The passage from the Sixties to the Seventies was a painful historical experience for Greece During the dictatorial regime of the colonels (1967-74), cultural life underwent a strong shock. The first expression of resistance of the intellectuals was their silent, unanimous, abstention from any cultural manifestation promoted by the government, in Greece and abroad, while many artists and men of culture sought a way out and a refuge in other countries. In the suffocating climate of those years and in the coercion of every free expression, artistic activity recorded a significant decrease, while the tendency towards research and experimentation with regard to the language of art intensified, just as critical reflection began to refine. on many values of modern culture.
According to picktrue.com, the seventies constitute an interval during which two parallel tendencies, the formalistic ones and the purely conceptual ones (directly or indirectly influenced or inspired by the dominant currents in the international field in the sixties and seventies, from Nouveau réalisme to minimalism, from conceptual art to poor art, etc.) become the subject of a deeper analysis around their origins; tendencies that, gradually, in the following decade, will lead the Greek artists to mature, in their work, their own particular sensitivity towards modern culture and to take part in this way, with a spirit of openness and in several cases with autonomy of thought, in the debate theoretical and ideological on contemporary art.
Since the early seventies, these two trends coexist and are supported by the work, even theoretical, of several important exponents of the new forms of expression. On the one hand, it should be emphasized that the influence of abstract tendencies, predominant in the progressive research of the Sixties both in painting and in sculpture, from A. Kontòpulos and Greece Spyròpulos and from A. Aperghis and Greece Zongòpulos up to Greece Sklavos, reaches the limit of absolute simplification and purity of form in the creations of sculptors such as S. Kontaratu (1923-1984), F. Michalea (b. 1936) and Greece Nikolaidis (b. 1934). At the same time, starting from the mid-1960s, there is a search for a departure from classical aesthetic values, following different paths. The painter D. Kontòs (b.Latreftikà (“Objects of worship”), composed with ex-votos made by the artist himself, while the sculptor V. Skylakos (b. 1930), around 1969-70, creates the first assemblages made in Greece using low-cost materials, everyday objects.
An analytical approach to the work of art, with the idea of the demolition of formal language and its simultaneous reconstruction as a language of communication in the modern social framework, is traced, however, with clarity and poetic spirit, by the sculptor Theodoros (Th. Papademetriu; b.1931). Since 1970, after ten years of significant production in sculpture intended as a plastic intervention in the social context, Theodoros has engaged in a penetrating critical analysis of the work of art-user relationship, interpreted plastically and conceptually through the action of his own metaphorical codes. communication (hat-helmet, matraque-phallus, heart-testicle, etc.). Elements which, together with the artist pointedly metaphorical and poetic discourse (by word of mouth, in writing, in sound recording), are responsible for constantly communicating the idea of the action as a viable means of plastic manipulations (manipulations) of common sense and of the social and cultural space.
In the more general research and experimentation of new materials and means of expression are deeply involved both different artists of the previous generations and, mainly, the new generation of the seventies which will continue to constitute a point of reference of the progressive expression at the turn of the seventies and the eighties.
Since 1972 a dynamic presence in the new research has been represented by D. Alithinòs (b. 1945), who constantly investigates the connection between the artistic fact and the social space. After his first conceptual interventions in urban space, in that of nature, in monuments and public buildings, he continues in a more systematic and global way to search for the art-action relationship through multiple expressive ways. Starting from 1979, Alithinòs highlights the meaning of myth through the use of diachronic and intercultural figural elements, reaching the complete disappearance of the work, by means of ritual “sowing” of his creations in the earth, carried out in different geographical points of the planet.
At the same time, in the early seventies, a strong interest in the dissolution of the structure of plastic and figurative language, based on the principles of geometry and constructivism, largely gains ground, having as major representatives O. Zuni (b.1941), M. Katzurakis ( n.1933), Greece Michas (b.1938), N. Pastra, while the same problem also originates the minimalist development of the structure of the work, which is encountered in the linear development of the material elements (metal, wood, etc.., in connection with fluorescent light), in the work of the main exponent of this trend, Greece Butèas (b. 1941). One of the most interesting extensions of this theoretical principle is offered by Diochandi (b.1945), the first and best known exponent in the Greek art scene of
In the same period the problematic of the neo-avant-gardes in relation to the ways of exemplifying the procedure of creative action is investigated from different points of view by various artists of the Greek neo-avant-garde.
Davu (b.1932) is a forerunner, in the Greek context, from 1970 to 1974, of the revelation of the primary structures of thought and of their translation into synthetic elements on the surface, which bring it, through a methodical and experimental study of regulatory principles of thought, to adopt, in 1976, as a semiotic language, the serial code exemplified on the Fibonacci series and, finally, to establish a relationship with the structure of the lines of the Odyssey, from which the transparent triangles-sails of his works derive following.
Art as a representation of the thought process has also been the object of clear scientific observation by the main exponent of this trend in Greece, P. Xagoraris (b.1929), who since 1963 has created a series of works and objects of kinetic art, based on the principles of geometry and mathematics, principles which, from 1971 onwards, gave life to works designed with electronic computers. In a different way, in the same period, his peer I. Molfesis (b.1925) gave expression, starting from 1970, to the influence of technology on plastic language, creating sculptures in hammered metal sheets, inspired by computer components electronic.