Yannis Moralis

Moralis Yannis
© Jean François Bonhomme

He was born in Arta in 1916 and died in Athens in 2009. He studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1930-1936) under Umvertos Argyros and Printmaking under Yannis Kefallinos. He continued his studies (1937-1939), to specialise in mosaics and murals, in Rome and in Paris on a scholarship from the Academy of Athens’ Ourania Konstantinidis Bequest. During the German Occupation, he began creating a series of portraits to support himself financially. In 1947, he was elected Professor at the Athens School of Fine Art (the youngest in the history of the school), where he taught until 1983. In 1958, he represented Greece at the Venice Biennale, along with Yannis Tsarouchis and Antonis Sohos. During the 1950s and 1960s, he undertook the set and costume design for productions of the Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun, the Greek National Theatre and the Greek Choreodrama, Rallou Manou’s theatre dance company. From 1959 until 1999, he took on several commissions to create artworks for the interior and exterior of both public and privately-owned buildings (in their majority works on ceramic tiles created by the ceramicist Eleni Vernadaki), most notably the front and back view of the Athens Hilton hotel (1959-1963). Moralis also designed numerous book and record covers.


Solo Exhibitions


Yannis Moralis Retrospective exhibition Benaki Museum – Pireos Str. Building (138 Pireos St.) Athens


Homage to Yannis Moralis National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum Athens


Yannis Moralis: Architectural Compositions Benaki Museum – Central Building Athens


Yannis Moralis: Drawings 1934-1994 National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation – Eynard Mansion Athens


Y. Moralis, Traces Museum of Contemporary Art – Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation Andros


Zoumboulakis Galleries Athens


Zoumboulakis Galleries Athens


Zoumboulakis Galleries Athens


I. Moralis: Angels, Music, Poetry Benaki Museum – Central Building (Museum of Greek Culture) Athens


Zoumboulakis Galleries Athens


Zoumboulakis Galleries Athens


Retrospective exhibition National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum Athens


Zoumboulakis Galleries Athens


Zoumboulakis Galleries Athens


Zoumboulakis Galleries Athens


Athens Art Gallery – Hilton (Athens Art Gallery) Athens


Armos Gallery Athens


The absolute geometricity of structure, the balance that results from the juxtaposition of lines and shapes, the economy of colour of his earthy palette, and the austerity of design are features that defined Yannis Moralis from very early on. Over time, his art shifted towards a geometrical simplification, eliminating superfluous details from the composition and, in his mature period, his subject matters become, almost exclusively, clusters of women and men, with the focus always on the female figure.


Nicolas Paissios, 2019