In the summer of 2018, the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation will be organizing a tribute to the distinguished, multifarious and particularly popular with the Greek public, Dimitris Mytaras.
The main characteristic of Dimitris Mytaras’ painting is the coexistence of contradictory elements which are skillfully intertwined to create the paradoxicality that runs through his entire fertile and creative artistic course. Poetry is expressed alongside violence, lyricism with brutality, pleasure with coarseness… His work is complex but also original, authentic and multifaceted and evolved over almost sixty years, as long as Mytaras’ creative career; he served his art with absolute dedication, exploring and highlighting with subjectivity and singularity the way he perceived the world around him.
Apart from a distinguished and popular painter, he was also a poet, talented stage and costume designer, illustrator, designer of decorative representations and charismatic teacher. The aim of this tribute is to highlight both his thematic multilateralism and his technical diversity and dexterity.
The organizational structure of the tribute begins with his early youthful period which is characterized by an impressive maturity. It continues with two themes which preoccupied him from the beginning of the 1960s until his death: mirrors and portraits. The next section opens up an entirely new path: the imposition of the junta in Greece offered the artist the opportunity to change his painting in order to indict the situation. It relates to his well-known Grave Stelae and the works “Documents”. Violence continued to dominate his work even beyond this dark period, through the depiction of motorbikes, accidents and landscapes altered by human activity. The gradual appearance of female figures, which ultimately established his repute, offered him the opportunity to renew his palette and lent it a fresh vitality. Finally, the visitor will have the opportunity to discover Mytaras’ particular relationship with the theatre with which he was involved for over 40 years.
The access we were privileged to have to the impressive, in both volume and quality, archive of the late Dimitris Mytaras, offered us the opportunity to include a plethora of unpublished information in our research, something which imbued this effort with added interest and significance.
This artistic tribute is accompanied by a 284-page, bilingual catalogue, published by Mikri Arktos.