'SILENT NATURE' Solo Exhibition at the Hellenic Foundation of Culture in Berlin 2012 - Link New Work section

'Silent Nature' Solo Exhibition Stavros Kotsireas
curated by Eleni Markopoulioti, Art Historian

PRIVATE VIEW: 8th March 2012
Exhibition Dates: 8th March-20th April 2012

Helenic Foundation of Culture Berlin
Wittenbergplatz 3A
D-10789 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0) 30 2143 386
Silent Nature

“It is the allure of inspiration and the excitement that acts as guide…eternal moments remaining forever mysterious, laying down beside me and offering me that much desired thirst; the thirst of creation.”
(Extract from Secrets of Silence by Stavros Kotsireas)

Silent Nature presents Stavros Kotsireas’ new body of work which explores issues of inspiration and creativity. The exhibition at the Hellenic Institute of Culture in Berlin consists of elaborate constructions and paintings that relate to the artist’s physical and human environment; senses, objects, nature, and memories.

Each piece consists of two self-contained but interdependent parts; the construction and the painting. The constructions exhibit the artist’s inspiration for the whole work and are composed of inanimate objects that have marked his life ? consciously or unconsciously ? both as an artist and as a person; sea shells gathered with his daughters on the beach; paint remnants from his palettes; old toy trains; or pieces of past ink sketches. The paintings exhibit the painterly response to that initial source of inspiration. The artworks act as diptychs or triptychs: each can not exist conceptually without the other; however as an aesthetic experience they can stand alone.

This body of work explores the theme of creativity: Kotsireas first dabbled with constructions of inanimate objects at art school, at The Royal Academy in The Hague; and these early experimental pieces may have unconsciously inspired this present body of work. Taken together, these two bodies of work reveal not only the processes of inspiration and creativity, but also artistic development.

The viewer is presented both with the model and the painterly outcome, highlighting the dynamic relationship these two creative parts share. The artist reveals his source of inspiration to the viewer, allowing him or her to emotionally respond both to the creative process as well as to the final piece. The viewer is invited to enter into a dialogue in which he or she has the opportunity to sense and react to the artist, who in effect becomes part of the viewer’s reality. The artist further opens himself up to the viewer by sharing his memories and the secrets that are imbedded in the inanimate objects – reinforcing the nostalgic dimension of this work. This is in stark contrast to the model of the introvert-genius artist that has been fostered by the air of mysticism dominating our perception of the creators of art. Kotsireas re-examines the relationship of the artist and the audience by illuminating creativity itself and by promoting a reciprocal relationship between the artist and the audience.

The constructions also embed a Hellenistic dimension as they share a visual link to the easel paintings on wood created by the ancient Greeks. Nevertheless, painting is redefined and presented as a medium that can be groundbreaking and unconventional in the contemporary art platform. These works are not a natura morta – or necri physi in the Greek- but an expression of a ‘silent nature’ whereby the objects found in the constructions are re-infused with life through their direct and poetic relationship to the paintings. The artist has chosen to work with two sections of contemporary art that are considered conservative; painting and still life's. Yet by changing the audience’s perception of and relationship to them, he highlights their potential to be radical.

The new body of work presented by Stavros Kotsireas illuminates the source of inspiration and the creative process that an artist undergoes, and furthermore engages the viewer in a continuous dialogue over issues of creativity, perception and the artist.

Eleni Markopoulioti