Artists Yorgos Stamkopoulos
Venue Galleria Mario Iannelli, Rome
Stamkopoulos establishes a dialogue between the wall painting and the three-dimensional presences – steel lines that soar upwards from the ground looking like results of an independent but alienating power – which changes not only the viewer’s perception of the space, but also their way of inhabiting and measuring the physical context in which they find themselves.
As the artist himself explains: “The idea of wall painting had been floating around in my head for quite some time! The sculptures are made from steel bars which are 14 mm thick. The sculptures are bent by hand, and to me they represent lines in space. They correspond to the lines that you see in my paintings, which I create as part of the artistic process before applying the colours. In this case, I wanted to break free from the flat nature of the canvas by translating them in the third dimension. Surprisingly, the pictures communicate with the sculptures, becoming a single object”.
From this point of view, we come to the unprecedented realisation that the active artist is not only concerned with forcing the limits of the object-painting or the essence of painting itself, but with the aesthetic and qualitative parameters within which it is observed and/or experienced.
Moreover, it goes to show that the project was conceived by Stamkopoulos as a shared reflection on his way of working with abstract painting. The intention, however, is to place greater importance on the process rather than the final image. He aims to directly reveal the time needed to “make” the painting and for it to “come to fruition”.
As the curator Lorenzo Bruni writes as part of a conversation that will be presented together with a special edition/poster designed by the artist: “The challenge that Stamkopoulos undergoes is not to apply his particular artistic method of partially removing colour from a surface – which he normally does on canvas – to a location-based work. Rather, it consists of placing the time needed for the artistic process at the center of the work, and establishing a dialogue between it and the surrounding world, which does not exist independently. It is this requirement that leads to the decision to use the same color tones for the wall painting as those which characterize the cityscape that exists outside the windows of the gallery, although here they are freed from their function of “defining” forms and objects. This perceptual permeability between interior and exterior, like the one between art and life, together with the context of “Rome” in which all of this takes place, highlights aspects that would not have come into focus so sharply on other occasions.” These aspects include the fact that the composition of contemporary monochromatic painterly forms can refer back to fragments of ancient frescoes and the procedures used to preserve them; the use of spray painting usually found in the tags of urban graffiti artists is now placed in the context of abstract painting; the references to ideas of decoration, total artwork, and back- and foreground.”