Antonis Polykandriotis was born on Mykonos Island in 1904. He was a young teenager when he exhibited paintings of his in a group exhibition of amateur artists at the Lyceum of Greek Women in Athens in 1917. Between 1920 and 1926 Polykandriotis studied at the Athens School of Fine Art - ASFA, under the tutelage of Dimitrios Geraniotis, Georgios Roilos, Georgios Iakovidis, Spyridon Vikatos, and Nikolaos Lytras. Between 1928 and 1930 he furthered his studies in Paris with a grant from the Academy of Athens. He attended classes at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Académie Colarossi, and Académie Scandinave, while working as assistant in the studio of Dimitris Galanis. It was Galanis who initiated Polykandriotis to the neoclassical interest of André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck. In 1931 he travelled to Madrid and Toledo, and in 1932 to Rome and Venice. Upon his return to Athens he joined his avant-garde contemporaries in a group called 'Omada Techni' (Group Art) and began participating in their exhibitions.
Always using objective reality as his starting point, he experimented with figuration, remaining faithful to the principles that Galanis taught him in Paris. He painted still-lives, landscapes, portraiture, and genre, al of which are characterised by a precise design, simplicity of means, plasticity of volume, colorful chiaroscuro. His palette has acidic greens, bright ochres, rich blacks and heavy shadows. During the occupation years in Athens (1940-1943) he made numerous drawings with ink, tempera, and watercolour, in an attempt to capture war's tragedy. Following the Second World War, Polykandriotis sought to break free from the oppression of mimesis, while adopting an impressionistic approach to nature.
He disengaged from the naturalistic contiguity between colour, form and contour, while enriching his palette with purer colours in thick and heavy brushstrokes. On the other hand, he retained a conservative selection of colour in his portraits, while focusing his attention on the character of the sitter. Gradually Polykandriotis developed a mannerism sketchy in execution yet formal in plasticity. His contour is intentionally broken, his brushstroke is gracefully swift, and his palette is fluid.
Antonis Polykandriotis presented the following personal exhibitions: Zachariou Gallery, Athens (1958 and 1969); Ora Cultural Center, Athens (1979); and Antonis Polykandriotis, Melina Mercuri Cultural Center, Athens (2011). He also took part in the following group exhibitions: Royal Theater, Athens (1926), DEEP (1933); Panhellenic Ehxibition, Zappeion Megaron, Athens (1938, 1939, 1940, 1948, 1952, 1957, 1963, 1965, 1971, 1975, and 1987); Biennial of Alexandria, Egypt (1959); Salon de l' Art Libre, Paris (1973); Polykandriotis & Costis Papachristopoulos, Argo Gallery, Athens (1988). Works by Polykandriotis are kept at the following institutions: The American College of Greece; Bank of Greece; Greek Modern Art Museum of Rhodes Island; Katsigra Collection; Municipal Gallery of Athens; MIET Collection; National Gallery - Alexandros Soutzos Museum of Athens; National & Kapodestrian University of Athens; and Hellenic Ministry of Culture. He was a member of the following groups: Omada Techni; Painters and Sculptors; and Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece - EETE.
Antonis Polykandriotis died on 1 March 1990 in Athens.
[Megakles Rogakos 01/2005]
Pinakothiki (Gallery) #194-195 1917, p.36
Fragelio #27 1927 p.4
KOKKINOS, D.A. Nea Estia #222 1936
EVAGELIDIS, D. Nea Estia #514 1948, #548 1950, #756 1959
VAKALO, ELENI Zygos #36-37 1958
ANONYMOUS Sychroni Techni 1970 Ora Cultural Center, Athens p.161
LYDAKIS, STELIOS Lexiko (Dictionary) 1976, p.358
XYDIS, ALEXANDROS 1976 v.A', p.66, 110
SPITERIS, TONY 1979 v.B'. p.217, v.G', p.237
Municipality of Athens Gallery p.67
KRITIKOU, IRIS Antonis Polykandriotis (1904-1990) 2011 Melina Mercuri Cultural Center, Athens