TIME - Curated by Maria Nicolacopoulou
20 October - 10 December 2016
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Panos Tsagaris' TIME exhibition at Kalfayan Galleries is an inclusive presentation of the artist's latest works on canvas and works on paper. As per the spiritual practices and mystical traditions of Eastern philosophy, Tsagaris documents the essence of "time" in the transformational process of the individual and collective's conscience, from darkness to light.
In Tsagaris' silkscreen works on canvas, through the repeated use of materials like mirrors and tech devices, the canvas undergoes a metamorphic process, symbolic of our constantly shifting path to self-development. Separated in three series of Body, Soul and Spirit and based on a standard palette of black, white and gold, the results manifest themselves in paintings depicting the various stages of our struggle towards an expanded consciousness. The black on black paintings of the Body series represent the primal stages of development, where the self is still immersed in matter, whereas the mixed paintings of the Soul series, featuring elements of white and gold with the black, represent the initial awakening and break from the totality of monochromatic matter. The gold paintings of the Spirit series on the other hand, embody the final stage of the transformative process, the part where the self has reached its full awakening and highest point of consciousness.
This process of transformation and its time to completion is contingent upon a variety and number of external sociopolitical factors, which constitute the collective unconscious, represented here in a series of works on paper. Just like in the silkscreens, Tsagaris' reframes existing published material in a transformative process, towards the production of symbolic objects. The New York Times front page of September 12, 2001 marks a pivotal moment in time, as the onset of an imploding global transition in sociopolitical history. With its ripple effect still present and ongoing, the day after the fall of the WTC signify the beginning of a long and collective aftermath struggle for peace. The truths that were realized regarding worldwide financial and political stability, were the first indication of the need towards a global awakening and so are depicted here in the mixed palette of black, white and gold, indicative of the initial stage of awareness. In that way, the sociopolitical reality of a nation, by attesting to the individual and collective struggle, becomes the connecting link between real life and the unconscious process, while a political phenomenon becomes the vessel through which the need for self-development is highlighted. This idea is further expressed in the multi-panel work TIME (Somewhere between God and Naught), where the symbolic distance between the basic versus the expanded consciousness is not only emphasized via the illuminating process of the works from darkness to light, but also expanded in size to suggest the physical length of the temporal space between those two circumstances. The actual space the work occupies, is therefore indicative of the symbolic representation of the distance in stages one needs to reach the truth, while the time required for the absorption of the work, reflects the temporal element of the process.
A more descriptive iteration of the symbolic process of transformation can be found in Tsagaris' diptych Apotheosis. In his diptychs Tsagaris combines his repetitive silkscreen process to visually interpret textual material from first editions of theosophical books like, Arundale's "Nirvana's Study in Synthetic Consciousness" use in Apotheosis. Through the underlining of death's essence in the transformative process here, the work reveals the necessity of the dark stages in the accomplishment of the ultimate stage of self-awareness as well as the illusion of finality. In that way, the diptych completes the conversation amongst all works, by pointing out not only the endlessness of the transformative process, but also the conquering power of 'time'.
Panos Tsagaris (b. 1979, Athens, Greece) received his BFA from the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design in Vancouver, Canada. He has exhibited extensively in Miami, New York, Vancouver, Athens, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Paris, Hong Kong et al. Recent solo shows: "TIME", Kalfayan Galleries, Athens (2016); "Studies in Symbology", 68 Projects, Berlin (2016); "APOCATASTASIS", Stems Gallery, Brussels (2016). Group shows include: "And Now the Good News, Works from the Annette and Peter Nobel Collection", MASI Museum, Lugano, (2016); "Unstable Fields" , Benaki Museum, Athens, (2016); "Language of the Birds: Occult and Art", New York University's 80WSE Gallery, New York (2016); 4th International Canakkale Biennale (2014); "No Country For Young Men. Contemporary Greek Art in Times of Crisis", Bozar, Brussels (2014); 4th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (2013); "Nostalgia Nevrosa", ReMap 4, State of Concept Gallery, Athens (2013); "Picatrix: Davide Balliano & Panos Tsagaris", Galerie Michel Rein, Paris (2013); "THE GARDEN OF EDEN - EVIL - Near-Far", Palais de Tokyo, Paris; (2012) ?Gold?, Imperial Belvedere Palace Museum, Vienna; "The Quality of Presence", Chelsea Hotel, New York (2012); OU.UN.PO. Symposium, archaeological site of Elefsina, Greece (2011); "The West at Sunset", Abrons Arts Center, New York (2010); 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale & Performance Festival (2009). Panos Tsagaris lives and works in New York and is represented by Kalfayan Galleries, Athens - Thessaloniki.