The mark, the space between, around, within. Athena Petra Tasiopoulos, “Inner Spaces” isn’t so much about the picture but how it divides space and time. Stippling, hash marks, arrows, arcs, an arsenal of pattern making. An echo of ancient Greek geometry. Pulling you into the frame and holding you there, allowing you to view and experience the works for what they are… an expression. a moment. The beauty of a scuffed concrete floor. 1000 shoes worn on 1000 different people. Moments of time and space scuffed onto a surface to either be forgotten or remembered. A small comparison of what her drawings and sculptures emulate. The color pallet is subtle and stable. Varying whites, beiges, and greys. Burnt umber and olive green. The pallet creates a strong balanced feeling. Every segment is compartmentalized but bridged by the pallet allowing the eye to easily move from space to space, pattern to pattern.
The standout of the show titled “Reconstructing,” can be seen as three pillars, Three selves. The conversation between the works are argumentative but also in agreement. Three siblings gathered together after 3 or four glasses of wine. Banter would be the appropriate word. An unbreakable bond witnessed only in decades of sharing life together.
Inner spaces illustrate Taslopoulus understanding of her material, her understanding of conceptual art-making. Bridging the gap between the past and the present. Her artist statement leaves me wondering though. I know there is much more going on here than just a list of material, a brief description of process, and a cliff notes version of her philosophy. These drawings have so much personality, and yet the message being conveyed is vague. It leaves the viewer having to guess. Identity is crucial. It allows engagement, which then leads to connection and then finally understanding. it’s vital to understand each work for who they are. Once they leave the studio, they are no longer a part of the artist, they stand alone as an individual. If Taslopoulus doesn’t identify what the subject of the work is, the piece won’t know its purpose and there for won’t translate to the viewer. The importance of subject matter can be discussed to death but regardless of what the opinion is, it’s what separates art as entertainment from true honest expression.
The sense of family and connection is strongly apparent in this show. Though this statement may be a leap, I can’t help but make it. Calmness, neuroticism, excitement, Love, and tradition. Like walking into a relative’s house for a family reunion. Your crazy aunt, your favorite cousin, stubborn grandpa. Inner spaces left me yerning for closeness with the people I love.
“Inner spaces” is on display at soapbox gallery on pine street in Burlington Vermont. It will be up from February 10th till April 2. Stop by and sit with it for a while. It really has its moments.