Yannis Gaïtis studied at Athens School of Fine Arts (graduating in 1951). In 1948 he took part in the group ‘Akrei’, as a private member, and in 1954, he went to Paris to continue his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. In 1957, he signed a contract with the ‘Fachetti’ Gallery. In the years that followed he turned towards abstract tendencies in his work. From 1960 onwards, he advanced towards a personal, much more fluid style, a development which came to a peak in 1966 when he began crafting his familiar two dimensional wooden statues.
He worked in Athens as well as Paris and in 1967, he presented his now famous ‘Anthropakia’ (‘Figurines’). He exhibited his ‘Petomichanes’ (‘Flying Machines’) at ‘Desmo’ in 1971; the next few years were centered around his progression into creating works on increasingly large formats as well as stylizing the human figure. In the decade 1970-1980, with a series of his wooden statues, Gaïtis took part in events and stagings, attempting to reference the ‘ancient world’.
Yannis Gaïtis, The Idol, ca 1977, Oil on canvas, 120 x 80 cm