Kikos Lanitis

THE COLOURIST

Lanitis studied and spent his adolescence during the 60’s in London, a place of maturing modernism with enterprising tendencies and experimentation; from painted sacks set on fire and thrown into the Thames to his later abstract paintings, from ‘Happenings’ in Athens during the 80’s and 90’s, there is then a long period devoted to works of mixed media.

His vigorous presence of more than 45 years and right up to the present day is at the forefront of contemporary art. A review of his long-term artistic course, reveals to the scholar of his work a service of arduous work, continuous speculation and systematic construction of his personal expression. His artistic dictionary is the balance and the masterly working of colour, claiming chromatic qualities in every painting without ever seeking refuge in the facility of decorative and aesthetical play.

The huge retrospective exhibition of his works at the Municipal Gallery of Athens in the autumn of 2001, systematically recorded and represented the creativity of his journey. Another three exhibitions followed, subsidized by the Ministry of Culture of Greece and the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus, under the auspices of the Municipal Gallery of Athens. The first at the Greek Cultural Center in Stockholm, in September 2002, the second at the “Bastejs” University Gallery in Riga in February 2003, and the third at the National Gallery of Lithuania at Vilnius in March 2003. All exhibitions were organized under the Greek European Presidency and Lanitis’ work became known throughout all of the Northern European countries. Between 1999-2001, the artist claims the morphological possibilities of an objet trouve and the undulated relief of cardboard paper creating an alchemy of rhythmical forms.

At his exhibition in Stockholm at the Mediterranean Museum in 2003 and in the many solo exhibitions that follow, Lanitis concentrates in sociopolitical messages through his work and his writing. His masterful use of and balance of colour makes his works instantly recognisable and unique, projecting an erotic communion with the aesthetic adventure of art.