Under the title 7+7, the present exhibition with significant works by fourteen artists from the collections of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, suggests an interpretational approach of contemporary art via two courses. The goal of the exhibition is to bring to the fore the transposition of the artistic centre of gravity and subsequently of the offered aesthetic experience from pictorial and plastic values of late-modernism (in the ’60s and onwards), to the historical-social and transcultural orientation of post-formalistic practices of recent decades.
On the first course (Stephen Antonakos, Nikos Kessanlis, Chronis Botsoglou, Rena Papaspyrou, Yannis Spyropoulos, Costas Tsoclis, Chryssa), paintings and sculptures which, apart from the traditional depicting procedures, use in a synthetic and structured manner
un-artistic materials, or bear intense the traces of gestural action with pasting, abrasions, consequent incrustations or amortizations of verbal palimpsests, promote as bodies of pictoriality and plasticity the natural qualifications and qualities of the ready-made objects themselves, and highlight gesture as an expressional self-value. Liberated from any intention of conventional artistic outcome, the works diverse from each other, meet and cross to the degree they offer the pictorial and sculptural field as poetical loci of gaze.
On the second course (Kutlug Ataman, Bill Viola, Vlassis Caniaris, Ilya Kabakov, Thomas Struth, George Hadjimichalis, Yannis Psychopedis) installations, painting, photography and video installations pass from modernist visuality and the intrinsic connotations of artistic forms, to the sociology of the real or oppositely to the conceptual formulation of its idea. The artists with their objective testimony, refer to the socio-economic conditions and their impact on the individual, national or geographical level, as well as on the historical collective memory. With either direct or implied mythological, philosophical and religious references to different civilizations, they promote their anthropological wealth and submitting mystically the viewer, they activate his cultural knowledge and experience. The emerging return to landscape painting could be considered as a nostalgic reduction to the pictorial past, if the use of mechanical media such as photography or video did not constitute simultaneously a form of its critical undermining.
Curated by Anna Kafetsi