12.09.2012 - 03.11.2012

"Two Permanent Waves", 1981, acrylic on canvas, 50 Χ 61 cm

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AD gallery opens the new season with a solo show by Steve Gianakos.
Steve Gianakos has been exhibiting in New York since 1966, when pop art was at its peak. He has received many awards and grants, among which the Guggenheim award in 1996. Since the 60’s he has presented thirty solo shows in the United States and in Europe and he has participated in many group shows with other important American artists, the most recent of which was the exhibition entitled ExquisiteCorpses: Drawing and Disfiguration at MoMA, New York (March-July 2012).
Steve Gianakos engages in an attractive and provocative imagery, in which the narration refers to the era of “innocence” of the 60’s and 70’s. Pop art, which has developed during that period in the USA, seems at a first stage to have a superficial approach towards current society and products of mass consumption. However, some of the artists embracing that movement and among them Gianakos, proceed through their works to a strong critique of this mass culture.
In the case of Gianakos particularly, what has been commonplace in his works from his very begining until nowadays, is the mockery and sarcasm of the mass hysteria that accompanied the pursuit of the “American dream” then, but also of the stereotypes imposed by the consumer society today.This is a very peculiar case of an artist who even though he chose to be isolated from the American mainstream art world practices, he could not be considered as independent or outsider, as he remained in the center of the international art scene.
Focused on the cartoons’ and comics’ aesthetics, not just for formal or aesthetic reasons, Gianakos directs a bizarre and provocative erotic game in which he involves his works’ characters, using it as an indictment against the current socio-political situation or even against the stereotypes of the art world itself. By means of his distinct personal humour, he tries to bring out the value of the search of an authentic attitude of life without making any concessions to the social pretensions, the pomposity and the world built by the media and the social elites. The use of exaggeration but also the strong surreal nature of the narrative action that he develops without any trimmings makes his work even more understandable and straightforward.
The same approach is followed for the selection of the original and spontaneous titles of his works, which form a constituent part of his oeuvre. Whether they are embodied in the painting surface or they just accompany the work, they mock stereotypes and widespread beliefs with spontaneous cynicism and a refined, anti-conformist language.

Exhibition duration: September 12 - November 3, 2012

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