Manousakis Michalis (1953)

He was born in 1953 in Chania, Crete. He studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1979-1984) under D. Kokkinidis and D. Mytaras. He presented his first solo exhibition in Thessaloniki (Diagonios Gallery, 1979).
The largest part of his oeuvre is anthropocentric. His interest lies with simplified figures and their relation to their surroundings. His thematology refers to personal memories, gender relations and childhood with particular sensitivity. He uses spot colors with strong contrasts that attribute an expressionist style in his representations. Later in his work, his compositions are becoming more sparing; space is rendered as almost bare and monochromatic, while the human body is gradually stripped of its individual characteristics, acquiring a primordial dimension.
He mainly works with acrylics, coal, oils and Indian ink. He often prefers the solid wooden surface instead of the canvas, bringing to light the artistic properties of the material’s texture. In many cases, he creates beyond the canvas, composing conceptual projects or installations with symbolic allusions. Old toys have proved to be a significant tool of inspiration, which he has been meticulously collecting for many years. The toys are sometimes depicted in his paintings, while other times they become objects in his exhibitions. He comments on childhood in a poetic and almost metaphysical vein, as a root of human life and emotional experience.
He teaches painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts since 1987, where he was elected full professor in 2014.
He has presented many solo exhibitions and has participated in numerous group ones in Greece and abroad. In 1994, he participated in the Alexandria Biennale (along with Marios Spiliopoulos, Antonis Michailidis, Vicky Tsalamata and Edouard Sacaillan), where the Greek participation won the Best National Pavilion Award. He also participated, among others, in the exhibition Classical memories in modern Greek art (Capital Museum of China, Beijing; 2007). In 2012, he presented the exhibition One meter at the National Museum of Contemporary Art.