The Greek-American artist Cris Gianakos has been working and living in New York since the mid-60’s and is a leading artist in geometric abstraction and minimalism. Through reductive forms, Gianakos´ works investigate the subtle nuances between color and form. This exhibition at Galleri Andersson/Sandström will be a presentation of 30 paintings dated from 1975, and which have never been exhibited before.
The story of how this exhibition came to be is both unusual and remarkable. The 30 paintings on exhibition were discovered by chance during a recent visit in 2016 to Cris Gianakos’ studio in New York, by the gallerist Stefan Andersson. Stefan had noticed that a set of cabinets on the wall were at risk of falling. They took immediate action and emptied all the contents of the overfilled cabinets, only to discover that in the very back of the uppermost shelf stood a box dated 1975. These 20 x 20 cm paintings had been created, packed nicely, and then just simply misplaced until recently. Now for the first time will this series will exhibited in Galleri Andersson/Sandström's studio space. Similar to many other series and works by Gianakos, these paintings are a study in materials, of poetic expression, and a deep examination of the urban landscape in which he lives.
The paintings are “colorless” grisailles in the manner of Picasso’s Cubist collages and thus fall out of the Modernist logic trajectory that insisted that painting’s end point was a field of color. Gianakos’ paintings instead might be considered a painterly iteration of bricolage, except there is color of a sort. It’s the color of a certain indoor weather, a time of night, library archive rooms, where the olive/umber of linen is a mood, as are the dull silver grey of Sculpt Metal, copper’s warmth and the white of plaster. Each painting can be seen a single unit of a larger grid. They each do something different but are joined into a larger unit by their shared diagrammatic and tactile scale. - Stephen Westfall
A catalog has been produced for this exhibition 1975 with a text written by Stephen Westfall, artist, critic and professor at Bard College in the United States.
Cris Gianakos, born 1934 in New York. He is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, along with several major Swedish collections, such as Moderna Museet, Göteborgs konstmuseum and Malmö konstmuseum.