Embrace Order with these Geometric Abstract Paintings

Boxes inside boxes, lines next to other lines, and the occasional circle, triangle or dot, all composed with a minimal use of colour – you’re looking at the geometric abstract art of Greek painter Ioannis Lassithiotakis.

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Athens-based artist Ioannis has been exhibiting his work since the 1980s, but he hasn’t always worked in the language of geometric abstraction; his oeuvre encompasses a number of different idioms, such as figurative and representational painting. These geometric abstract paintings are the product of more recent investigations since 2016.

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Embrace the mature sophistication of Ioannis’s paintings, which, recalling Mondrian, present emotion with clarity, character with precision, while remaining free of representation.

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We stopped by Ioannis’s for a conversation.

THE PLUS: When and why did you begin doing your geometric abstraction paintings?
Ioannis Lassithiotakis:
I started my steps on the abstract art when I felt like I was ready for it. Always in my job I did what I believed and I wasn’t making compromises. Sometimes this way of making work may have financial implications, but it benefits art and especially the artist in the long term. I began to study the abstract art gradually from 2012. I do not know why, but I started believing that I can express things about me and our lives today better and more comprehensively with abstract art. That means maturity and conscience for me, and the consciousness of our choices is very important.

TP: What’s your process behind starting a new painting? 
IL:
For me, painting is a way of life. A new work comes from the need to identify my painting with what I want to express as a theme and form. I do not separate these two. I try to become more substantive and … better if I can say that. I work and when I’m going to exhibit my work then the substantiation starts, not before.

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TP: Do you prefer working with primary colours?
IL:
Actually, not always. I like all the colours!

TP: What draws you to abstraction? 
IL:
It is of a great significance what everybody finds out through the art and the moral weight that is applied in their art. I tried to convert the sentence ‘I know how to draw’ to something more spiritual and deeper. Craftsmanship is far more complex than just a skill of the hand.

TP: Has your studio become tidier since you began your minimalist paintings?
IL:
Yes, this is certainly the case. But I am not afraid of this fact. I also find that it could be picturesque when the studio is disordered and there are colours everywhere.

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TP: What has painting taught you about yourself? 
IL:
My relation to art is defined by a constant struggle for freedom and self-management. Co-operation is essential, but the enslavement is destructive. I’ve made a huge effort and now I do not doubt about my artistic choices because I dipped into art the past years. Ultimately, art has always been a lonely journey for me.

TP: What’s the art scene like in Athens at the moment? 
IL:
This is a big issue. Nowadays, Athens returned to the period of Romanticism that always had international interest. A part of Documenta 14 took place here, and also great international galleries have started working in Athens which is a city with huge financial crisis. Greek artists and young people have a tragic view of what is happening here. Still, artists and the public can gain knowledge as viewers of this event. However, there is a local scene that tries to make it possible and many times we see interesting things in Greece. While this crisis has made us poorer, it has also made us wiser.

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TP: How useful is Instagram for artists making today?
IL:
I think the internet and Instagram are the tools for spreading the work of artists because it can be seen by millions of people around the world. Especially for independent artists and young people, but also for anyone who wants to express themselves in this way. After my daughter’s instigation, I uploaded my work and I saw many positive things. My work became more widely known and loved by many people. It certainly does not replace a gallery exhibition, it’s a different thing.

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