Integral II is the second part of the exhibition presented at the Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center in April 2017. Both shows refer to the current socio-political reality, not only in our country but also in the whole world, through the presentation of artworks by Greek artists of an earlier generation, in dialogue with the work of younger artists.
The internationally acclaimed artists Jannis Kounellis, George Lappas and Lucas Samaras always created works that derived from personal and political turmoil. The curators of the exhibition chose the most discerning of them to comment on the present dark atmosphere, result of the social and political situation.
Jannis Kounellis’ imposing metallic installation with burlap sacks full of charcoal is a classic example of how he perceived art, as a means of social, political and humanitarian commentary. George Lappas, with his «headless / dislocated» traveler, and Lucas Samaras with Reconstructions – works which bring to mind traditional burial customs – accomplish the same commentary. However, Lappas draws his inspiration from his experiences as a perpetual refugee and Samaras from his deep mourning for a family member.
Accordingly, the works of the young artists of the exhibition express with sharpness and clarity insightful ideas, despite the harsh conditions in which they were created. By selecting these specific works, the curators of the exhibition attempt to emphasize that contemporary artistic expression does not suffer, but that, on the contrary, in times of crisis art is called upon to adopt a wider look and to constantly invent new ways and new sources of creation.
Dimitris Andreadis, with his painting installations, depicts the light that can originate from the void, while, with similar sensitivity, George Stamatakis and Katerina Kotsala refer to a blending and alternation of places and landscapes. The description in Kotsala’s work is developed by thematic deductions in which cold color pallets are leading, while in Stamatakis’ canvases we encounter dreary, yet hopeful narratives.
Dimitris Foutris expresses the same hopeful ideas in a more conceptual way: the indisputable continuity of things and the belief that nothing ever dies out completely, without leaving traces. Kostas Bassanos also presents an oxymoron, in the form of confusion and optimism at the same time, which arises from conditions of trapping, but also from a possibility of expanding / collapsing the limits caused by the sense of imperfection.
Andreas Lolis overwhelms us with marble sculptural hallucinations, where everyday compositions put together by low value objects acquire a monumental nature. In the same way, Socrates Fatouros uses multiple layers of building materials of the modern city (bitumen sheets, polyurethane) as remnants and reminders of our initial experience in it. Katerina Komianou, as a post-romantic urban explorer, a modern flanneuse, proposes a night scenery with prominent public space statues and dried palm trees – remnants of decorating the recent Olympic grandeur.
Dimitris Baboulis, while maintaining a shady content, works with clear-cut lines and shapes that refer to geometric and scientific practices, without unnecessary elements, expressing a purely personal consciousness level.
It is a distinctive feature of the new generation of Greek artists to dare and constantly battle with originality. They use in their art the repository of the modern civilization of our country and attempt to reconstruct it, in order to comment on today’s everyday life.
As Oscar Wilde quoted, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars…
Dimitris Andreadis, Dimitris Baboulis, Kostas Bassanos, Socrates Fatouros, Dimitris Foutris, Katerina Komianou, Katerina Kotsala, Jannis Kounellis, George Lappas, Andreas Lolis, Lucas Samaras, George Stamatakis
Curated by: Ileana Tounta, Dimitrios Antonitsis, Galini Lazani