Distaffs and Spindles, 2010
Thodoros Papayannis has created an oeuvre in sculpture which is characterised by the co-existence of contemporary features of expression and features drawn from tradition; these bring to light both his technical skill and his background in theory. His sculpture is anthropocentric, with some deviations, such as the motif of the bird, which with its angular, but at the same time fluid, form, modelled abstractively, which recalls, to a certain degree, the models of Constantin Brancusi and Henry Moore.
During the course of his postgraduate studies in the new materials of modern sculpture at the École des Arts Appliquées et des Matiers d' Art (1981 - 1982) in Paris, after his graduation from the Athens School of Fine Arts, where he studied under Yannis Pappas, the artist developed one of the most interesting aspects of his work in which experimentation on the form in space dominates. Papayannis brings out an art which is monumental, larger than life, in which hieratic, emblematic, ritual figures - memories of a primitive, primordial art which was widespread throughout the Mediterranean. The stylised, dramatised individuals, consisting mainly of simplified geometrical shapes, and the colossal static trunks of the masses mutate the human figure into heroic warriors or a kind of apotropaic totem. The same monumental character is retained by his small-scale works in coloured clay of the 1990s in which forms inspired by folk tradition and classical antiquity are depicted.