Nausica Pastra

The surface as origin, the reasoning as foresight in the work of Nausica Pastra (1921-2011) Curated by Emmanuel Mavrommatis

16 December 2017 - 20 February 2018

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Kalfayan Galleries are pleased to announce the representation of the Estate of Nausica Pastra (1921-2011) and to present the first posthumous solo exhibition of the artist’s work in Athens. Titled NAUSICA PASTRA: The surface as origin, the concept as foresight in the work of Nausica Pastra (1921-2011)”, the show opens on Saturday, 16 December, 12.00 – 16.00. It follows on two major retrospectives of Nausica Pastra’s oeuvre at the State Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki and the Modern Greek Art Museum of the Municipality of Rhodes (both in 2014). The analysis and visual presentation of the ideas in her work is by Emmanuel Mavrommatis, emeritus professor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.


Curator’s text:


The exhibition focuses on a specific period in the work of Nausica, between 1980 and 1992. Using creative juxtapositions with indicative works from earlier phases, the exhibition explores the shift that took place between 1980 and 1992 from an artistic practice organised on the surface to an artistic practice organised in space. This shift was the beginning of a substantial change by which her original concept —Square-Circle-Synectron, 1968-1976— took a different direction.


Initially, Nausica’s work was centred on the intersections of the square and the circle, albeit within a system (1968-1976). This system is a dominant emblem in the exhibition and an introduction to subsequent presentations as the precondition for her ensuing reasoning. It is the key to understanding the period approximately between 1968 and 1980, the next stage of which continued in the period from 1980 to 1992. This was the General working method which presupposed the Premise (as an Axiom), the Analysis and Synthesis of the Premise, then the Analysis of the synthesis and the Synthesis of the new analysis of the Premise, and so on. This system was cyclical, with the induction or the abstraction (the analysis) of the Premise leading to the generation or the relations (the synthesis) of the Premise, and the generation or the relations of the Premise derived from the prior induction or abstraction of the Premise being analysed anew by their next induction or abstraction of the Premize, and so on.


To Nausica, this General working method was the prerequisite for any artistic behaviour and the potential application of it on any object. This is the reason why she saw the General method as a work itself and as originator for the potential creation of any other work. It was a tautology (the General working method - as a producer of work - is itself a work) and hence reflected her orientation and reference to the minimal-conceptual trends of the 1960s and 1970s, in which Bernard Lamarche Vadel places her in his introductory text to Nausica’s catalogue (Analogiques, Denise René, 1976) for her solo exhibition Amplitude fictionnelle et signes de définition / Fictional amplitude and signs of definition as well as in two subsequent texts in 1979 and 1982. At a next stage, the work of Nausica went on from its initial organising of the relations of the circle and the triangle on the surface (1968-1976) to their relations in space, so that this organising became space itself. (1980-1992).


Two distinct logical consequences came from the initial two-dimensional installation. One was the analysis grids (sculptures) which were the correlations of the squares in a specific installation, Square-Circle-Synectron, set in relations of apposition or overlaying, of frontal or axial perception (sections); the other was the synthesis spheres (sculptures) of spheres and cubes in space, again in a specific installation, Square-Circle-Synectron. Nausica wanted her work to be read as a flow of successive reflections; as one reflection.


Artist’s Biography:


Nausica Pastra was born in Kalamata, (Peloponnese, Greece) in 1921. In 1957, she attended the sculpture seminar organised by Professor Ewald Mataré at the Sommerakademie in Salzburg, Austria. From 1957 to 1962 she studied sculpture at the atelier of Professor Fritz Wotruba at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, in Vienna, Austria. She obtained a Degree in Sculpture in 1962. From 1967 to 1973 she attended a seminar entitled "Sociology of Art" given by Professor Jean Cassou at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, in Paris, France. She was a corresponding member of the Vereinigung der Bildenden Künstler Wiener Secession. From 1964 onwards, she lived and worked in Paris, France. In 1984 she moved back to Greece and lived and worked in Athens, Thessaloniki and Paris until her death in 2011.



Selection of Works: 1976, Completes the sculpture-environment “Synectron-square-circle”, stone, 68 sq. m., within the context of the 1% contribution for public buildings, Lycée Polyvalent, Mirepoix, Ariège, Franc; 1978, Designs the poster for the exhibition “Aspects de l’art en France de Mondrian et Marcel Duchamp à nos jours”, ART 9’78, Basel, Switzerland; 1980, Completes the sculpture-fountain “Synectron-square-circle”, marble, 9 sq. m., Yannis and Zoe Spyropoulos Foundation, Ekali, Attica, Greece; 1986, Completes the sculpture-fountain “Synectron-square-circle”, marble, 3 sq. m., Basil & Elise Goulandris Museum, Andros, Greece; 1989, Produces a silk-screen for the edition “Blank Page”, No 2, of the B4 Publishing, London, Great Britain. Designs the Logo of the Institut Français de Thessalonique, Thessaloniki, Greece; 1990, Produces a silk-screen print for the publication“Mesure, Art International”, Liège, Belgium; 1991, Completes a relief sculpture from the series titled “Analogiques 3”, painted iron, 54 sq. m., facade of the Vafopouleio Cultural Centre of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Greece; 1998, Completes the sculpture, “Synartisis 1”, from the series “Analogiques 2”, painted iron, 270 x 500 x 450 cm, Telloglion Foundation of Art, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece; Designs the Logo of the Teloglion Foundation of Art, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.


Awards and Competitions:

Füger Prize, drawing award by the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, Austria, 1959; Galerie Würthle Prize, Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, Austria, 1959; Third Prize in Sculpture, Biennale of Alexandria, Egypt 1982; 1974: Among the three shortlisted artists ---out of 100 participants- in the open competition for a monumental sculpture/fountain in a central square in Montreuil, Paris. Her shortlisted work is titled Sculpture-Environment-Fountain (“Synectron-square-circle”), of a surface area of 500 sq. m.; 1989: Unanimously selected among 14 artists –one from each EEC country and two artists from non-EEC countries— for a sculpture-environment, “Spuikom Environment”, in Vlissingen, Netherlands, for her “Synartisis VII”, of a surface area of 250 sq. m., in the context of the parallel symposium on “Constructivism-Art-Architecture”.

Extract of the Committee’s decision (Symposium 1989, Konstruktivisme Kunst Architectuur, Vlissingen): [...] The committee unanimously prefers this design. However realization in the Spuikom area will be impossible, in view of the foundation requirements (drawing of the sculpture on the base). For a definite realization must be thought of a definite location. A precondition will be an open space. Consultations will be started to realize this sculpture in 1989 or otherwise in the Masteplan. […].


Principal Group Exhibitions: 1963-1967, “Die Kunst in Oesterreich seit 1945”, St. Stephan Gallery, Vienna, Austria;“Serie Confrontation”, University of Graz, Graz, Austria; Arcentrum, Oblastri, Liberec, Prague, Czechoslovakia; 1970, “Art et technique”, Institut Universitaire de Technologie, Cachan, France; 1974, “Grandes Femmes, Petits Formats”, organized by Iris Clert-Christofle, Micro-Salon 1974, Paris, France; 1976, FIAC ‘76”, International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Galerie Denise René, Paris, France; 1977, “Autour de l’abstraction géometrique” Galerie Denise René Paris-Beaubourg, Paris, France; 1978, “Aspects de l’art en France de Mondrian et Marcel Duchamp à nos jours”, ART 9’78, Basel, Switzerland; 1979, “The New Geometry”, Goethe Institut, Athens, Greece; “Die Mitgliender der Wiener Secession”, Wiener Secession Vienna, Austria. 1982, Alexandria Biennale, Alexandria, Egypt. “Europalia-Hellas”, Hasselt, Belgium; 1983, “Expressions-Sculptures”, Fondation Elf-Aquitaine, Musée des Monuments Français, Paris, France; 1985, “Reminiscences, Transformations, Quests ”, Ministry of Culture, Odeon of Athens, Athens, Greece; 1985-1986, Symposium of Geometrical Art, organized by the Museum of Modern Art of Chelm, Okuninka, Poland; 1986, Exhibition of Geometrical Art, Museum of Modern Art of Chelm, Poland; 1988, Exhibition “Pages d’artistes hors mesure / Cinquante fois Plus Moins Zéro”, I.S.E.L.P., Brussels, Belgium; “Geometrical Art Congress”, organized by Null-dimension IDEA and PRO-pro art and architecture, Fulda, Germany; 1989, “Three Generations of Greek Women Artists”, exhibition organized by the Greek Ministry of Culture and The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., U.S.Α.;“Spuikom-Models Exhibition”, Gallery Bellamy, part of the Konstruktivisme Kunst-Architectuur Symposium, Vlissingen, Holland; 1990, Museum Modern Art Hünfeld, Prof. Jurgen Blum’s Collection, Hünfeld, Germany; “Museum Zeichen der Zeit”, Prof. Jurgen Blum’s Collection, Fulda, Germany; “4th PRO-Conference ‘90”, Moscow Exhibition, Universal Progression, part of the Konstantin Melnikov Architectural Festival in Manege, Moscow, USSR; 1990-1991, “Konkrete Multiples II”, Exhibition of L’ IDEE, Zoetermeer, Holland; “Aspects actuels de la Mouvance construite internationale”, Musée des Beaux Arts de Verviers, Verviers, Belgium; 1997, 42ème Salon de Montrouge, “Montrouge-Athènes”, Montrouge, Paris, France; 1999, “Alexandros Iolas Donation”, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece; “P+P=D”, New Art from 70’s and 80’s, Selections from “Desmos”, DESTE Foundation, Athens, Greece; “Constructive Art in Europe at the Threshold of the third Millennium”, Galerie Emilia Suciu, Ettlingen, Germany; “Constructive Art in Europe at the Τhreshold of the third Millennium”, Galerie Hors Lieux, Strasbourg, France; 2000, “L’ Idee 2D+3D”, Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort, Holland; “Konkrete Kunst in Europa nach 1945”, The Peter C. Ruppert Collection, Museum in Kulturspeicher, Würzburg, Germany; 2003, “Music Mirrors-History Conscience”, Company for the Creation of a New Building for the Greek National Opera and Academy- Maria Callas, Athens, Greece.


Solo exhibitions: 1963, Würthle Gallery, Vienna, Austria; 1969, Galerie L’Atelier, Toulouse, France; 1976, Galerie Denise René Rive Gauche, Paris, France; 1977, Desmos Art Gallery, Athens, Greece; 1979, Galerie Denise René Paris-Beaubourg, Paris, France; 1980, Wiener Secession, Vienna, Austria; 1984, Medusa Art Gallery, Athens, Greece; 1987, Vafopouleio Cultural Centre, Foundation of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece; 1989, Institut Français de Thessalonique, Thessaloniki, Greece; Gallery “Galerie”, Rotterdam, Holland; 1991, 1994, Gallery 7, Athens, Greece; 1992, La Serre, Ecole des Beaux Arts de Saint Etienne, St; Etienne, France; Alliance Française, Comune di Bologna, Bologna, Italy; 1994, ArtForum Gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece; 1995, Mylos Art Gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece; 1997, Ileana Tounda Contemporary Art Centre, Athens, Greece; 1998, Lola Nikolaou Art Gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece; 2003, HG Haritos Gallery, “ART ATHINA 10; 2003”, Athens, Greece; 2004, Musée de Pully, Lausanne, Suisse.


Works in collections: Création Artistique, Ministère de la Culture, France; National Gallery & Alexander Soutzos Museum Athens, Greece; Ministry of Culture and Sciences Athens, Greece; Yannis and Zoe Spyropoulos Foundation, Ekali, Athens, Greece; Vorres Museum, Peania, Athens, Greece; Vasilis and Eliza Goulandris Museum, Andros, Greece; Teloglion Foundation of Art, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece; Museum of Modern Art, Chelm, Poland; Museum Modern Art Hünfeld, Germany; Municipal Gallery of Rhodes, Rhodes, Greece; Peter C; Ruppert, “Konkrete Kunst in Europa nach 1945”, Museum im Kultur speicher, Würzburg, Germany; Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece; John F; Costopoulos Foundation, Alpha Bank, Greece; International Reference Collection in Mondriaanhuis Art Foundation, Amersfoort, Nederland; Private Collections in Greece and abroad; Berlaymont Summa Artis II, Contemporary Art Collection, Brussels; Musées de Montbélliard, France.


Texts in books, catalogues, magazines and newspapers, among others by: Johann Muschik, Günther Feuerstein, Heribert Hutter, Ernst Κöller, Wilhelm Mrazek, Stelios Lydakis, Chrysantos Christou, Tony Spiteris, Νiki Loizidi, Μiltiades Papanikolaou, Elias Mykoniatis, Sofia Kazazi, Effi Strouza, Haris Kambouridis, Manos Stefanidis, Serge Lemoine, Richard Paul Lohse, Otto Breicha, Otto Hahn, Bernard Lamarche Vadel, Dimitri Papastamos, Νikos Νikonanos, Harald Sterk, Kristian Sotriffer, Sylvain Lecombre, Bozena Kowalska, Adriano Baccilieri, Jean-Pierre Maury, Jo Dustin, Annick Pély, Alexandra Voutyra, Emmanuel Mavrommatis, Vicky Karaiskou, Demosthène Davvetas, Haris Savvopoulos, Antonis Bouloutzas, Effi Ferentinou, Dora Rogan, Beatriki Spiliadi, Diana Antonakatou, Bia Papadopoulou, Antonia Tentokali, Maria Marangou, Dorothea Konteletzidou, Paraskevi Katimertzi, Vivi Vasilopoulou, Ioanna Sotirchou, Amanda Michalopoulou.