As published in In Focus, Vol. 9, No 2, Dec 2012
GIORGOS GERONTIDDES: BIO
Giorgos Gerontides was born in Limassol in 1975. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Athens, graduating in 1999 from the workshop of Mr. Mytaras with honors. At the same time, he studied art history and in the studio of portable frescoes under Prof. S. Giannoudis. His works are in the collections of the Limassol Municipality, of the Ministry of Education and Culture, as well as in private collections in Cyprus, Greece and England.
Major group exhibitions:
- Maris Hotel – Crete 4/1998
- Limassol Municipal Library 9/1998
- “To ergostasio” 1999 Graduates – Athens 2/2000
- Limassol Municipal Art Gallery (EKATE) 11/2000
- Bank of Cyprus – Nicosia (Art – Ring of Life) 4/2001
- Rouan Gallery – Limassol (4 young artists) 5/2001
- Apocalipsi Gallery – Nicosia (Meeting 2001) 6/2001
- Morphi Gallery – Limassol (With a common starting point) 1/2002
- Famagusta Gate – Nicosia 8-9/2002
- Heliotropio Gallery – Larnaca (Meeting of 5 artists) 3/2004
- Orfeas Gallery – Limassol (Five) 2/2005
- Yeni Mosque – Thessaloniki (Contemporary Cypriot Art) 1/2006
- Orfeas Gallery (50 x 50) – Limassol 5/2009
- Panicos Mavrelos Cultural Foundation – Limassol 12/2009
- 50 Years of Artistic Creation EKATE Nicosia 2010
- Apocalipsi Gallery – Nicosia (Instead of Prologue) 10/2003
- Archontariki of the Holy Metropolis of Limassol (Crowd of Monks ) 2/2005
- Apocalipsi Gallery – Nicosia (Lanes) 01/2007
- Centre for Letters and the Arts – Limassol (3 Summers) 3/2012
GIORGOS GERONTIDES: A LYRICIST OF SOLITUDE
by Andreas Hadjithoma
Despite his young age, Giorgos Gerontides makes his appearance on the art scene of our country with maturity, consistency and specially conceived topics. For the most part, this is reflected through his projected works but also by means of his attempt at probing in order to illustrate his art. It appears that, before proceeding to work on his material, the artist carries out an internal fermentation during which the idea, presentation, image, colour and the whole ambiance are registered as tracings before actually being transferred onto the canvas.
In thematic terms, Gerontides’ work revolves around still life, portraits, objects and landscapes that are contained around us and have a direct, catalytic bearing on us. These themes are rendered in an evocative manner which has them burned into our memory, creating a suggestive atmosphere that penetrates the psyche.
The dialectic in his compositions is not univocal, nor a thematic fabrication which allows the artist to experiment by using the technical potential of the brush; it is faith in values. It is a stance of artistic sensibility towards a few special things that are inherent in human existence, things that are linked to man, that may not be traced only as objects of external representation, but as means that lead man to crystallize optimistic messages for the future. Colour too has its own manifold aspect. Earthly and warm, charged with light and truth, colours ripen the work, raising the beholder’s interest in the product of the artist’s effort. And so is the living essence revealed, that which takes form and responds to the structure of the composition.
Drawing is another mode of expression for Giorgos Gerontides, in particular his series with the general title “Monahoi Plithos” [Crowd of Monks]. With confidence and a meticulous technique, he draws various figures of monks moving in imperceptible time, yet claiming a conspicuous presence in the field of visual potential that the artist wants to submit.
Immaterialized forms move within a spiritual level and lend the work a sacred, suggestive ambiance. They move in a solitary world where each person turns inward and, withdrawn from daily concerns and worries, immersed in thoughts, searches for his or her capabilities.
The solitary figures are headed toward an extraordinary human competence. Frugality and plain lines endow the drawings with lyricism but also with drawing confidence and a deeper sense of the solitude of men.
With his work, Giorgos Gerontides traces man’s internal evolution on the way to his vision. As he draws, either human figures or still nature or even other objects, he gives the impression that from within him a spiraling spirituality uncoils, which becomes illuminated in an impulsive, expressive, instinctive work – one that is not submissive to rhythm or sophisticated forms. His paintings posses elements characterized by chromatic strength but also frugality, contrast, subtraction and above all a renewing mood for fresh, internal impulses of the very soul.
Given all the aforementioned observations, one could readily concur with the evaluation of Chronis Botsoglou, professor at the Superior School of Fine Arts, Athens, pointing out that “Gerontides is a true and gifted artist who approaches the things he paints with the precision and humbleness of his own truth”.