Peris Ieremiadis

Ieremiadis Peris
© "Peris Ieremiadis" Association Archives

He was born in 1939 in Athens, where he died in 2007. He studied Painting at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he lived for 11 years. He travelled all over Europe and returned permanently to Athens in 1972. He collaborated with architectural firms on interior design projects, and served as the art director of “Erourem” magazine (subsequently “Indiktos”). He created several book covers and illustrated publications. Also, he designed logos for publishing houses and theatre organizations, and occasionally took on set design commissions. He studied the oeuvre of Dimitris Pikionis and Yannoulis Chalepas, curated exhibitions of their work and edited relevant publications.


Solo Exhibitions


Retrospective exhibition Fotagogos Athens


Couples Art Gallery Cafe Voula


St George and Other Paintings Galerie Astra Athens


Drawings and Sketches Galerie Astra Athens


Drawings and Sketches of Flowers Glyfada


Paintings and Drawings House of Cyprus Athens


Boats French Institute Piraeus


Galerie Astra Athens


Ioni Gallery Kifissia


Ioni Gallery Kifissia


Small Landscapes – Drawings Nees Morfes Gallery Athens


Drawings Exhibition Nees Morfes Gallery Athens


For Peris

This piece has been a long time coming. Perhaps since the very first moment I met Peris Ieremiadis. I didn’t dare write it, conscious of my inadequacy and the difficulty in talking about someone so well-loved. I was afraid that love would overshadow the mind and make the truth smaller. I do it now, leaning on Rodin’s words that “a small truth carries the whole truth”. The opportunity, besides, is unique, now that “Indiktos” is once again hosting his paintings.

Twelve years ago, while designing the first issue of “Erourem”, I knocked on his door for the first time. I asked him to trust me with his boats, explaining the plans and ambitions of the magazine. He was surprised by my request, but he accepted. Perhaps our common background, perhaps the ‘fatefulness’ of our meeting revealed by a photograph? Who knows! From that moment on I confess to the beginning of an apprenticeship beside him, an apprenticeship that, of course, never took on the formal shape of teacher-student.

At the time (1992-1997), Peris was constantly building boats. Boats reminiscent of human chests. He was enchanted by their names and he collected them. Fiery red, indigo, ochre, sometimes black. On occasion, white. My sense, then, was that Peris was always practising on the same theme, searching for its interpretation, but it wasn’t the theme in itself that concerned him, but something profound, deeper. At the time, I compared his paintings with the ison [basic tone] held by chanters. No intensity, no fluctuation. I had told him that, and he liked it. In our discussions, I discerned his passion, his quest, his obsessions. Oh, these obsessions of Peris! In the end, it’s the man that matters, behind the things he does. And his work, indeed, has its roots in the sum of what he has created. In his very being.

Peris Ieremiadis has been determined, from the start, to suffer the trials and deprivations that his destiny has in store for him. At peace and indifferent to the consequences of his choices, he practises obedience. Because, what is art if not obedience to the eternal laws of the universe?

In 1996 I had the good fortune of becoming involved, in my capacity as a publisher and other ways besides, with the work of D. Pikionis. Originally the “Zografika”, then “Architecture of Chios”, the “Acropolis Works”, etc. It was Peris Ieremiadis who played matchmaker with the daughter of Pikionis, Agni. As I delved into the “Pikionis Archives”, and read his writings, his paintings, his sketches, I discovered more and more about the spring from which Peris Ieremiadis irrigated his life. It is from this great master, still, sadly, underappreciated even in our day, that he draws his origins.

With Pikionis as the interpreter, I slowly began to understand my friend and his work. The boats were shown, for the last time, at the House of Cyprus in 1997. With the refinement of his intuition and his profound contemplation, P.I. went deeper and deeper into the sanctum of his art. There where, after much effort and toil, the truth would reveal itself to him. Because you cannot consider virtue that which is not followed by hard toil, to activate it. Peris Ieremiadis, as another convert, spends his toil, practicing daily. His relationship with his work is entirely intuitive. He never gets carried away by his emotion.

When he was finished with the boats, I was surprised! Where would he go from here? Returning from Petalious, his desert island, he showed me small works with animals and landscapes. That’s when he began the Agios Georgios series. Colours had disappeared by now; there was only soil and black ink. Nothing else. Soil selected by him, strained for years in makeshift bins, looked after with the manic care of a gold miner searching for the vein of truth in the depths of the earth. “Art”, I read, “is the appropriate reduction to the matter of imitation”. I understand, finally, that the purpose of my friend cannot be, under any circumstances, relevant – he is and always has been adamant: We must look in the soil, because that’s where everything is set up. In the revelation of the conceivable world, hidden in nature. Bit by bit, practising always, he delves into the depths of the art of the ‘simple’, because simplicity, just like purity, is an essential condition for all art. The way, the method for this conquest is difficult for me to put into words. I understand, however, that it’s the route P.I. is following. It is through this that I comprehend his obsessions, our discussions, his spiritual core that illuminates and shapes my life.

Talking with Peris about the publication of Neos Synaxaristis”, he suggests that he does the illustrations. I hesitate, but his eagerness convinces me. Using only paint and ink, he begins to draw the faces of Saints. He has no interest in the decorative features of the icons; he seeks the shape of the faces, their purity. With his marks upon the earthy, destructible surface of soil, he attempts to capture the uncapturable of holiness. When I get to the printing press, I am faced with my weakness. How can I convey through printing ink the sense that Peris’s colours bear? How can I bring the dead material of typography to life? My typographical failure reveals his secrets to me.

That purity and truth I recognise in the work of my friend presupposes the sum of a man, the sum of a life, pure and natural. I take stock of the years of P.I.’s life and his works, and everything falls into place. His work takes shape, as a whole, and the etched lines of his anthibolon cartoons form his face.


Manolis Velitzanidis