Varvara Roza Galleries and The Blender Gallery are mounting a solo exhibition of paintings by Ermina Avramidou one of the most interesting contemporary female artists to emerge from Greece.
My work could function as a kind of conduit to the subconscious – EA
Avramidou creates glossy paintings using visceral materials such as car paint, acrylic ink, spray paint and polyvinyl. Her striking paintings often have a sculptural quality with undulating surfaces. Her work has evolved from the canvases of her earlier career to the new sculptural pieces, in a visual progression from darkness to light, a metaphor for a transition from vagueness to clarity. The shiny finish of the sculptural pieces, hand-moulded and painted, gives them an industrial feel, combined with a dramatic impact.
Standout pieces in ‘Deception’ include Avramidou’s 3-dimensional Fluo Capsule works, which are an evolution from the slit canvases of her earlier career. Her beguiling paintings and 3D works have a duality that marries organic elements with commentary on our contemporary throwaway culture in the form of the sculptural pieces influenced by luxury car brands, which follows the artistic legacy of César’s redundant car compressions.
Art Historian and Curator Evi Baniotopoulou, PhD has written an essay for the ‘Deception’ catalogue and says of Ermina Avramidou: “Avramidou’s recent body of work is the three-dimensional equivalent of this elusiveness. Presented in various media, the artist’s near-obsession with the art of deception keeps the viewer occupied and uneasy, in mind, body and soul. Just as the pieces evolve and transmute over time, so does the viewer’s reaction to them. The visceral and the cerebral go hand in this gradual, tentative, sometimes locomotive discovery of a world that is strictly and subtly personal and esoteric, and fiercely and boldly public and proclaimed.
The artist is preoccupied with the seen and the unseen, the obvious and the hidden, and what lies beneath the surface. More than a mere visual play, this constant tension between the two polarities – or sides of the same coin, reveals a pattern that is, to a certain degree, a shared social experience. Avramidou quite consciously points out our imagined or lived safe places that in her work may become abstracted as the ‘hidden’: a cavern, the seabed, the floor of a rainforest.
Her subconscious and personal experiences come to enhance this imagery, which now necessarily oscillates between the individual and the collective, emulating life and perhaps recalling our primaeval origins.”
Ermina Avramidou comments: “I have always been fascinated by the way that paint can seem not simply to depict light but create it, so that the painting itself becomes a light source, seeming to emit its rays. Whether concealed or pouring freely into an imagined landscape, light has always been a vital element of my art. When I look back at my body of work, I see a line of organic development that is clear only in perhaps; I was scarcely aware. This is one of the great thrills of art, that the unseen can be called forth and become part of our conscious existence. My recent work explores this idea, the relation between what appears on the surface and is seen and known, and what lies beneath and is unseen – but perhaps intuitively known. In literal terms, the alien to our daily human life and yet somehow deeply familiar, almost as if at some level we remember our ancient origins. Each picture is an adventure for me as mysterious landscapes emerge from the play of the colours on paper. I want this also for my audience, not to dictate to them but to keep searching within the canvas uncovering their secrets. I want to think that my work could function as a kind of conduit to the subconscious and that, in presenting my reality, I am simultaneously creating a space in which people can uncover their own.”
Ermina Avramidou was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. She studied visual arts with Professor Ksenis Sahinis at the Beaux-Arts Institute and then took a degree in Interior Design at the College of Applied Arts with a degree in Interior Design. She now splits her time between London and Thessaloniki. Avramidou’s work has been featured in the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Agora Gallery in New York and the Alfar Gallery in Miami. In addition, she has had multiple exhibitions in Greece.
Ermina Avramidou ‘Deception’ runs from 9th to 22nd December at Gallery 8 in Mayfair London