ORIGINS | KATHIMERINI
Architectural drawings dipped in colour.
The Stella Meletopoulou exhibition.
NIKOS VATOPOULOS | Kathimerini, April 28, 2022
Dedicated to decoding a visual arts genome, Stella Meletopoulou proceeds methodically as a scientist in a process of internal liberation into new territories.
Dedicated to decoding a visual arts genome, Stella Meletopoulou proceeds methodically as a scientist in a process of internal liberation into new territories. Her latest solo exhibition at the Skoufa Gallery serves to confirm that progress, a course of rising by diving deep into the roots of origin. And this origin, in the case at hand, concerns a broader philosophical descent. Facing one of her three-dimensional works, with fragments of organic matter, of stalks of wheat, cane, wood, cotton, the artist speaks passionately of a design based on the form of DNA and a quest into the primordial roots of man, in the earth, in food, in the chain of survival.
Products of the pandemic, Ms. Meletopoulou’s new works bear witness to this painstaking, tortuous, introverted quest for a way out. It is an exhibition that is aesthetically life-giving and conceptually philosophical, a contemplation on ontology, repetition, infinity, fragility, translucency, finiteness and ambiguity. Kostas Prapoglou, one of the art historians who closely (and creatively) observes contemporary art production in Greece and worldwide, undertook to curate this exhibition. He writes of the artist’s visual dictionary, which comprises of “idiomatic symbols, enigmatic signs and complex equations”.
It does indeed. In observing up close the very dense painted works by Stella Meletopoulou, coexisting with the ethereal, open on all sides and soaring three-dimensional works, you perceive how she develops worlds with many aspects. Like photosensitive architectural plans (perhaps these are influences from her father’s work as an architect being expressed), dipped, you would think, in colour, her works have the ambiguity of illusion and reality, in a cut of fluidity and concentration. Whatever the case, the aesthetic of the works supersedes their conceptual analysis and, yet again, viewers feel almost directly that behind these organized non-figurative narratives there is a plan, there is plain sense, there is an almost mathematical vision.
The large floating three-dimensional work hanging from the mezzanine (where the exhibition continues) is commanding and dominant. It is an imposing and awe-inspiring work, which changes according to the movement of the light, as it breathes and moves, pulsating with each whisper, with the breeze. But the wall-hung three-dimensional works by the artist have the sense of conceptual weaving, blending hand-crafting with abstraction, an osmosis of matter and intangibility. The blank space forms part of the work. The wrinkles, the wash of the waves, the levitations, the imperceptible vibrations in the materials, invisible and silent, define the parallel universe.
Stella Meletopoulou has called her exhibition “Origins” and her works do, in fact, look like veins of consciousness.