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Life & Style

Agony VIΙ, 1971 by Diamantis – A. G. Leventis Gallery

“Here, more than in other any work of the series, Diamantis rid himself of rational incumbencies and produced a canvas that was the painterly translation of an inner image created by actual experiences and mental states. It is a work in which the real coexists with the hyper-rational, as much in its thematic approach, which uses symbolism and allegorical intimations, as in its visual structure and composition.
The carcass of a red goat, which is the central figure of the composition, gives shape to all of the artist’s fears and anxieties. Its dead body, in the foreground, abolishes the natural law of gravity and swirls upside down in the void. The colours of the painting also belong to the world of symbols. The red colour of the goat, the colour of tension and emotion, the colour of blood, refers to the violence and massacres that came before. Perhaps the intuition of the artist, which transcends the present, could foresee the tragic events that would take place a few years later. The presence of the conscious and the power of the subconscious are also declared in the painting by the fetal position of the goat, which could be interpreted as the destruction of life itself. A symbolic hint of death can also be traced to the dead figure of a young woman, who occupies the entire width of the bottom of the canvas. Upon her white face, like a plaster cast, her bulging eyes and her wide-open mouth, the way of death has been set as if in stone.
With the two primordial figures in the background, a male and a female, Diamantis went even further. He embraced issues of the human journey, such as birth, love, old age and death, as well as those linked to the relationship between people and their homeland. On the right-hand side of the canvas, he placed the magnificent form of an ancient figure, an Olympian god, who, as the rooted primogenitor of an archaic race, is holding in his sturdy hands – and thus saving it – new life.”
– Dr. Eleni S. Nikita, From the catalogue of the exhibition “Agonies – Diamantis”
Agony VIΙ, 1971,
oil on canvas,
91 x 127 cm,
Alecos Diamantis Collection

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