Maria Giannikou - Individual Painting Exhibition

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Maria Giannikou

Individual Painting Exhibition

25/07/2017 - 26/08/2017
Opening: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 8 pm

Sappho Art Gallery presents the artist Maria Giannikou and invites you to the opening of the solo exhibition which will take place on Tuesday 25 July 2017 at 20.00 at the gallery (Sappho 3 vertical Ermou, in the center of market). The exhibition is titled "Flow" and presents her latest works.

Journeys – stations – transitions. Visible and invisible refugees in the expressionistic paintings of Maria Giannikou.

People – shadows are refined in the morning colors by the railway tracks. Travelers with very old luggage arrive in the undisturbed uniformity of the central European city with the colorful buildings, the small windows and the attics. A yellow giraffe dominates in the turquoise leafage which blossom on ground from which children pop up as if they sprouted. It is ridden by a child who is conveyed as serious and frowning as if he is coming from classical Athens and strict movement in a trip – reliance through time.

Yellowish intersecting sky – scrapers rise obstructing the blue horizon, next to light blue apartment blocks with orange red windows. Their designated space is turned into a huge amusement park with double or single seats for passengers, tied to an invisible wheel and swinging like they are travelling through time and space. Night travelers with soaking wet clothes and children in their arms come out to land and head towards the luminous city which emergesin the background of the painting. A lonely passenger on a glossy platform of a mysterious subway surround by ghost – figures which create a peculiarfrieze both on the wall and the arcade.

A melancholic crowd in shades of blue which is spread out in a pyramid – like layout, is moving in a unified and closely united mass towards the high buildings of the deep red city with the multi colored windows. Bodies of people in the form of women and are analysed geometrically int timeless space of cubistic aesthetics and expressionistic passion. A lonely female figure, in an enclosed garden where the water element prevails with high trees, is gazing at the skyline with the companionship of a purple drink in a high stern glass. Again time is indefinite, one moment or an eternity.

Blue travelers with suitcases in poor condition are reflected behind pointed railings in the water, looking towards the city behind the yellow forest. Three suitcases, of which one is deserted, and two travelers, one adult and a child, are waiting to board the mysterious train from which ghostly figures are looking at them. People – dummies are climbing stairs. People, at all times without faces, swarm into the coffee shop nest.  All a journey, a transition.

All the above and many more constitute the world of Maria Giannikou in her new line of works of art inspired both from the journey as a transition and the notion of the traveler as seeker, suppliant or refugee for many reasons and in many forms. For this reason the transition cities take a symbolic form. These cities are not Ithacas but Arcadias, pictorial paradises which constantly belie and stray far away. At times they are transformed and rarely the trip is auspicious. The trip is frequently liberating and passionate but never full of hope.

Maria Giannikou set a timeless personal touch in her work and the colors that dominate her line of works are red, black, light blue and yellow. And a personal maniera of which effects have deep roots in German expressionism, thematically on the “Bridge”, chromatically on the “Blue Rider”, simultaneously approaching within a personal interpretation and experiential assimilation the melancholy of the pre – cubistic blue era of Picasso.

The works of Maria Giannikou simultaneously bring out touches of zeitgeist of our time. How familiar do those wet figures seem with their babies, suitcases, the ubiquitous element of water, the fences – borders to be the point of intersection between the journey with the open horizon with the vague transition. The destination is not as important as is the journey and the flight. This ironically verifies all theories of “nomadism” that presaged for the 21st century the cultural theory of the 20th century. Maria Giannikou as an artist is without doubt a citizen of the world but virtually and conceivably a citizen of Mytilene, a place which today acquires symbolic dimensions for each notion of transition.

Moreover the works of Maria Giannikou can be interpreted in many personal ways as all the iconographic elements that compose them gain potential symbolisms on many levels. So the concept of the journey may gain the notion of a personal route and transition, or otherwise a travel experience of life, choice and decision. Or even the artistic development and idealistic quest of the artist in a world which is constantly transforming into an overtechnological middle – age era. With this notion in mind, the work of Maria Giannikou sends out a deep humanitarian message: “We are all travelers in space and time, let’s understand one another in this course”. The notion of transition in this way acquires transcendent dimensions and identifies with the notion of man.

Evi Sampanikou, Art Historian,

Associate Professor,

Department of cultural technology and communication,

Aegean University,

December 2015

The exhibition will run from 25 July until 26 August 2017. The Sappho Art Gallery will be open to the public morning Monday - Saturday from 9.00 to 14.00 pm and afternoon at Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 18.00 to 21.00 and Wednesday from 19:00 to 21:00 during the exhibition.