Antonis Pittas (1973, Athens, Greece) lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He studied at the Athens School of fine Arts; the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam; the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam; he has been an artist-in-residence at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; and is currently Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam where is currently researching and producing work under the rubric ‘Recycling History (contemporising history/historicising the contemporary)’. His work is characterised by the historical awareness he holds whilst addressing contemporary social and political issues. More an observer than an activist, Pittas explores topics such safety and control, economic crises and acts of resistance, as well as violence and vandalism. He usually develops mixed-media installations that include graphite typography, bronze and marble sculptures, photography, artificial leather objects, hi-vis foil cutouts, and spatial adaptations including wall paintings and light. However, parts of the installations – such as sculptural pieces or photographs – can often also function on their own; the spatial arrangement mainly provides a context for interpretation. For the artist, an important frame of reference is the visual language of modernism and the historical avant-gardes, including Bauhaus, De Stijl and Russian Constructivism. Forms from this period are traced throughout history as they travel to unlikely situations, attaining new shapes and meanings. Pittas maps their transhistorical lines of development and investigates how they re-appear in the present. His research-based approach is informed by the idea that utopian aspirations can easily turn into their opposite, leading to destruction, oppression, and an affirmation of power and authority. By exposing this dynamic, Pittas' work offers a space for thought and reflection, both on history and the now.
Recent and forthcoming solo exhibitions have been held at Centraal Museum, Utrecht (2021); Van Doesburg House, Paris (2020); Significant Other, Vienna (2019); Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam (2018); Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen (2017); Narrative Projects, London (2016); Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (2015); State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (2015). Antonis has contributed to group exhibitions at Ronny Van de Velde Gallery, Antwerp (2020); State Hydrometeorological Institute, Skopje (2020); MOMus-Experimental Center for the Arts, Thessaloniki (2019); Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje (2019); Manifesta 12, Palermo (2018); MACRO Museum Testaccio, Rome (2017); BAK, Utrecht (2017); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2017); Onomatopee, Eindhoven (2016); Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2015); 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (2015). Public commissions have been realised for Significant Other, Vienna (2019); Art in Space, Prague (2018); de Appel, Amsterdam (2018); Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp (2017); and the 4th Athens Biennale (2013).