Volkerschauplatz. In this series of works the painter portrays anonymous as well as historical figures and puts a focus on the renewal of ancient myths and the sagas of gods and heroes. The painting technique of oil on wood, earthy tones and dramatic lighting effects are reminiscent of Rubens and Velazquez.
Upstairs berlin is pleased to present the second solo exhibition by Greek artist Ilias Papailiakis (*1970). In Völkerschauplatz the painter portrays anonymous as well as historical figures and puts a focus on the renewal of ancient myths and the sagas of gods and heroes.
The deadly defeat of the weaker in a struggle, faces distorted by suffering or the skull in the centre of the composition define these works. Saturn sacrifices his own child to preserve his power; hungrily the dog stalks a butchered sheep's head. Ilias Papailiakis depicts a merciless society, marked by cruel battles in eternal repetition.
The painting technique of oil on wood, earthy tones and dramatic lighting effects are reminiscent of Rubens and Velázquez. Ilias Papailiakis uses the seductive potential of this old master’s technique, without glorifying the art historical heritage. He selects image sections, fragments, focusing on individual details, and in this way maintains the critical distance. His interpretations of art historical materials move between adoption and complete reinterpretation. They undermine with the consciousness of the contemporary the artistic strategies of the old masters and break them.
In 2001 Ilias Papailiakis represented Greece at the Venice Biennale. After solo exhibitions in New York and London, he participated in the 2007 group exhibition “In Present Tense” at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens and was among others exhibited in 2008 at the Malmö Art Museum in Sweden. In February 2009 the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin is presenting Ilias Papailiakis in a group exhibition of contemporary art from Greece.
Opening 1st floor: Friday, January 16, 2009, 6 to 8 pm
Upstairs Berlin Gallery
Zimmerstrasse 90/91 - Berlin