Stephen Antonakos

Stephen Antonakos, Remembrance, 1987–89, Collection National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), installation view, ANTIDORON. The EMST Collection, Fridericianum, Kassel, photo: Nils Klinger

Viewers come to live a distinctive experience in front of the Panels of the 1980s. Although hanging on the wall, these works seem to be suspended in an eerie light whose source is not revealed. Only later it becomes clear that this diffuse aura of light emanates from neon concealed behind the back of the work. The Panels are obviously the culmination of the Stephen Antonakos’s explorations of the 1960s to the mid-1980s and indeed opened up a new horizon of possibilities for the artist. Speaking about the work, Antonakos told me: “The Panels in a way include all the work I made up to the early 1980s—I mean the deep things. The great inner needs that I somehow had to answer, as well as the specific solutions of materials, proportions, positions…

This touches the central issue, the danger, the risk encountered in the effort to keep time, close to the essential identity of each panel, to express it fully but to include only what is absolute necessary. The only comparison I could make is with [Byzantine] icons, with their unspeakable, powerful spiritual presence.”

—Katerina Koskina, excerpt from Stephen Antonakos. A Retrospective, Benaki Museum and The J. F. Costopoulos Foundation, Athens (2007)

Posted in Public Exhibition