This does not sound like Antonakos, and the Pillows don't look like Antonakos either - at least not at first. Yet the compelling unconscious force that produced these urgent, almost automatic, handmade objects is upon further consideration quite similar to the unmediated, direct process that has informed his decisions and his hand throughout the more than five decades of neon installations, Panels, and drawings since then.
The intensity and immediacy of these profoundly internal works, for all their tortured, nocturnal content, still show the tender, succinct hand of the artist resisting - with various results - the violent. In the interrupted word "DREAM, DR A , RE M," the cuts, the bristling areas of nails, the geometric contortions of plumbing pipes, the buttons, rods, and other words and objects revealed or hidden; Antonakos's central formalism can be recognized. For all the vivid yet ambiguous emotional content, these real things in real spaces are shaped not only by internal pressures, but by his natural, deep-seated formal rigor.
Greek-born Antonakos has been exhibiting since the late 1950s. In 2011 his extraordinary 17,000-square-meter indoor/outdoor installation "The Search" was held in Elefsina, Greece; and in that year he received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the National Academy and the Greek America Foundation. Next spring his work will be seen in "Luminous! Dynamic! Art and Space from 1913 to Today" at The Grand Palais, Paris. His work has been exhibited internationally in over 100 one-person shows and over 250 group shows and has entered many museum and private collections in the United States, Europe, and Japan. He has installed over 50 permanent public works internationally.
Stephen Antonakos: Pillows 1962-1963 will be on view from February 14 - March 16, 2013. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, February 14th from 6-8 pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 am to 6:00 pm.