Andy Giannakakis "Forced Hand"

September 9th – October 22nd, 2022

Tif Sigfrids is pleased to announce Forced Hand, a solo show of six paintings by Andy Giannakakis. The show is his first solo exhibition in New York City and second with the gallery. The show will open September 9 with a reception from 5 to 7 pm and run through October 22.

Variously described as puritanical, meditative, and coy, Giannakakis’s paintings move between genre, temporality, aesthetic, and reference with ease, and demonstrate a chameleon-like ability to change form throughout the day. His process is one of infinite adjustments. Continual tuning and detuning and a discipline of contemplative chance furnish endless variations he forges into a harmonious whole. The result is uniquely his own, yet rooted in deep and revered painting tradition.

The paintings in this show are part of a larger group. A companion exhibition, which includes the other half of the paintings from this body of work, will be on show in a solo exhibition entitled Gethsemane opening at Park View/ Paul Soto in Los Angeles on September 17. Hard copies of the texts written by the artist for each exhibition will be available at the gallery.

Andy Giannakakis (b. 1988, Valdosta GA) holds a BFAfrom the University of Georgia and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Recent exhibitions of his paintings include shows at La Maison de Rendez-Vous in Brussels, Belgium, Los Angeles Mission College, CA, and Atlanta Contemporary, GA. He lives and works between Athens, Georgia, and Los Angeles, California.

In loving memory of Art Rosenbaum (1938 - 2022)

The Quartered Man

The Quartered Man is stretched on a green rack, his arms and legs taut, the elements of a landscape pulsating around him. I don’t paint figures, but figures appear nonetheless, and when they do, I distort or obscure them to weave them into the whole. In this case, I flattened the Quartered Man like a tapestry, leaving only his faint outline against the brown-black ground. The meridians of the painting appeared shortly thereafter. On either side of the man are remnants of old paintings. One hung in my house for two years as a cheap Bill Jensen imitation; the other was like a chemically burned Gauguin. I regret letting go of paintings that have gone through so much, but sometimes evidence of one’s life is best put out of sight.

Another figure, whom I call the Squire, floats, quadriplegic, behind the Quartered Man. His body hovers inside the painting, breaking the illusion of depth. He is free of any identifiable marks, anonymous, armless like a chess pawn, with a hard edge running the length of him. Out of his back opens a field and an expanse of cloudy space. I find the production of illusion infinitely meaningful and, like many before me, relish the opportunity to paint deep space.

There are wings in this painting but not birds. They are gray, liquid metal, synthetic concrete, lapis; their conviviality and sinew of purpose are missing. I don’t paint animals, but I’ve marveled at Soutine’s carcasses and often contemplate Delacroix’s writings on equine anatomy. Today we paint in echo chambers—cropped canons we deconstruct. In mine I searched for clues revealing the source of the wings. I found hints of Polish Hussars, intimations of Evangelions, intuitions of enemies on the roads of Final Fantasy. Clues, hints, intimations, intuitions: these are the cards in our forced hand when we seek truth through painting, a discipline of chance and illusion.

Andy Giannakakis