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Comment on the 20th century

In the beginning was the fire


Figures in space >
Ontogteny / Ontogenesis
by Haris Kampouridis, 16.11.92

Α. the origin and development of the individual living being,
   until it reaches full growth.
Β. a (hypothetical) theory about the origins of all living beings that have
   lived upon the planet earth. (Dimitrios, encyclopediv dictionary).

What can be the impression that archetypal, biotic figures – trees, birds, animals – make to an innocent human mind looking at them? How does a child – for instance- or an (hupothetical) aboriginal, on an artist reacts to their sight? Which formative values can be revealed by contemplating their surface or their structural plot? Children love the natural forms, not the unworldly ones: their favourit reading, the cartoon, verifles the correctness of this statement. Our remote ancestors, the aboriginals, used to decorate the caves were they lived with figures that were familiar to tmen, depicting animals they encountered everyday in their real life. A Renaissance painter,. Jeronymo Boss, produced terrifying effects by paintint imaginary, biotic complexes, silent testimonies of a supetstritious era that, at the time, eas already sinking into the past. In the twentieth century, the surrealist painters often depict biotic variations of the human form,. In arte povera, the artists use structural techniques that remind the way animals build their nesta; in abstract painting, the search for an exclusively human formation reaches such depths, as to produce painted surfaces that often look like inarticulate engravings. What is the point of view and the state of mind that is here proposed to us, through Anninta Argyroheliopoulou’s work? The work that the spectator can see consists in three- dimentional constructions and several canvases, all depicting trees, embryos, birds, prehistoric animals. In many of the exhibits, the prevailing feature is the firm stracture that comes out epigrammatically, like a stratement of abstract plastic notions. In others, it is the analytical formative details of the surface that prevail, giving the impression of a minute enlargement. The wing, of an imaginary bird, a tree cevered by a sinewy web. The work that the artist exposed in the past included huge reptilers and birds with extremely long necks; looking at them, one could get the impression he was an intruder in the fictionary world of a modern cartoon or that he bad before his eyes (at reast, those were the memories awakened in my own finarmation then) a life- size illustration of Jules Verner’s “ A Journey to the Centre of the Earth” . But Anninta is quite determined that stress should be laid on the delimeating character of the work she exposes at the present exhibition (hens the name she gave it: “ Figures in Space” ), and quite lest a frivolous inspection might ministerpret this work as a memento of the cartoons that nurtured her generation. Colour is not a prevailing feature in this work, the artist does not seem to need symbolisms addressed to feeling. There are other elements that really matter to her: the material of the surfaces, the structure of the outlinesa and notion s such as ontogenesis (as well as its synonym: ontogeny), diachronic, archetypal. Argyroheliopouloy is an artist who exposes her work carefully and wisely, step by step. Her world is fictionaly, but its pictorial formation is almost empirically realistic. Her artisty and her dexterity are as obvious as her sensitivity. How does a living form form come to life? is a question that the spectator will inevitably ask himself along with the artist, while observing either the pulsation of the surfaces or the simplicity of the denotative outlines. Annita’s exprerimentation has led into a most interesting journey, that grasps our attention and makes us, willingly, her fellow travelers.

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