Yiannis Bouteas was born on 16 December 1941 in Kalamata of the Peloponnese, Greece. He studied graphic arts at the Athens School of Fine Arts - ASFA (1959-1964) under Kostas Grammatopoulos. With the support of the Greek State Scholarship Foundation - IKY he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris (1966-1970). He lived and worked in that city for an entire decade (1972-1982).
Bouteas seems to have worked consistently from the start on certain central ideas that combine the cost-free materials of everyday use (like those of so-called Arte Povera) with technological materials. He marries these two types of material in such a way as to preserve the individual properties of each, and achieves cross-matching that become homogeneous conceptual ensembles of their own, each with its own peculiar intensity. His work combines the organization of materials (neon lighting, ropes, string and so on, integrated into united wholes) with the freedom of action painting, which he uses as a constituent element in the work of organization. In his work the momentary free gesture of Action Painting becomes a structural element, the structure being composed of contrasts. Bouteas works with a multitude of environmental materials, which he recycles for unexpected uses. His art is located somewhere on the borders between everyday life and technology, and constitutes a particularly personal contribution in the area of ordered and classified movements. It was in the series Re-creations, on which he embarked in 1974, that he began to organize his work in the real space in which the visitors move. Lengths of rope coiling and uncoiling, doubling back on themselves, tied in knots and connected to neon tubes, all conveying the contrast between two states: energy and immobility. In the sequel Expansions a greater variety of materials and dispositions create a visual redefinition of the exhibition space. It is to this latter series that the work in the collection of the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Expansion in Four Elements belongs. In 1986 Bouteas created an open-air intervention at Rematia of Halandri, Athens. A T-shaped trench was excavated and within it were submerged the artist's materials and symbols, as if descending into a womb pregnant with the future and containing the past. The Sections of the 1990's are metallic constructions based on the same logic which determined the interventions of the preceding decades - another step forward in the artist's progress.
Yiannis Bouteas has presented the following personal exhibitions: Hilton Hotel, Athens Art Gallery, Athens (1972); Iolas / Zoumboulakis Galleries, Athens (1976); Galerie 30, Paris (1980); Bonnaval et Jamart, Limoges (1980); Miranda Gallery, Hydra Island (1980); Oraisma Contemporary Art Gallery, Athens (1982); Dracos Art Center, Athens (1985); Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center, Athens (1990 and 1995); Epikentro, Patras (1992); Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (2004). He has also presented his work in group exhibitions in important European centres, the most important of which are the following: Salon des Comparaisons, Paris (1974); Salon Grands et Jeunes d' Aujourd' hui, Paris (1974 and 1975); Salon de Mai, Paris (1977); Avanguardia e Sperimentazione, Modena, Venice (1978); Europalia, Brussels ( 1982), Memories-Regenerations-Quests, Athens (1985), Kunst Europa, Berlin (1991), Transformations of Moden Art, Athens (1992), Arte Contemporáneo - ArCo, Madrid, Spain (1992), Art Athina, Athens (1993 and 1995); and Athens by Art, Athens (2004). He has represented Greece at the São Paulo Biennial, Brazil (1981) and Biennale di Venezia, Italy (1990).
Yiannis Bouteas currently lives and works in Athens and Paris.
FATOUROS, D. Record of Some Aspects in the Art of Yiannis Bouteas 1972 Athens Art Gallery, Athens
MAVROMMATIS, EMMANUEL Space and Boundaries in the Work of Yiannis Bouteas 1976 Iolas / Zoumboulakis Galleries, Athens
ROUSSEAU, P. & BONNAVAL, JACQUES Lignes... Lumière... 1980 Galerie 30, Paris [French]
BONNAVAL, JACQUES Physique et Métaphysique dans l'; œuvre de Yiannis Bouteas 1980 Bonnaval et Jamart, Limoges [French]
TEISSERENC, P. Yiannis Bouteas 1982 Oraisma Contemporary Art Gallery, Athens
DENIZOT, R. Yiannis Bouteas: The Passing through Matter 1985 Dracos Art Center, Athens
DELIYANNIS, D. Yiannis Bouteas: Presentation of Biogenic and Photocemical Remains 1990 Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center, Athens
ALBUM Yiannis Bouteas: Presentation of Biogenic and Photocemical Remains 1990 Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center, Athens
ALBUM Yiannis Bouteas 2002 Lux Europae, Copenhagen
MAVROMMATIS & KOSKINA Yiannis Bouteas: States in Flux 1970-2004 - Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art 2004 Futura, Athens