Makris Thanassis (1955)

Born in Kalamata in 1955, he studied painting under Yannis Moralis at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1975-1980) and continued at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1980-1982).
He presented his first solo exhibition of painting at the Ora Cultural Centre in 1984. His subject matter unfolds in series with the emphasis alternating between the human figure (portraits, self-portraits, female nudes) and the landscape. In all cases the subject serves as a starting point for a plastic quest aimed at elaborating the space of the painting.
His personal idiom is in creative dialogue with expressionism, particularly in terms of the expressive brush stroke which acquires autonomy and sets the dynamics of the image. A typical trait of his work is the subtle tonal scale and the methodical passage into changing hues with brush strokes of equal width. Colour is the lynchpin of the composition, and representation becomes possible through its disciplined delineation. The earthy hues and their expansive handling physicalise the properties of light which defines the forms or gives a fleeting sensation. The human figures are often placed over a monochrome backdrop to emphasise their presence, while in his landscapes the forms emerge from the colour, which is used to shape the space of the painting. The vehement brush strokes often reflect the painter’s struggle with his material, perhaps as a result of his ambivalent attitude towards the realistic rendering of the visual stimuli. So while the subjects remain recognisable, the painterly process tends towards a kind of gestural abstraction.
He has presented his work in solo and group exhibitions. Examples include his participation in the exhibitions The Child in Greek Art, 19th-20th century at the National Gallery (1993), Birthplace at the Pireos St Annexe of the Benaki Museum (2007), and Visual Arts Panorama in Greece at the State Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki (2007). A retrospective of his work was held at the Frissiras Museum in 2012. His works can be found in the National Gallery, the Municipal Gallery of Athens, the Frissiras Collection and in many other private and public collections.