Yannis Gaitis

Yannis Gaitis (1923-1984)

1923 Yiannis Gaitis was born in Athens.
1942 He registered at the Athens School of Fine Arts, wherefrom he graduated in 1954
1944 First personal exhibition at his home, 35 Mavromateon Street. Since then and till 1947, he has exhibited every year at "Parnassos", initially depictive works and, later, biomorphic paintings.
1948 He participated in the first post-war Panhellenic Artistic Exhibition. First attempt of cubistic sculpture.
1949 He joined the group "Akraeoi" (Marginals), founded by Alekos Kontopoulos.
1954 He exhibited cubistic and surrealistic compositions at "Kentrikon". The same year he departed for a permanent stay in Paris.
1957 Influenced by "Art Informel" and the "Cobra" movement, he was one of the first Greek artists to present gestural paintings at the Parisian gallery "Diderot".
1959 He exhibited the unity "Foliage", a series of paintings with thick paste, at "Zygos" gallery in Athens.
1960 He began to mould pictorially his ecological imaginary microcosm, exhibiting from then on broadly and internationally.
1962 He created the scenery and costumes for Jean Genet's "Balcony", produced at the Vergi Theater (1962-63, 1963-64).
1967 The "homunculus" in an immature form appeared in these paintings. Works with his expressionistic profile are presented during this year at the gallery "T" in Harlem and at the IX Biennale of Sao Paulo.
1970 The "homunculus" took on a linear form, and Gaitis' approach became geometrical. During this decade he created his first environment and, at the same time, he expanded to the applied arts.
1980 He painted the unity "Antiquities" referring directly to ancient Greek architecture and vase painting.
1981 "Happening" in the streets of Thessaloniki with real people dressed up like "homunculi".
1983 First, small retrospective exhibition at the department store "Mignon" in Athens.
1984 Retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery-Alexandros Soutsos Museum. Yannis Gaitis died in Athens, only one week after the opening.

© ART TOPOS, 1996
Last update: 3 Aug. 1996