For her first solo show, Aliki Panagiotopoulou continues her ongoing series of Definition Drawings and introduces new collaged and sculptural works constructed from a diverse range of objects including discarded bed frames and wooden doors, antique lamps or metal funnels, whose apparent and implied symbolism she juxtaposes and exploits. Panagiotopoulou's chief concern is with philosophical and cultural ideologies surrounding concepts of self. Partly inspired by George Steiner's, Ten Possible Reasons for the Sadness of Thought , her work deals with a series of eschatological anxieties to do with transitions or passages (from innocence, through cognitive thought into knowledge and guilt) and alludes, in its subtext, to Schelling's assertion that thought, ergo existence, is strictly inseparable from a "profound, indestructible melancholy".
Hence Panagiotopoulou's work moves through explicitly dark narratives, evoking gloomy or malign atmospheres. Drawing cathartically on her very personal experience within a framework of theory and traditional mythology, she asserts a unique rhetorical mode of expression. In her drawings, she depicts dreamlike scenarios disparate in time, space and place, yet which build episodically until a new reality locks into place. And in a logical extension of this work on a two dimensional plane Panagiotopoulou has created a theatrical trompe l'oeil of giant, hand drawn and appliquéd Classical arches that dissect the gallery across its mid-point establishing a sense of threshold, integral to Panagiotoupoulou's concerns, and evoking a sham aura of reverence crucial to the travesty of self-veneration indicated in the exhibition's title.
Somewhat dominating the exhibition space, the arches, at the same time, create a passage through it, defining a sense of relationship between the viewer, space and art object and opening up the gallery space into a semi-performative area. Just beyond this threshold, in a logical continuation of her investigations on paper, Panagiotopoulou has created an installation work that pushes the ideas and concepts of her drawings even further, whilst staying in dialogue with them. Melancholia , suggests a Paradise Lost and a sorrow whose origin lies in the recognition of mankind's forever repetitive instincts.
Greek artist and Slade graduate Aliki Panagiotopoulou lives and works in Athens. Her exhibition with Wyer Gallery follows the success of her recent participation in Art Athina ( The Contemporary Greek Scene, curated by Nadia Argyropoulou). She graduated from the Slade School of Art in 2005.