Stephen Antonakos

Stephen Antonakos (November 1, 1926 in Agios Nikolaos, Laconia, Greece – August 17, 2013, New York City) was a Greek born American sculptor most well known for his abstract sculptures often incorporating neon. Antonakos moved with his family from Greece to the United States at the age of 4 and was raised in the Brooklyn, New York neighborhood of Bay Ridge
Antonakos' work has been included in several important international exhibitions including Documenta 6 in 1977 in Kassel, Germany and he represented Greece at the Venice Biennale in 1997. His art is included in major international collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, all in New York City, The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens. Among his public commissions were pieces for airports in Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Bari, Italy and two high-profile works in New York City, "Neon for 42nd Street" (since taken down) and the "59th street piece- Neon for the 59th street transfer station"(still standing).Antonakos was a member of the National Academy of Design and received their lifetime achievement award in 2011.Wikipedia







 Antonakos's work with neon since 1960 has lent the medium new perceptual and formal meanings. His use of spare, complete and incomplete geometric forms has ranged from direct 3-dimensional interior installations to painted canvases, Walls, the well-known back-lit Panels with painted or gold-leafed surfaces, and the Rooms and Chapels. Throughout, he has conceived work in relation to its site — its scale, proportions, and character — and to the space that it shares with the viewer. He calls his art, "real things in real spaces," intending it to be seen without reference to anything outside the immediate visual and kinetic experience. Since the late 1970s he has made large scale Public Works with the same concerns plus the inevitably broader engagement of space and auxiliary light outdoors. Colored pencil drawings on paper and vellum, often in series, have been an equally rich practice since the beginning. He has also made Packages, Artist's Books, and Reliefs of white wood and of silver. There have been over 100 one-person shows including a recent 50-year retrospective seen in Greece and the United States, more than 250 group shows, and over 50 Public Works installed in the United States, Europe, and Japan.(stephenantonakos.com)







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