Born in New Zealand.
Lives and works in Athens, Greece.
Yioryios Papayioryiou creates organic architectural forms which are grounded in the framework and mentality of painting but realised in the form of sculpture. Working with aluminium and acrylic paints, the artist bends, folds, contorts and manipulates his materials – an almost choreographic and dancerly process which culminates in the creation of works defined by a sense of energy and movement.
Underlying all of Yioryios’ works is a fascination with architecture and the built environment. Each work is an abstract and intuitive response to the architecture of a particular site such as Jorn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House or Harry Seidler’s Australian Embassy in Paris.
In the same way in which Kandinsky would take non-descript and everyday objects such as a ladder and a table as his starting point, drawing inspiration from their lines and contours, and forming in his mind the dynamic and vibrant compositions for which he is now synonymous with; Yioryios’s ever-evolving free-form helixes and spirals draw on the shapes and silhouettes of architecture to create sculptures which are a pure visual response.
Taking these architectural masterpieces as his starting point and inspiration, Yioryios begins by making sculptural ‘sketches’ or marquettes, constructed from torn and cut up photographs of the building or ‘architectural muse’, allowing him to playfully work with form and shape until the final lines of the sculpture emerge. These marquettes are then translated by the artist into aluminium composite, via a process which involves heating the aluminium until it is soft and malleable enough that it can be easily manipulated, after which the final form is painted and articulated with a combination of matte and gloss acrylic paints.
A gestural response to the power of architecture, each work captures the dynamism of the building which inspired it, encouraging the viewer to re-approach familiar architectural gems with a new appreciation, a new eye and a new sense of possibility.
Yioryios Papayioryiou is an artist whose work explores the boundaries between painting, sculpture and architecture. Graduating from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours in 2014, Yioryios has since held numerous solo exhibitions and been invited to participate in numerous group exhibitions at spaces such as Artereal Gallery, M16 Artspace and Belconnen Arts Centre. Having relocated to Athens in 2019, Yioryios now splits his time between Australia and Greece, allowing him to exhibit and show in an international context.
Yioryios was commissioned to create a major public artwork as part of WestConnex Canal to Creek M5 Public Art Program. Launching in 2020, Canal to Creek is a diverse program of eighteen commissioned artworks that will help activate new and existing parklands between St Peters and Beverly Hills. Yioryios’ steel sculpture will be 3 metres high, 6 metres wide, and will be located in a permanent contemporary sculpture park in St Peters.
In 2015 and 2016 Yioryios was a finalist in the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize and his work was featured in Artist Profile magazine and Habitus Living. In 2016, Yioryios was commissioned to create a large scale, site-specific sculpture for ANZ headquarters in Melbourne.
In 2017 he was commissioned to create a site specific sculpture for the Crown Casino on the Gold Coast. In 2018 Yioryios was invited to participate in Monocchrome: Empty and Full at Margaret Lawrence Gallery at the University of Melbourne. In May 2018 Yioryios completed his first international residency in association with the Athens School of Art in Athens, Greece.
Yioryios’ work is held in significant collections such as the Justin House Art Museum collection, the ANZ collection, the Pricewaterhouse Cooper collection, the Crown Casino collection, the ELLIOT EYES COLLECTION and the Australian Embassy in Paris collection.