“Incident” is the first exhibition of the work of Maria Polyzoidou in Germany. Her paintings inscribe themselves in the tradition of realism. She shifts the adherence to the representational, however, by adopting forms of digital image production; conversely, she counters those forms with an impenetrable rendering. The technical dimension is mirrored in the chromatic saturation of the canvas without the slightest expressive gesture; a subtle colourism responds to the digital manipulation of colour, and the combination of heterogeneous pictorial elements to form an unalterable unity transforms the boundless availability of images. Polyzoidou draws from her archive of personal images as well as from the vast stock of images circulating on the web. Whereas intimate pictures are dissociated from the person and claim public visibility, anonymously produced and generally accessible images are conceded unique meaning. Polyzoidou’s painting makes reference to the spheres of the private and the public, the virtual and the corporal – every painting is a momentary concretization of an unstable and destabilizing interface between the various realms.
The paintings function as fragments. Many look like tightly cropped details of a far more expansive constellation. The objects are positioned in such a way that no further change is conceivable. They are distinguished by immobility, oppressive silence, impermeability (even if a stage-like space is depicted) and distance (however close a thing might be). Their cohesion is brought about by pressure generated with the means of painting and further heightened by theatrical set pieces of Baroque pathos. They do not come together of their own accord; their affiliation, rather, is imposed upon them from the outside and after the fact. Yet however irreversible this affiliation might appear, it nevertheless remains precarious. The three-dimensionally painted hand of a child rests on a completely flat patch of colour to be read as a human back; the projection of a black-and-white picture on the wall collides with a vividly red billowing bedspread; the lights of a Christmas tree, glowing feebly in the dark, defy reconciliation with the brightly illuminated back of a sofa. Mutually distinguished from one another, the objects provide occasion for the introduction of contours, cuts and sharp edges that slice through every scene.
Painterly violence enforces momentarily cohesive images of a reality that has already dissolved into freely floating particles. Taken together, the paintings in Incident expose an apocalyptic vision. The light that models the bodies and illuminates the spaces is the light of a far-distant, already long-extinguished star.
2018 Incident, AD Gallery, Athens GR 2016 Incident, Nagel/Draxler Galerie, Reisebürogalerie, Cologne, DE 2013 Maria Polyzoidou, AD Gallery, Athens GR
2011 Maria Polyzoidou, AD Gallery, Athens GR
Selected Group Shows
2018 An Exercise on Values, curated by Alexios Papazacharias, Haus N Athen, Athens GR Rag to Rich, curated by Poka-Yio, Arts Festival, Deree – The American College of Greece Art Gallery, Athens GR
2017 On a Small Scale: Pop-Up show, AD Gallery, Athens GR
2016 Fragments of a Broken Season, Hilbert Raum project space, Berlin, DE
2014 Drawings and Writings, curated by Thanassis Moutsopoulos, Gallery ALMA, Trikala, GR
2013 Culture: genders and cases, curated by Alexios Papazacharias, Metamatic:Taf, Athens GR
2012 7th song (for Maldoror), curated by Alexios Papazacharias, Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, Athens GR
2011 Reference/Representation, curated by K. Christopoulos, V. Gokas, V. Vasilakakis, ZoneD, Jewish Museum, Thessaloniki GR Placements-Replacements-Misplacements: Towards a New Remaping, curated by
Christina Androulidaki, AD gallery, Remap, Athens GR Epekina, curated by Theophilos Tramboulis, Pneumatiko Kentro of the Municipality of Athens, Athens GR
2010 Art in the time of collapse, AD Gallery, Athens GR Late Summer Spectres, curated by Dimitris Dokatzis, Private Residence, Rafina GR
2009 Gamma Epsilon Delta, curated by Els Hanappe, TinT Gallery, Thessaloniki GR Paint-id: Contemporary Painting in Greece, presented in collaboration with the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum Alex Mylona, Athens GR Τenants, Parallel event to the 2nd Athens Biennial, AD Gallery–Remap2, Athens GR Paint-id: Contemporary Painting in Greece, part of the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennial, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki GR
2007 Unfair, AD Gallery, Athens Imperial Hotel, Athens GR
Maria Polyzoidou was born and raised in Belgium. She moved to Greece in 1997 and studied art in A.S.F.A. She is part of a new generation of Greek artists working on the development and renewal of art, initiating a dialogue concerning current problematics that cover the whole range of the European culture.
Maria Polyzoidou is a painter. In her writings she mentions: “What counts more than the object on display and is therefore actually painted, is the process of depicting the image through the absence of a profound gesture, being true and precise to its form and content (2007)” or “I am working on the precision of form; where painting, as an action, equals to a depiction which is carried out meticulously on a smooth surface (2008). In her last notes (with regard to her second solo show we read: “The paintings are a unity consisting of eight similar parts of relatively small dimensions (30x40cm). They depict both indoor as well as outdoor spaces where the subjects appearance is constantly put to test through their presence or absence. However, in any case, the real subject is the viewer’s perspective!” (2012).Read More
The artist in this body of work systematizes a method that allows the historical and pictorial event to coexist in a unique result. From the very beginning she defines herself simultaneously as the first viewer of the historical event and the painted image.
She handles the distance between these two points as a natural variable size, allowing them to coincide. Bridging the gap between the representation and the represented, her works lead the viewer to face a real image and a painting approach, in both of which reality is a part of and not a reference.
This special approach to painting is contrary to nowadays prevailing trends of the archive’s representation: on one hand a photorealism whose starting point lies in the handling of archives as a sort of political commentary and on the other hand a painting genre that gives emphasis in the personal gesture of the artist that produces images beyond the reality of the represented event. If in the first case the viewer is turned into a false witness by having the false sense of being present in a historical reality, in the second case he is placed in a gap between narration and the narrative method on one hand and the event per se on the other, experiencing the event only partially.
Maria Polyzoidou creates through her new works a space where the viewer can negotiate his presence or absence from the route of history, the creation of image and the construction of meaning, allowing him to exist as an active viewer of a “real painting”.
In the painting of Maria Polyzoidou forms are vaguely distinguished as coming out of the mist, as if they were recorded in an old film that has been damaged and what once had volume, color, outline has remained a faded trace of memory and history.
It is noteworthy that in many works one may see signs of a military iconography or reminders of asylum and confinement: subtle airplane wings and dots in the sky like dropping paratroopers, ruins of a deserted city, or, again, a narrow iron bed with a shadow that is struggling to hide or to set free. Circumstances i.e. where the subject loses its political status, devoid of its identity and individuality, as its body, its volume its color, its outline are almost impossible to be assessed.Read More