CULTURE

Metaphysical tales from Yiannis Lasithiotakis

The new series of paintings by Yiannis Lasithiotakis that is currently on display at the Zoumboulakis Gallery in central Athens evokes a metaphysical atmosphere in which the individual works take on a narrative character. They appear as short tales, dredged up from the depths of the artist’s subconscious and rendered on canvas, where he relates stories of time, place and love, creating a world which is at once real and fantastical. Lasithiotakis’s new compositions are imbued with innuendo and contemporary elements that allow each viewer his or her own interpretation, but always making it apparent that the metaphysical elements of the work are the single unifying factor. People who are familiar with Lasithiotakis’s work will note that his previous paintings tended to be centered on stark landscapes of the past, nostalgic scenes of summers gone, sailboats traveling toward an empty horizon, or landscapes dominated by a sense of loneliness and abandonment. In this new series, the artist has turned to the human figure as a primary focal point. He appears to have reached a point where he is anxious to examine human relationships – the relations between the sexes and the body or even the psyche – in greater depth. These new quests are thus rendered on large-scale ethereal canvases. His technique is recognizable for its bold brushstrokes, earthy colors, ready-made images that form a basis for his compositions, acrylic colors and discreet touches of oils used to bring out specific color combinations. In brief, though Lasithiotakis’s paintings originate from the influences of the Renaissance and the teachings of the Florentine masters, he has used myriad modern techniques that have marked the course of 20th century art. The Yiannis Lasithiotakis display is at the Zoumboulakis Gallery (20 Kolonaki Square, tel 360.8276) until January 26. Oral said he expected Turkey to exceed a primary surplus target of 11,400 trillion lira (around $8.4 billion) when the government releases 2001 budgetary results, expected within the week.