new body of work reflects the quests of Ioannis Lassithiotakis on issues pertaining to human relations, death and absence, and also explore the very definition of art itself, presented in a mature way in terms of both content and aesthetic. His compositions, thoroughly researched and conceptually apt, have increasingly attracted the attention of international galleries and major Museums in Europe, and have gardnered extensive press coverage, Ioannis Lassithiotakis aims for an abstract universality: he uses the simplest visual materials because he wants to broach the universal subjects he is dealing with, while addressing the widest possible audience.
Probably as an act of resistance to the dominant verbose culture that continuously attacks us with moving and spectacular images and information, the artist chooses to speak laconically, with austere means, with pictures that do not assault the eye and which, on first viewing, seem naked, static, but nevertheless involve dynamism and rich symbolism. Calling on the viewer us to regain the patience of observation and the ability to understand the simple relations between the basic building blocks of the world, at least in the ways that artistic creation tries to convey them, he defends the value and importance of the work of painting against the inflation of cheap and fast images.
In the abstract language used by Lassithiotakis the fundamental visual elements (point, line, plane, color) have a power to speak on their own. This language of course comes from a tradition that originates from Suprematism, Constructivism and Bauhaus and passes, closer to our age, through Minimalism and Conceptual Art. Knowledge of this tradition and of the contemporary languages of art helps, but this does not mean that the intake of the works depends exclusively on such knowledge. Non-expert viewers that are both eager and sensitive enough will certainly be able to ‘listen to’ and understand this language, discerning its main characteristics.
(An extract of a text written by Dr. Haris Hatziioannou, Art Historian, for the exhibition catalogue)
Ioannis Lassithiotakis born in 1956 in Crete, and studied in Italy at the Academy of Fine Arts, Florence. He has had over 33 solo exhibitions worldwide in international galleries and important museums worldwide and is the recipient of many international awards. Lassithiotakis has presented his work in solo exhibitions in Greece and abroad (Australia, Belgium, U.S.A., Japan, South Africa), counting most notably the 2nd Biennale of Young European Artists of the Mediterranean (Thessaloniki, 1986), the Osaka Triennial (Japan, 1996) and the 4th International Biennale of Sharjah (U.A.E., 1999), where he won the 2nd painting prize. A monograph on his oeuvre was published in 2007.