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Antonakos Stephen

Antonakos’s work with neon since 1960 has lent the medium new perceptual and formal meanings and has been exhibited in prominent museum and institutions in New York and internationally including the 47th Venice Biennial, Documenta 6 & 14, “ARTEC” — 1st International Biennale, Nagoya, Japan, Sao Paolo Biennial, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, P.S. 1 Center for Contemporary Art, New York, the Onassis Cultural Center, New York, the National Academy Museum, New York, the Art Institute of Boston, Boston, MA, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Princeton University, Museum of Art, Savannah, GA, the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY, USA, Smith College Museum of Art, MA, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Fort Worth Art Center Museum, Fort Worth, TX, Storm King Art Center, Albright Knox Art Galery, Buffalo, the Benaki Museum, Piraeus Annex, Athens, National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) Athens, the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece MOMus, Thessaloniki and Athens,  the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, the Espace Louis Vuitton, Paris, the Kunstraum Kaufbeuren, Germany, the Belvedere Museum, Vienna, Austria, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium, among other foundations. Antonakos’ use of spare, complete and incomplete geometric neon forms has ranged from direct 3-D indoor installations to painted Canvases, Walls, the well known back-lit Panels with painted or gold surfaces, his Rooms and Chapels. Starting in the 1970s he installed over 55 architecturally-scaled permanent Public Works in the USA, Europe, Israel, and Japan. Throughout, he conceived work in relation to its site—its scale, proportions, and character—and to the space that it shares with the viewer. He called his art, “real things in real spaces,” intending it to be seen without reference to anything outside the immediate visual and kinetic experience. Colored pencil drawings on paper and vellum, often in series, have been a major, rich practice since the 1950s; as has his extensive work with collage. Other major practices include the conceptual Packages, small-edition Artist’s Books, silver and white Reliefs, prints, and—since 2011—several series of framed and 3-D Gold Works. Antonakos was born in the small Greek village of Agios Nikolaos in 1926 and moved to New York with his family in 1930. In the late 1940s, after returning from the US Army, he established his first studio in New York’s fur district. From the early 1960s forward, until the end in 2013, he worked in studios in Soho. For more information please visit:

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