Kostas Papatriantafyllopoulos

Papatriantafyllopoulos Kostas

Born in Vrahneika in Achaia in 1951, he studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1975-1980) under Yorghos Mavroidis and Iconography under Konstantinos Xinopoulos. He continued his studies at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1981-1984) under Pierre Carron on a French state scholarship. He also attended Printmaking lessons at the same school. His works can be found at the Kouvoutsakis Art Institute, the Moschandreou Art Gallery, the Frissiras Museum, the Municipal Art Gallery of Athens, the Pierides Collection, the Kynigopoulos Collection, the Ioannides Collection and the Bank of Greece Art Collection. He lives and works in Athens.


Solo Exhibitions


Calendar Art 2019 Ersi's Gallery Athens


Calendar Art 2018 Ersi's Gallery Athens


Calendar Art 2017 Ersi's Gallery Athens


Calendar Art 2016 Ersi's Gallery Athens


Calendar Art 2015 Ersi's Gallery Athens


Calendar Art 2014 Ersi's Gallery Athens


Calendar Art 2013 Ersi's Gallery Athens


Calendar Art 2012 Eikastikes Anazitiseis Athens


Gavras Gallery Athens


Epsilon Art Gallery Thessaloniki


Skoufa Gallery Athens


Gavras Gallery Athens


Epsilon Art Gallery Thessaloniki


Skoufa Gallery Athens


Ekfrasi – Yianna Grammatopoulou Gallery Glyfada


Epsilon Art Gallery Thessaloniki


Chyssothemis Art Gallery Chalandri


Iris Art Gallery Athens


Polyedron Art Gallery Patras


Ekfrasi – Yianna Grammatopoulou Gallery Glyfada


Chyssothemis Art Gallery Chalandri


City of Athens Cultural Centre Athens


The Emotional Gaze in the Painting of Kostas Papatriantafyllopoulos

If painting is the depiction of “living nature”, as defined by the old, reliable dictionaries of the Greek language, interpreting phrases from ancient texts, then Kostas Papatriantafyllopoulos (1951) is one of its few remaining faithful servants – conscious of the corruption of verbal over-use, I would hesitate to say: its mystics.

The works he presents in this exhibition, all made of lightweight materials (temperas, watercolours, pastels), show that it doesn’t take much to perform the miracle of artistic creation: a clear gaze, drawing from experience, a sense of the Mediterranean light, an internal transformation of the subjects and, most of all, a simple, dense articulation. Papatriantafyllopoulos, having studied alongside masters of painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts – Giorgos Mavroidis (1912-2003) and Konstantinos Xinopoulos (1929-2001) – approaches things with a different moral stance, as if they were sacred, through practice. His studies on a scholarship from the French state in Paris, at the School of Fine Arts, next to the sensitive figurative painter Pierre Carron (1932), increased his need to get to know the work of many more artists, pointing him in the direction of 20th century realism. He was also, however, a dedicated student of the painting of Fayum mummy portraits, the revealing colours of mosaics, as well as post-Byzantine and folk painting. Finally, he practices the art of ceramics in an amateur capacity.

Both his rural landscapes and seascapes, and the pictures of his everyday life teach us his dedication to what’s real. The ancient sculpted head of Hygieia and the other objects in tempera are rare studies in colour. His watercolour landscapes preserve the freshness of the moment they were born. The red awning on the beach, in one of his watercolours, fills the painting surface with blood. The chapel, in another of his watercolours, is rendered with the untouched purity of first contact, “lulled by the songs that the wind sang for it”, according to Papadiamantis. And then there are the snapshots that, like sketches, preserve something of the fleeting everyday life, such as his pastel drawings of a train carriage or the seated people, painted from the back, facing the sea.

Working quite a lot, with memories of Greek as well as international tradition, Kostas Papatriantafyllopoulos does not force modernism in his painting. I would argue, in fact, that he deliberately disregards all ideologies on the modern, because he is distinctly interested in painting exclusively as a solely ongoing trial. A realist without becoming blandly descriptive, as long as he sees through his own eyes. And with the works he exhibits he transfuses us with the emotion of his gaze.


Dimitris Pavlopoulos
Art Historian
Lecturer at the University of Athens
* From the catalogue of Kostas Papatriantafyllopoulos’s exhibition, Gavras Gallery, Athens, 2005.