Imaginary landscape, 1981
Yorgos Vakalo studied in Paris from 1922 to 1928 at many different schools; he was resident in the French capital for many decades. He was thus in Paris when Surrealism was at its height and was definitively influenced by the movement, initially adopting automatic writing. Vakalo then developed a personal idiom, his subjects replete with poeticism, imagination, lyricism, and bizarre features, like a kind of narration of a tale. The typical elements of his sui generis surrealism are compositions which are enacted in an unreal atmosphere, with a host of symbols, weightless figures, and strong colours. The artist worked systematically as a stage set designer, mainly with Charles Dullin; here he transposed on to his sets the same surrealistic atmosphere which is encountered in his other works. Yorgos Vakalo discreetly served art, with great conscientiousness and a readiness to find renewal and to experiment, in a timely and pioneering way, as regards the development of art in Greece, in every form, from surrealism to abstraction.