The rewards in Manouselis' works are formal: the transitions of color, the expert drawing, the juxtaposition of curved edge next to straight line, the density of form hollowed by a wash of color, the contrast of soft and hard, the startling balance, how all the pieces fit together in complicity and collaboration like an elegant, interlocked jigsaw puzzle, dynamic equilibrium achieved.
His paintings are boldly architectonic in appearance, constructs that are Cubist-derived, modernist stacks of hard, overlaid, overlapping forms softened by a painterly gesture against painterly fields.
Manouselis is also somewhat metteur-en-scene and his works have a sense of theater about them, as if they were abstract stage sets, ideal cities geometricized, part of a history of depicted cityscapes, from temple precincts to ampitheaters to arched passages to closely packed Mediterranean and Aegean houses, to more contemporary structures, the janty, banded and plain ovals bounding across the stage like so many dramatic protagonists. Whether this reading is fanciful or not, Manouselis—as any good artist, any good abstractionist should—leaves his viewer ample space for eye and mind to wander.
His forms, biomorphic in some passages, geometric in others, are specters and symbols: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Cycladic idols, or Greek letters, are just a few of the possible readings. His work can be considered a part of the abstract surrealism that marks the return of this style in today's market but Manouselis has been refining his style in this direction for the past ten years. As such, it is informed by a multitude of concerns including architectural structures but also his vast theoretical and conceptual awareness.
For Manouselis' work has a musical sensibility through the rhythms of color and line that area at once in visual harmony as well in discord. Thus their titles are an apt description by virtue of being both a literal referral and metaphor. Oscillating between the gesture of the brush and gesture as semiotic play Manouselis' paintings are purely visual and symbolic, concomitantly physical and intellectual. And it is through sight and tacticity, emotion and rationality, statis and dynamism, surface and depth that Manouselis presents us an aesthetic that pushes towards what can be described as an architectonic of painting.
Although an autodidact, his ouvre is informed by a consummate sense of mastery over line.
His ouvre is, indeed, characterized by a superb control of line by which he creates compositional vignettes within his paintings.
That sense of line also articulates his predilection for the curvilinear, which, in its geometric simplicity, enables him to explore his own visual construct. Curvilinear elements pulsate across a horizontal, stage-evoking format, and in decidedly metope-like compositions evoking architectural orders.
He is not concerned with a thematic narrative or with a particular theme or subject. On the contrary, Manouselis employs the curvilinear to create visual worlds in which color, texture, and proportion expressed abstractly effect the percipient visually.
Each flight into the works of Manouselis is an exhilarating visual experience transporting one from the realm of representational realism into the visual realm of curvilinear conjunctions.