Antonis Staveris

Staveris Antonis
© Margret Hoppe

Born in Athens in 1973, he was an Athens School of Fine Arts student (1992-1998) of Dimitris Mytaras. In 1998 he attended the Erasmus Programme and studied at the Parisian École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts under Vladimir Velickovic. He collaborated with “Simio” Art Group (2000-2009). In 2010 he won the Academy of Athens award for new painters under the age of 40. From 2010 to 2012 he completed a residency at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris. He lives in Athens and Berlin.

Works

Solo Exhibitions

2022

In color Primary School, Isternia Tinos

2017

Painting Fougaro Nafplion

2017

The Odd Flora of Memory 16 Fokionos Negri Athens (curated by Elisavet Sakareli)

2013

Art Space 24 Athens

2009

Art Space 24 Athens

2006

Epsilon Art Gallery Thessaloniki

2005

Painting 2002-2005 Ekfrasi – Yianna Grammatopoulou Gallery Athens

2002

Painting Ekfrasi – Yianna Grammatopoulou Gallery Athens

Press

Staveris and the Song of Colour

Les houles, en roulant les images des cieux,
Melaient d’une façon solennelle et mystique
Les tout-puissants accords de leur riche musique
Aux couleurs du couchant reflété par mes yeux

Ch. Baudelaire, “La Vie Anterieure”

We experience painting either through glance, when we content ourselves with just the theme of the representation, or through emotion, when we proceed towards superior mystical territories, having freed ourselves from the theme itself. And while sound can be inscribed on thought with the quality of time, I wonder how we perceive colour intellectually, as a place or as a sensation? Seing that painting is done with colours, if we think of its matter as a place, then its intake is reduced to a mere experience of the gaze. On the other hand, if we perceive it as a sensation, then the painting experience becomes an emotional adventure opening the gates to a spiritual communion.

Matisse aspired to achieve the figurative song. But how could this possibly be done – not literally, of course – without this statement sounding like a loud platitude? We might perhaps find the answer by observing the great colorist painters. From Velázquez to Monet, and from Bonnard to Matisse, these painters allow color to operate autonomously. Colour does not follow the eventual garrulity of the form. By means of controlled arbitrarinesses allowing for visual correction, they seek the spectator’s participation, engaging them in a secret dialogue of musical symbols.

In our country, it would seem that colourist painters are the exception. It is perhaps because Greek nature is bathed in light, and light absorbs all hues. In the summer early afternoons, colors evaporate under the incandescent sun, only to regain the freshness and variety of their nuances late in the afternoon or in the sunset. Nights acquire a mystical, metaphysical dimension. They become bright and translucent, with milder colours. They acquire a malleable mystery.

Antonis Staveris is a Hierophant of the paintbrush. His urban day and night landscapes are illuminated by the brightness of yolk yellow, the insobriety of incandescent purple, the intensity of lapis lazuli. Known or unknown Athenian aspects are transformed by the force of a chromatic crescendo, like the allegro of a musical concert. The painter, knowing that colour constitutes the quintessence of painting, simplifies the forms, allowing colour to autonomously demonstrate its power. The Athenian landscapes are transformed into settings from unknown operas, where light bathes earth and sky under a metaphysical paintbrush. While the human presence is almost omnipresent, space is the instigating element. The urban landscape creates the particular ambiance of a musical scale, where the human factor holds the lower notes.

Staveris displays the morose ambiance of the Athenian landscape, highlighting our society’s emotional state by exhibiting the urban scenery over the human element, since it is in this scenery that the inner melancholia of humans is more intensely reflected.

 

Nikos Al. Milionis
* From the catalogue of Antonis Staveris’s exhibition “The Odd Flora of Memory”, 16 Fokionos Negri, Athens, 2017.