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Arts

Andreas Kontellis Exhibition Mythology at Consulate General of Greece in NY

May 1, 2019
Yannis Sofianos

NEW YORK – The exhibition of paintings by Andreas Kontellis titled “Mythology” opens on May 9, 6 PM, at the Consulate General of Greece in New York, 69 East 79th Street in Manhattan, as part of the events organised in order to promote contemporary Greek culture in the United States.

RSVP for the opening reception by May 6 via email: rsvp.nyc@mfa.gr. The exhibition runs through May 23 and is on view Monday-Friday, 9 AM-2:30 PM.

A graduate of the School of Fine Arts in Athens, the artist holds a Masters of Art degree in Fine Art from Middlesex University, London, and has received several awards from the State Scholarship Foundation and the Academy of Athens. He has participated in more than 20 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows in major museums and cultural spaces and is considered one of the main representatives of expressionist painting in Greece.

In his current exhibition the artist explores his personal mythologies and their vast array of interpretations, which are founded upon the collective mythology and are expressed visually in a rather contemporary style.

Louiza Karapidakis, Curator and Art Historian, said, “The paintings of Andreas Kontellis in the exhibition Mythology provide an aesthetic haven for the mind and soul. These rather sensual works, with mythical figures depicted in captivating backgrounds, refer to legends that are ancient yet still ongoing and totally recognizable, thus taking the viewer to places, deeply engraved on his mind and memory.

“Kontellis’ art is remarkable, not only for his use of light that dominates his works and enhances the plasticity of his compositions, but also for his astounding portrayal of the beauty of the human form. Vivid reproductions of actual women take over his paintings and are masterfully transformed into images of ethereal creatures. These otherworldly female figures convey a unique sensuality and trigger a strong emotional response. With his intense color palette the artist accentuates every detail of his composition and within his fictitious landscapes eloquently narrates shorter or longer stories using his strongly expressionistic visual vernacular that always distinguishes his work.

“Moreover, the artist uses his individual brushstroke, along with his multiple painting techniques and means of expression, to illustrate his views on the power of nature. In his series ‘Mythology’ he actually praises nature’s beauty and renders it with great sensitivity, thereby creating imaginary landscapes or reproducing familiar scenes from Attika and Athens in particular as well as from the Greek isles, such as, Pheakes Island from the Odyssey, Lemnos, etc. The human-based images of his personal myths are supplemented by their related allegorical interpretations. Kontellis creates thus fascinating narratives- aesthetically as well as conceptually- which transcend the limitations of time and space. For it is, in fact, the purpose and the power of every myth as a communication channel to carry memories and evoke recollections, to prompt associations, to trigger a wide range of emotions with its unconventional content, to express desires and put across beliefs and ideas.

“Inspired by the power of ancient myths, Kontellis attempts to redefine them iconographically using his own style and imagination and to interpret them diligently with sophisticated charm and articulate elegance. At the same time, his works offer an homage to the archetypal human form, as well as to the boundless powers of nature.”

Kontellis said of his work, “As I fathomed the world of Greek Mythology I was stricken by a particularly strong emotional vibration; the kind that is generated by the positive side of love, youth and beauty.

“Mythology is present, coexists in every form of contemporary life since it demarcates our principles, our propulsions that luckily enough remain unchanged. Encoded life archetypes, overlying knowledge, information that affects and acts directly on our unconscious and formulates our existence.

“Each one of us falls on, follows the same footprints left by every other human being, traces the same marks. Youth, maturity, facts, all are laced again and again on the same canvas of humanity. We play the play of life over and over. We fall in love, hurt, rise and fall, we shine once again. We ourselves are the Mythology. Our ancestors live within us. Love brings us closer to the ecstasy of the Divine. Life, Nature, the Unison of everything, Fire, Chaos.

“All has been said, but everything becomes real because we are the ones that give meaning to it. The world is made well. All is present. Loss is alleviated and wrong does not exist. We live in light, an existence which leads freely to the wish: ‘may we be forever young and creative.’”

Andreas Kontellis initially studied painting with V. Vlachopoulos (1982-1984). He received his BA from the School of Fine Arts (1984-1990), studying under professor P. Tetsis. During his studies, Kontellis was awarded scholarships from S.S.F. In 1993, he was awarded a three-year scholarship by the State Scholarship Foundation to develop a painting project in Greece focusing on expressionistic depictions of the human form under the supervision of P. Tetsis. In 2000, on a scholarship from Athens Academy, he received a Master of Art degree in Fine Art from London’s Middlesex University with professors John Thompson and Jim Mooney.

Among Konellis’ recent solo exhibitions are the following: 2015 Myrina, Lemnos, Apothiki Art Space; 2016 Athens, Skoufa Gallery; 2018 Patras, Cube Gallery; 2018 Corfu, Municipal Gallery of Corfu; and 2018 Athens, French Institut.

He has also participated in numerous group shows in Greece and internationally.

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