The pioneer of neon
Stephen Antonakos was born in 1926 in Saint Nikolaos of Lakonia and by 1930 his family relocated to New York, where he still lives and works. Since the ‘60s, Antonakos has been distinguished for his clean-cut works of neon lamps being in discourse with space, but also thanks to his extensive and thorough interest in design. He consistently made use of a dialect of complete and incomplete geometric forms in his works, with the architectural installation or placement on paper being the main component of his meaning.
Minimalist Antonakos calls his art real thing in real space – an immediate visual and kinetic experience, free of any illusion or coherence and reference to anything outside the artwork itself. Except from his well-known coloured or silver leafed and neon lined tableaux and his works on paper or vellum, Antonakos is also acknowledged for his collections Walls, Rooms, Chapels and Artist’s Books. For over 40 years, he has widely exhibited his works in the United States and New York in particular and also in Greece and Europe.
Since late ‘70s, over 45 large-scale public works of Antonakos have been installed in the United States, Europe and Japan. In 1999, Hudson Hills Press published the monograph ANTONAKOS by Irving Sandier.