Zoumboulakis Galleries are delighted to announce the exhibition “Nikos Alexiou - A Version”, an installation based on a version of the work presented in 2005-2006 at the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in Alexandria, in parallel with the 23rd Alexandria Biennale for Mediterranean Countries.
The exhibition is curated by the artist’s sister, Poppy Alexiou. The exhibition essay, published in book form, is written by art historian Christopher Marinos.
«The installation at Zoumboulakis Galleries, as the one shown in Alexandria, consists of a cluster of pendulous works. Made of cut papers, glue, string, thread, bookbinding thread and reeds, the works form abstract geometrical patterns. It is noteworthy that the naming of these untitled handcrafts originates from their basic morphological features. More specifically, the installation includes two “mosaics on paper” inspired by the artist’s frequent visits to the Holy Monastery of Iviron, a red and a black “curtain”, four “circles”, two “stripes”, two “strings”, a colorful “rain” made of paper and several lace “grids”, one on a large-scale and seven of a smaller size.
Even though they are self-contained and autonomous, the perforated works are intertwined harmoniously with each other, giving the impression of a cohesive whole and consequently acquiring an installation’s features. Additionally, these ethereal works compose a continuously variable and animated image. This results mostly from the potential kinesis, even indiscernible, provoked by the visitors’ presence in the space and by the illusory movement of the geometrical patterns. This constant transformation, where nothing remains static and everything is fluid –formally and conceptually–, constitute the basic feature of Alexiou’s artistic practice.
Nikos Alexiou (1960-2011) chose the phrase “Angel Rolling up the Heavens” in order to name his participation in the 23rd Alexandria Biennale, in 2005. “It was a poetic title selected to explain the procedure”, notes the artist, underlining the importance of recycling materials and the very personal, somatic way with which he comprehended his images. And he clarified: “For instance, I borrowed the title Angel Rolling up the Heavens from a wonderful book about the Chora Monastery [obviously he refers to the volume Chora: The Scroll of Heaven], where above the Second Coming, we see an angel holding in his hands the universe, wrapped as a scroll. This image fitted in my own process, that is, that I don’t through anything, I pass from one work to the other, creating from a part a whole and from a whole a part again”.
By adopting this exceptionally poetic title, full of imageries and imagination stimulating, Alexiou declared his faith to the folding of time. Specifically, the image described by the title “Angel Rolling up the Heavens” does not only explain the homonymous work, but also encourages us to approach (and finally to better comprehend) the artistic work of Nikos Alexiou through the crucial concept of temporality. Such an approach is capable of interpreting the current exhibition, which is in dialogue with a similar installation that was exhibited at the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in Alexandria”*.
*Excerpt from Christopher Marinos essay.
Brief Curriculum Vitae:
Nikos Alexiou was born in 1960, in Rethymno (Crete). Initially, he studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna (1982-1983) and then at the Athens School of Fine Arts, at K. Grammatopoulos’ s engraving workshop.
His first solo exhibition (Desmos gallery, 1985) with compositions made from natural materials (stone, wood, mud etc.) derived from his own research on primal human constructions. As his work evolves, his interests grow around natural phenomena, mainly towards the motion and the reflections of light, the spectrum of the light beams and the projection of its iridescence onto various surfaces, or upon water. He creates installations using lace-shaped geometrical constructions out of cane and paper, which create volatile, poetic spaces, often with symbolic allusions. His art includes references to tradition or historical past, with an impressive array of mediums, ranging from delicate, handmade constructions to advanced technologies.
Since 2003, he intensely studied themes and motifs from the Holy Monastery of Iviron in Mount Athos, which he often visited. He manages to express the element of mysticism and the wealth of religious architecture, through complex mediums, but also in a spirit of contemplation and reflection.
He represented Greece in the 23rd Alexandria Biennale (2005) and in the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007), with his much discussed work, The End; a large installation inspired by the mosaic of the Catholicon of the Monastery of Iviron. A summarized version of the artwork was shown simultaneously in Athens (Zoumboulakis Galleries, 2007) and Munich (FRANÇOISE HEITSCH / GALLERY FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, 2007) by using digitally processed prints of the same mosaic. In 2010, St. Marcus Basilica and the homonymous square in Venice were presented in a similar manner, with large digital prints (Zoumboulakis Galleries, 2010), as a second phase of the same journey.
In parallel with his artwork, he designed the sets for numerous theatrical plays, mainly in Greece. He worked with Dimitris Papaioannou’s EDAFOS dance theatre company and many other important troupes. He was also a keen modern art collector.
Until his premature death in 2011 (Athens), his work had been presented in more than 15 solo exhibitions and in numerous group ones, in Greece and abroad.
Exhibition Duration: June 13 – July 20, 2019
Opening hours: Tue., Thu. & Fri. 11.00 - 15.00 & 17.00 - 20.00
Wed., Sat. 11.00 - 15.00
Sundays & Mondays closed