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Yiannis Adamakos was born in Pyrgos in 1952. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts under painters Dimitris Mytaras and Panayotis Tetsis from 1973 to1978. As soon as he graduated, Adamakos had his first opportunity to exhibit his art with his first solo exhibition at the Nees Morfes Gallery in Athens in 1978. Adamakos received rapid local recognition, but was eager to challenge himself further. He thus moved to Paris where he continued his independent art between the years of 1978 and 1981. In the French capital, he became better acquainted with contemporary trends, as well as with the great classical works of the past. With such an opportunity to contextualise present day practises, Adamakos recognised a constant dialogue between past and present.

His experiences abroad shine through in the works that followed. Successive thematic sections chronologically define his production at the time. The overarching trope, however, remains relatively constant and universal: humankind and/in nature. Solitary male and female figures are constantly transformed into centaurs or mutated into trees. In doing so, the artist incorporates the human body into the space/landscape, using his expressionistic style to imply the violence of this fusion, with recurring drawing and colour interventions on the works’ surface.

The technique itself echoes his chosen subject: evolution. Each choice (small or large sizes, dark or bright tones, colour or monochrome, mixed media, uniform or fragmentary compositions), highlights each section as a different phase of the evolving relationship between figure and landscape in a quest to achieve balance. Adamakos’ work is a constant artistic search with existential connotations, where painting sometimes meets the intellectual process of poetry. This experimental search was commemorated in 2008 with the retrospective monograph Yiannis Adamakos: Painting 1977–2007, which features 180 works, classified in decades. Later works were presented at the Benaki Museum in 2013.

Over the course of his career, Adamakos took up the mantle of teacher. He has taught drawing and painting in the Chalkis Art Workshop and the Vakalo College of Art and Design.

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