We are pleased to announce the third solo exhibition of painter Ilias Papailiakis in The Breeder gallery, Athens.
“The title of the exhibition is inspired from the famous work “The apotheosis or triumph of Bavaria” by Nikolaos Gysis; created between 1895 and 1899, it aimed to praise the thriving Bavarian culture of that time. In Gysis painting angels, Science and Art escort the emblematic figure of Bavaria, depicted here as a dynamic woman, standing on a coach drawn by lions. Bavaria looks eager to conquer future goals and overcome any obstacle while she is being glorified by her escorts.
Gysis’s painting has a clear reference to Jesus entry to Jerusalem, a scene taken from the New Testament. This linkage underscores the extended influence of religious themes upon art in the course of time and especially upon allegorical or historical iconography.
Religion has historically played a profound role in the establishment of Western culture; in the recent past, though, economy has become the new social benchmark. Instead of the dipole of Good and Evil or Hell and Paradise, art, already since the Renaissance era, fluctuates between the notion of Wealth and Poverty. In this exhibit I chose to show a new series of works aiming to explore the change in the system of values throughout the years and how it took shape over the history of the Western civilisation.
I usually paint fragments of works which I afterwards tend to reconstruct while I try to be quite precise with each work’s title since I think of it as an additional but equally important aspect of the work itself. For example, in the painting titled “Saul’s life”, fragments taken from individual works come together in order to describe a violent clash. The title evokes the fact that even though there is a vast iconography regarding St. Paul’s life (Saul), there is however no image regarding his early life as a Roman officer and one of the most notable Christian missionaries.
Fragmental scenes are characteristic of my work as well as the small scale paintings and the persistence with light. Some parts of the works are completely dark while others are intensively bright. Those elements are used in order to showcase the transfer of already existing images into new works. The style together with the titles of the pieces add to the initial intention and the total artistic expression of my work”. Ilias Papailiakis
Ilias’s Papailiakis work has recently been exhibited in Warum ich kein Konservativer bin, Kunstwerke nach 2000, with works from the Anna und Michael Haas collection at Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig, at the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Griechische Kulturstiftung in Berlin, at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, in Archeology of Mind, curated by Luigi Fassi, with works from The Fondazione Morra Greco collection at Malmö Art Museum, Malmö, Sweden, in In Present Tense at The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens and in Upstairs Berlin, Berlin.