CURRENT Athens is an online platform for the non-hierarchical promotion of contemporary art.

Cover series: #17 Dimitra Kondylatou

AUGUST

Admission: Free
Opening: 28.09.2022, 18:00
28.09.2022-28.10.2022

Wednesday-Saturday: 12:00-18:00

Add to calendar 2022:09:28 18:00:00 2022:10:28 23:17:00 Europe/Athens AUGUST AUGUST - More informations on /events/event/3900-august Iris Gallerie

Iris Gallerie is pleased to present August, Alexandros Simopoulos' first exhibition with the gallery, which introduces a new body of paintings and works on paper. The works presented here have been produced in isolation mode during the past two years between Greece and Switzerland. Their color palette, subject matter, and materials hold the marks of their geographical making: that of rural Valais in the Swiss Alps and coastal Attica and the Cyclades in Greece. The natural landscape becomes here the backdrop where Simopoulos' open-ended shοrt stories evolve. Soil, rocks, the sea, the moon, and the sun are all recurring symbols. Painted unaffectedly in a flat manner and with a euphoric color palette that resembles children's drawings, the works employ humor and immediacy creating an accessible, comfortable and safe space for his protagonists.

The intentional lack of perspective and the banality of the everyday and the familiar, bring to mind Greek folk and outsider artists which have been a great source of inspiration for the artist. Like them, Simopoulos employs organic elements for his paintings such as raw linen, in reference to 'liopana', the traditional cloths used to harness the olives. Mermaids, human bodies, seascapes, and trees attest to a world that lives in harmony with nature. In Simopoulos' paintings, the human body exists in correlation with the natural landscape or it becomes itself the actual landscape. Breasts, torsos, and vulvas merge with the sun or the moon rising, revealing a tender, carefree and affectionate cosmos.

The works as a whole could be read as a fragmented summer diary exploring personal feelings and experiences, the mythology of the Greek summer, Greek identitynatureleisure time, and reflection on the body and the need for intimacy. On a collective level, Simopoulos' works are a story of emotions, anxieties, and uncertainty and the potential they hold for change. Created during the pandemic and in an escapist mood, they emphasize the importance of observation through the deceleration of time and everyday life. Informed by a sense of optimism, they highlight a contemporary sensibility and ways of reacting to changes and tensions. Simopoulos combines fantasy and figuration inventing his own unique language in order to deal with uncertainty, existential fears, and the traumatizing shift in the relationship between humans and nature. For the sense of belonging, of embracing change and vulnerability becomes the starting point for building something new.

Text: Alkistis Tsabouraki

Alexandros Simopoulos (b. 1990) lives and works in Athens, Greece. He is a graduate of Panteion University, Athens, and Camberwell College of Arts, London with a scholarship from the University of the Arts London. He has participated in numerous exhibitions internationally including Boundary Drawing, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, USA/ Hors Pistes, Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts, Lausanne/ Hors Pistes, CID Grand Hornu, Belgium/ Fresh AIR, Urban Nation Museum, Berlin/ Plantarium, Esplora Science Center-Valletta18 European Capital of Culture, Malta/ Fondation du Château Mercier, Switzerland/ No Respect, Onassis Cultural Center, Athens/ and Still Here Tomorrow, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Athens amongst others. He has produced public murals (The spirit of the stairs supported by the Greek Ministry of Culture 2022/ La Charite sur Loire, supported by ACCR and the French Ministry of Culture 2021/ Vamvakou Revival, supported by Stavros Niarchos Foundation 2020/ etc.) and participated in residency programs internationally (Thermia Project 2022/ Odysee, ACCR 2021,/ Villa Ruffieux, Fondation du Chateau Mercier 2021/ Urban Nation Museum Berlin 2019/ Santa Fe Art Institute 2019/ etc.). He has received fellowships and scholarships from the Fulbright Foundation, Berliner Leben Stiftung, European Cultural Foundation, and SNF ARTWORKS Artist Fellowship Program amongst others. His work has been published in the international press in publications such as Le Monde and the International New York Times.

AUGUST

Coming, acrylics, oil and oil-sticks on linen, 200x120cm (diptych), 2020, photo Nefeli Papaioannou