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WORKS 1984-2009

The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art presents in its premises a retrospective exhibition of the painter Eugenia Apostolou curated by Denys Zacharopoulos. Opening on May 24, 2009, the exhibition features works from 1984-2009, especially the series between 1992-2009. The accompanying catalogue includes essays by Denys Zacharopoulos, Maria Marangou and Katerina Koskina, as well as a conversation between the artist and Christoforos Marinos. The exhibition is supported by the Welfare Foundation for Social and Cultural Affairs (KIKPE) and the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation.

Born in Soudan of Greek parents, Eugenia Apostolou came to Greece at the age of six. There, she went to school and spent the years of her adolescence. As a teenager, she made up her mind to become a painter and went on to study in London, UK at the Central School of Arts and Design (1974-1978) and the Royal College of Art (1979-1982) under William Turnball and Peter de Francia, Jeniffer Durrant, Mario Dubsky, Paul Huxley, and others. Her work has been shown in personal and group exhibitions in Greece and other countries. In 1995, she participated in the 46th Venice Biennale with Elytron (curated by Maria Marangou).

Her first personal show in Greece was mounted two years after her return in Desmos Gallery, where she presented large-scale figurative works under the title Memories – Juxtapositions – Confessions. In her images, seemingly accidental encounters with enlarged everyday objects take on a psychoanalytical role, eliciting personal and shared experience. Apostolou’s psychoanalytical and experiential approach continues to inform her work, all the more so as she embraces abstract art. The shift to abstraction was gradual: This first exhibition at Desmos came five years before the series Seascapes, comprised of abstract works in which the element of nature is a tangible inspiration. In her next series of works, Flows (1992), Apostolou focused on the fluidity of matter; now she made the complete transition to abstraction. The figurative concepts remain, but they have now moved from the image to the act of painting itself: Seaweed are mixed with paint, which literally flows on the canvas.

In spite of the total abstraction, the seeming monochrome and the “gestural” painting to which Eugenia Apostolou eventually arrived, the incidental element is totally absent from her work. Her monochromatic canvases, as well as the small red canvases of Red Light District are meticulously constructed over time from successive layers of paint. Far from a figurative approach, the temporal aspect of the creation of the art work as well as the artist’s commitment can be readily appreciated in the vibrant and silent patterns.
Although key to Apostolou’s oeuvre, silence is nevertheless not in the foreground. It is the means through which a profound reading is made possible, the conditio sine qua non for subtle sounds and patterns to become audible. The artist has named a series of works Silent Way, in reference to their process of both conception and reception. Silent, in Apostolou’s case, does not mean no sound; it means no talking, only listening.

Apostolou’s oeuvre deals with the question of space through the installation qualities that she introduces by producing her works in series and deliberating their installation in space. Her works intervene; they redefine the site where they go on display. They moreover redefine the position of the viewer and showcase the processes of both viewing and creating.

Curator: Denys Zacharopoulos

Venue: Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art
Duration: 16.05 -31.07.2009
Opening: Sunday, May 24, 13:30, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art

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