URBAN IMPRESSIONS | ELEANNA MARTINOU
Curated by: Niki Papaspirou
Opening : Thursday, September 22th 2022 | 19.30-22.30
Tsichrintzis Visual Arts Foundation, from September 22th – September 30th, is hosting the solo exhibition of visual artist Eleanna Martinou, under the title Urban Impressions. (The works “Urban Impressions” were first presented in Cube Gallery, from June 11th – July 3th 2021, in Patras.)
Niki Papaspirou, art historian, notes :
«…to see the world, to be in the center of the world, and yet remain hidden from the world…»
Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern life 1
Benchmarking from the emblematic concept of flâneur, of the carefree walker in the streets of 19 th -Century Paris, of the onlooker of cityscape with a penetrating gaze, of the Baudelairean modern artist with the kaleidoscopic view, Eleanna Martinou is presents the exhibition “Urban Impressions”; a body of work on the mutating concept of wandering. Her works are a collection of experiences and moments of the urban space-time. The beginning of the drift, of the exploration process, is allegorically stated by the abstract imprint of a leg in motion. Documentation of the step is the beginning of the itinerary within the city, and, concurrently, of the exhibition walk, followed by a series of works on urban wandering. The artist turns her trajectories into images, whether those are images of the streets where she wanders, or familiar scenes in public transport, like the Underground. Views of everyday life are captured fleetingly, abstractly; she does not focus on details, endowing thus her pictures with universality. Her private memory becomes our collective urban experience. Each project is not a simple depiction of a city scene, or architecture, or urban planning, or network of its streets: Her works highlight the perpetual negotiation of an individual’s position in collective space.
The urban environment, as network of space and time, is transcribed into a visual composition through intensely dense painting, and the collage technique. Miscellaneous elements and materials, such as cut-out strips of different types of paper, photographs, and threads, create a network of information that realizes the concept of space as a set of interactive relationships. The morphology of her works demonstrates their connection with the concepts they explore. The abstract impressions-compositions are depositories of narratives that go beyond their spatio-temporal immobility. The walker/-visitor of the exhibition, forms a special relationship with the observed urban space, as the meaning of each image is constantly changing, according to their own viewpoint and experiences.
1 Charles Baudelaire, The painter of modern life, transl. Irini Vlavianou, introduction Katerina Schina,Papadopoulos
publications, Athens, 2018, p.34
The series of works, outlining the drift in urban space, interact complementing each other with the documentation of buildings and persons. Two subsets of works have a corresponding formal composition. The subject, mainly, is rendered in an abstract manner, through successive lines: The latter are archetypal forms of buildings and persons.
The expressive mastery of the first observers / physiologists of urban human geography is here refuted by critically highlighting the importance of human existence. The artist points out the sense of fragmentation and isolation experienced by the modern individual.
The core of the exhibited projects was made in the period 2013-2015, a period of deep economic and social crisis.
Today, the deconstruction of the human form and of the world – as architecture – acquires a new symbolism in the light of the global pandemic.
The works recite the trajectories of the wandering visual artist, but the drifter / spectator is the one whose course in the space will collect individual experiences in order to create a personal narrative, history: They will recall and reconsider facts, situations, values, and feelings, to redefine their place in the world.
Short CV | Eleanna Martinou
Εleanna Martinou is born in Athens (1981). Studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (2006) and graduated with a MA in the Arts (2009). She is a studied musician (Athens Conservatoire 1987-2003). Her works are presented in solo and group exhibitions, art fairs and festivals in Greece and abroad. She is a Phd researcher, Athens School of Fine Arts (2018-). More: www.eleannamartinou.com
2022 URBAN IMPRESSIONS, Tsichrintzis Visual Arts Foundation, Athens | 2021 IMAGINARY METROPOLISES, Mosaic, Culture & Creativity & Cube gallery, Patras | 2021 URBAN IMPRESSIONS, Cube gallery, Patras | 2019 HYADES, National Observatory of Athens | 2016 EYEWITNESSES, Eleftheria Tseliou gallery, Athens |
2015 JUNCTION / DISJUNCTION, Akto college, org. Eleftheria Tseliou gallery, Athens | 2014 FACESCAPES, Greek language school Lexi-Logos, Athens | 2013 12+1 PERSONALITIES, Gavrielede's publications, Athens | 2012 RADAR, Batagianni gallery, Athens | 2010 FUTURE CITIES FUTURE, Apotheke gallery, Nicosia | 2009 FROM PIRANESI TO MATRIX, Kessanlis Laboratory, Athens School of Fine Arts MFA graduates, 2009, Athens.