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GIANNAKAKI
GIANNAKAKI
Nationality: Greek
Info about the artist +

Maria Giannakaki was born in 1958. She studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1977 -1982). In 1983 she was awarded a scholarship for postgraduate studies in China, where she studied the techniques of traditional Chinese painting, ink drawing and calligraphy. 
She has presented her work in solo and group exhibitions in Greece, China, France, Germany, Belgium, India, Italy, Luxemburg, Sweden and the USA. Lives and works in Athens. 

The strength of Maria Giannakaki’s works is in their fragmentation. The aesthetics of drawing that pervades her work, along with a selective use of overflowing colour emanates from the same approach to the image Giannakaki acknowledged in chinese and japanese art. Her paintings don't begin from an overall conception and execution of the theme, but locally: from areas of dazzling colour, which almost become autonomous, and graphically gestural areas, echoing ideograms of Chinese calligraphy. The dominance of an empty background paradoxically emphasizes the sure power of void, which unexpectedly highlights the preciousness of the images that it contains within an elliptical aura.

                    

SOLO EXHIBITIONS (Selection)

2014
Gallery Alpha CK, Nicosia

2013
TinT gallery, Thessaloniki
Technohoros art gallery, Athens

2012
TinT gallery, Thessaloniki

2010
Theorema gallery, Brussels

2009
Aliquando gallery, Paris       

2008
Festam, Toulouse

2007
TinT gallery, Thessaloniki
Aliquando gallery, Paris       

2006
Nees Morfes gallery, Athens

2003
TinT gallery, Thessaloniki

2002
Milogianni gallery, Chania

2000
Nees Μorfes gallery, Athens
TinT gallery, Thessaloniki

1997
TinT gallery, Thessaloniki

1996
Nees Μorfes gallery, Athens

1995
TinT gallery, Thessaloniki

1992
Astrolavos gallery, Piraeus

1991
Nees Μorfes gallery, Athens

1990
Milogianni gallery, Chania

1989
Chrysothemis gallery, Athens

1988
Beijing Artists gallery, Beijing

1987
Nees Μorfes gallery, Athens


GROUP EXHIBITIONS (Selection)


2014
Hommagio a Espagna, Aliquando, Barcelona

2013
Walking with Cavafy, Alexandria, Egypt

2012
Salon d’ Automne en Chine, Peking

2009
Bonds of matter, curated by Iris Kritikou, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki 

2008
Bonds of matter, curated by Iris Kritikou, National Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai and Technopolis Athens

2005
Biennial of Contemporary Art, Peking

2004
Art athina 04, Ariadne gallery, Athens 

2003
Α 8 wo-men show, Por Amor á Arte gallery, Porto, Portugal
Olympic spirit and contemporary Greek Art, curated by Peggy Kounenaki, Municipality of Athens’ cultural center, Athens
State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki

2002
Euroworld, Frankfurter Allgemeine building, Frankfurt
MiArt, TinT gallery, Milan

2001
Art athina 01, Nees Μorfes, Athens

2000
Approaches of Greekness. Generations of the 80’s and the 90’s, curated by Nelly Kyriazi, Luxemburg and Sweden

1999
Approaches of Greekness. Generations of the 80’s and the 90’s, curated by Nelly Kyriazi, Municipality of Athens’ gallery, Athens

1998
Art Athina 98, Nees Μorfes gallery
Focalizations du regard, West European Union, Brussels
Piraeus, trade and marine activities at port, Kastella Αrt Center, Piraeus

1997
Guest Cat, Nees Μorfes gallery, Athens
Piraeus street, curated by Iris Kritikou, VIS factory, Athens

1995
Art athina 3 '95, TinT gallery, Athens
Between humanism and contemporary times,Campus Arts & Sciences, Athens
Riparte Fair, Nees Μorfes gallery, Rome

1994
Triennial VIII, New Delhi
Contemporary Greek painting, Vlassis Frissiras collection, Thessaloniki

1992
Four women painters, TinT gallery, Thessaloniki

1988
International Ink and Wash Painting Exhibition, Peking

1987
Contemporary Greek painting, Sofia

1985
Eleven Greek new artists, FIX factory, Athens

 

DREAM FACES IN THE VIBRANCY OF LIFE 

With a profound knowledge of her subject, in a manner rather like that of an ethnologist, Maria Giannakaki has given herself up to an adventure which took her very far away -to the discovery of China and its primordial civilisation. She learned drawing and calligraphy in ink and applies that technique to absorbent rice paper. This art precludes corrections and changes as it cultivates precision and quality in the visual act. 
In her amalgamation of Western and Oriental traditions, Giannakaki seeks for a universal mode of expression which manifests itself within the framework of an art combining paper made of rice or silk with the canvas, which relies on water-colours as well as acrylics and on guache as well as charcoal. Although she paints with Chinese brushes, her style remains Western, and she has drawn the technique of gold illumination from Byzantine art. 
The subjects she chooses are the products of pure imagination inspired by her exotic travels, by the traditions of other countries and by street scenes. In reality, Maria Giannakaki is a painter of portraits, an artist who works powerfully in the cartoon and at the same time is superbly capable of conveying the despair and loneliness of a child hiding its face with a shy gesture. Apart from their moving universality, her figures -lying somewhere between drawing and painting, sometimes detailed in the extreme and sometimes mere outlines in soft colours, always ethereal and as light as a breath of wind -caress the canvas as if by doing so they could justify their existence…
In her larger compositions, we find ourselves back in the world of Chagall, in a poetic vision in which blue hovers, the faces float, and earth and sky dissolve into immaterial universe in which balance pulsates and the horizon walks a tightrope. 
…In choosing the path of cultural and visual syncretism, the art of Maria Giannakaki pays tribute to transformation, to the dream and to tradition as a form of cultural expression and as a source of artistic expression. 

FLAVIA NESSI 
Athens, 1996 

 

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