LC: ACG - Office of Vice President for European & Regional Engagement
CM: Ioanna Pantazopoulou is preoccupied with the provocation of chance through an obsessive/excessive use of materials and their immense influence in an on-going creative process at any given time and space. She creates large sculptures and installations that disrupt, interfere, transform and challenge the habitual approaches we take to spaces and the uses we make of objects. Reacting within a space; enhancing, obstructing, maximizing, diminishing and foremost moving within it, provides a performative aspect to her practice. Inspiration can emerge from a single crack on a wall and can lead to a chain of events creating irrepressible chaos. She creates paintings as a starting point for her installations, which act as a hypothetical indication of the journey the installation will follow. The gestures and application of paint, propose physical intervention with materials in an imaginary space. Via translating the painting into an installation, a transition occurs whereby the outcome unfaithfully morphs away from, the indication outline the painting initially anticipated. The unknown outcome and overenthusiastic urges that hijack this process, spontaneously motivates and allows her creative practice to emerge.
At the time Pantazopoulou created the present painting, in 2009, her aim was to explore, challenge, reinvent and transform the habitual approaches we take to spaces and the uses we make of objects. This picture is not my direct take on nature, but an attempt to map out a three dimensional structure in the two dimensional space of the canvas. Through this work Pantazopoulou imagines moving and acting within a hypothetical space with invented materials. Of course, there are references to nature, but the way she uses materials and processes make these references expand and grow like a living organism. The painting is shaped by a series of intuitive and improvisatory decisions. Pantazopoulou's creative process involves inhabiting space and building structures that play with the physical qualities of materials and the boundaries that they define. The lines mark space, movement and territory through connections. They create perspectives through their variety in size as well as gesture movement through their texture, intensity and disruptions. The white and black describe light and shadow, superposition, perspective, textures, tensions and weight in the foreground. The gray and off-white suggest the atmospheric perspective of objects in the distance. This painting was created with no back-drop support. The raw canvas was hung from the ceiling and so every mark that was made the canvas would host the artist's actions. Markings of different intensity, applied paint and altering brushstrokes all reflect the artist's bodily movement. The dimesnion of the painting in relation to the size of her body suggest that in order for her to reach the top of the painting she had to stretch out, leap and alternate her movement. The painting action is no longer performed solely by the movement of the wrist, but rather extends to the arms, and the use of both hands. It expresses and imprints the result of an action. The dripping of the paint is an outcome of a quick gesture that reflects rhythm, time, and the welcoming of chance. At the same time, it is a result from the physical qualities of the paint whilst also suggesting the presence of another object or mass in the painting. Pantazopoulou said: "My intention was to make a proposal for a sculpture or installation that would exist in real time with real objects that will work in tune with the parameters of an existing architecture."