Mytaras Dimitris (1934 - 2017)

He was born in 1934 in Chalkida (Evia). He studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1953-1957) under Yiannis Moralis and Spyros Papaloukas. He continued his studies in Paris (stage design and interior decoration at the École Nationale des Arts Decoratifs and the École des Arts et Métiers), funded by the greek State Scholarship Foundation (I.K.Y.).
His first solo exhibition was held in Athens (Zygos gallery, 1961). His shift to critical realism, featuring the use of photographic documents, a limited palette and a political narrative, constituted a typical phase of his early painting, during the period of the greek military junta (1967-74). Immediately afterwards, however, expressionistic elements and vivid colours would dominate his largely anthropocentric and often consisting of portraits, work. His tendency towards abstraction, his drawing freedom and colour tensions coexist with an acute painting perception, regardless of whether his themes are anthropocentric or not. His emphasis on visual qualities throughout his work, reveals a deeper relationship with the traditional values of painting.
He worked as a stage and costume designer in many theatrical performances, collaborating with major greek theaters (National Theatre of Greece, National Theatre of Northern Greece, Greek Art Theatre 'Karolos Koun', Greek Chorodrama, etc.). He also worked on illustrations and applied art. He has created paintings and murals for many public and private buildings (hotels, banks, etc.). His work Dexileos was recently placed at the 'Dafni' Athens metro station. His published writings include essays and studies on art, articles on various topics, and poetry.
He taught interior design at the Athens Technological Institute (1964-72) and in 1969 he started teaching painting at ASFA, where he became professor in 1977 and dean from 1982 to 1985. In 1978, under the auspices of the Municipality of Chalkida, he founded the Chalkida Art Workshop which, under the administration of his wife, Chariklia Mytara, has organized many educational and cultural events.
He presented his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He was awarded for his participations in the Exhibition of Young Painters (Zygos gallery, 1958) and the Panelladiki Exhibition for Young Artists (1961). He participated in the Biennale of Alexandria (1958, 1966), the Biennale for Young Artists (Paris, 1960), the Biennale of Sao Paulo (1966) and the Venice Biennale (1972). He has also organized several retrospective exhibitions: Pieridis Gallery and Vellidio Cultural Centre, Thessaloniki, 1989; Château de Chenonceau, Loire, 1992; Expo '93, Tokyo, 1993; Athens National Art Gallery, 1995; Millesgarden Museum, Stockholm, 1998; Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, 2001 and Thessaloniki Municipal Gallery, 2006.
He became an Athens Academy member in 2008 and was awarded the Commander of the Order of the Phoenix medal. That same year, he was awarded the gold medal of the city by the Municipality of Chalkida.