Acclaimed Greek abstract artist Ioannis Lassithiotakis has unveiled his inaugural UK solo exhibition with the Varvara Roza Galleries and The Blender Gallery in London. Titled ‘Ideal Lines’, the exhibition is at Gallery 8, 8 in Mayfair from 2nd to 23rd October and features mainly large-scale works. Lassithiotakis’s paintings are austere in their rendering and explore the conceptual and aesthetic importance of monochrome surfaces on which a primordial, archetypal element of human expression is often inscribed: the line.
The paintings in the ‘Ideal Lines’ exhibition 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. Through his artistic practice, Lassithiotakis aims for an abstract universality: he uses the simplest visual materials to explore the universal subjects he is dealing with.
Ioannis Lassithiotakis explains: “In this exhibition, we present paintings from all the stages of this latest phase in my work. Starting in 2016 and coming up to 2021, the works exhibited will give the viewer a fairly good idea of the evolution my art has gone through during these years.”
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. Calling on the viewer 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.
Art Historian Dr. Haris Hatziioannou comments: “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.”
Ioannis Lassithiotakis was 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.
His compositions, thoroughly researched and conceptually apt, have increasingly attracted the attention of international galleries and major Museums in Europe. 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 Sarjah (U.A.E., 1999), where he won the 2nd painting prize. A monograph on his oeuvre was published in 2007.
Varvara Roza Galleries is an Executive Arts Gallery and Advisory Firm promoting Overseas Artists and Greece’s Brightest Artists Worldwide. Varvara Roza Galleries is committed to Cultural Leadership and is led by CEO Varvara Roza. Varvara Roza is an art manager and advisor with a passion for bringing overseas and Greece’s brightest artists into the global art market.
She has a track record of organizing cultural events on a large scale not only in Greece but also in London, Paris, Berlin, and the rest of Europe. As a successful businesswoman in the energy industry and former politician in her home country of Greece, she always had a love for contemporary art, collecting for over 20 years. Varvara is passionately combining the two great loves in her life: her political and entrepreneurial life in Greece and London, with her enduring love for art and its evolution. In doing so, she has decided to strongly support and promote contemporary art in London – the centre of the art world which determines the art market to a great extent.
Ioannis Lassithiotakis ‘Ideal Lines’ is at Gallery 8, 8 Duke Street, St. James’s, Mayfair, London to 23rd October.