A retrospective of the preeminent Greek-born American artist, who was a pioneer in the use of neon in the realm of fine art.
Prolific multimedia artist Stephen Antonakos (1926–2013) is best known for his resplendent abstract neon sculptures—instantly recognizable for their vibrant colors and crisp geometry. Along with well-known artists Lucio Fontana, Bruce Nauman, Keith Sonnier, and his compatriot Chryssa, Antonakos brought new perceptual and formal possibilities to the medium of neon.
This comprehensive book comprises Antonakos’s diverse output of neon, canvases, drawings, travel collages, chapels, and gold works, all of which reflect an abiding concern with illumination, incomplete geometric shapes, and an almost mystical spirituality that is manifest throughout his oeuvre, from his overtly religious pieces to his playful assembled collages from his trips to Greece. His later works feature neon lights placed behind painted or gold-leaf panels, often bathing the surfaces and the surrounding space in gold halos like Byzantine icons, a tradition that has long fascinated this extraordinary artist.
Author David Ebony provides research on Antonakos as a central figure in the international avant-garde of the 1960s and ’70s. He also discusses the artist’s Greek heritage and legacy, as well as the spiritual and mystical aspects of his later works.
About The Author
David Ebony is a contributing editor of Art in America and a frequent contributor to Artnet News and Yale University Press online, among other publications.