The painting of Nikos Michalitsianos


Rarely does the work of a young artist focus the elelements of identity to the degree one finds in the

Painting of Nikos Michalitsianos. A personal vision realized with consequence conviction and

Unrepentant  technical self confidence. A volume of work which calls forth respect.Monumental

Dimensions which confirm their necessity.Thus, this devoted and discriminanting student of mine

Nikos Michalitsianos unexpectedly came to my attention the timid and attentive person who followed my theoretical lectures was infact a painter of reverie and passion

The vision :Nikos Michalitsianos dreams of the primitive rituals of  nature, the cycles of the seasons

The rites of vegetations erupting volcanos, mountains which are animated move and make love

Cathartic bath   bloody sacrifices and sacred carnage. Without a doubt his dreams are in keeping with the times. With the analogous ritualistic repertoire of the post-modern condition something utterly

Comprehensible and legitimate. Even our most hidden dreams come to be fully staged by our times

Something we must not forget.

The technique : This is what supplies the personal stamp and confirming  authenticity to the works

of Nikos Michalitsianos and brings them to realization .I have the feeling that the  image emerges

From within the material during the creative process itself. It has not previous existence.

The form appears in tandem with the gesture .That is why it retains its gestural origin .And as the

Painter incises <scratches> (in the ancient sense of the Greek work grapho which means –to write—

In Modern Greek on the viscous material the marks left by a brush or a painted tool are reminiscent

Of stone carvings, totemic symbols, childhood drawings or hieroglyphics. The canvas is transformed

In to a space of magic ritual.

The material, the colors, the sings :We spoke before of the dense painting material and truly the works of Nikos Michalitsianos possess an intense corporeality .I would call it terrestial corporeality

My rural background leads me to recall the image of plowed earth. I think the painter’s raw material,

These precious preserve-like blends of oils always very expensive are the pictorial sings of the earth

Of soil .Furthermore is this by chance? Michalitsianos chooses with symbolic insistence earthy tones

Of umber ,ochre and sienna. Next to the earthen  colors come the  red (carmine and red lead) and the black of fire ,stoked to incandescence or turning toward charcoal .Next to these two elements ,the third, water ,< is signified > by white excoriations the removal of color .The fourth element air is

Alluded   to symbolically. The mountains grow thin become pointed ,menhir unstable and dancing

The water   gushing out in jets. A pointed ,irregular pyramid is the most commonly encountered

Shape on the painter’s surfaces: Mountains, cypress trees, fishing nets or gigantic arrows make for

Fine-tuned, interlaced equilibriums between vast yet never inert spaces.

The retrograde plowing of matter transforms the painting of Nikos Michalitsianos into palimpsests

Of memory inhabited by graphical symbols messages, half-legible, half-emerged by hidden vibrations and unheard explosions. Though these be the painted actions of a latent ritual, the works of

Nikos Michalitsianos do not transmit any anxiety, do not  translate intellectual feelings and are not fraught with tragedy. They bear no relation to expressionism.

Their most distant are cave paintings, their nearest Paul Klee ,and in the final analysis they have the

Most in common with the Italian transavanguardian Cucchi and  children’s painting. A game a

Disarming innocence, combined with the delicate irony of an adult who plays childhood roles

In order to utter the ineffable and to rise above the banal, serve to continually avert the drama.

Perhaps because of the paintings of Nikos Michalitsianos possess the contagious well-being of



Marina Lambraki-Plaka

Director of National Gallery of Greece