Odysseus in Hades

Curator: Eleftherios Ikonomou

Opening: Saturday, 11 March 2017, 19:30
Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete
Messologhiou 32, Rethymnon

The new exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete examined the question of painting and the things upheld by colour and the form within the canvas. Concerning the latest work of artist Nikos Viskadourakis, “Odysseus in Hades opened on Saturday, 11 March at 19.30 on the premises of CCA Crete.
The exhibition was kindly supported by the Regional Authority of Crete

The works take their inspiration from book XI of Homer’s Odyssey, also known as Nekyia, which describes the descent of Odysseus to the Underworld and his encounters there. Nikos Viskadourakis handles the spaces and figures through an expressionistic approach, leaving it to us to guess at the time.

The artist’s earlier “Limen” series, which was first presented in 2014 in Berlin and Ghent, is also presented as an introduction to the part of Descent.

About the exhibition the Curator Eleftherios Ikonomou writes:
The Descent of Odysseus into Hades is the new unity of works presented by Nikos Viskadourakis: Sixteen central pieces which derive their inspiration from the  Odyssey and specifically Rhapsody λ, also known as Nekyia.
Building upon the previous series of works (Limen, 2014) this new unity carries, in many ways, Viskadourakis’s search into a next level.
…The viewer is invited to read the expressionistic story that unfolds in the works. Before him stand two-dimensional works with dark degraded anthropomorphic figures, which move or stand in stillness in superimposed levels. Some loom larger sometimes placed centrally, surrounded by other smaller figures, standing out with their red lips, with hats on, with golden masks, or wearing crowns and holding scepters. Some with a discernible wide neck coexist with others that are brought out by wide golden touches. Some watch from above in black clouds. Two or three fuller forms reminiscent of a boat, are brought to existence with the red, white and black thick brushstrokes used. In all these formulations dominant remain the dark shadowy contours, which become dreamy spineless apparitions, without flesh and bones, formulations that stand between existence and non-existence, controversial being.
And all this is bound within a triadic color scheme: The blue background that adds depth, stability, confidence converses with red, yellow and black accents that are not always mild. At the same time, the thick impasto layers of acrylic paint surround the degraded, ambiguous, semi-recognizable forms creating ultimately a balanced architectural space. As in the Rhapsody, time remains negotiable.

About the Limen unity of Viskadourakis’s work the Curator writes:
“Limen”, a word that derives from the Latin “limus”, and is translated as “Threshold”.  Architecturally the word refers to the boundaries, the margins of built-up spaces. In the physiological and psychological sense, the word “Threshold” refers to the minimum sensation that an observer needs in order to achieve perception…
… Observing the works in the exhibition, one is overwhelmed by the color strokes and the brutally distorted human figures. Yellow, red, blue, white and green, in wide, not always mild strokes provide a setting for his anthropoids. In groups or alone, wearing hats or showing their bald heads, dressed or naked, with red lips or outlined in charcoal, these overlaying dream-like figures activate a cognitive perception and at the same time provide a recognizable sensation. The primitive like technique with the pathogenic lines in charcoal, the conceptual expression of sensations and private life experiences of the artist are presented to the viewer: a riddle to be subjectively unfolded. This is the beginning of a mnemonic search, an autobiographical memory that uses the abstract narrative of each work, in order to arrive at a personal interpretation.  
When the human figure is deconstructed, liminality occupies a position at, or is to be found at both sides of a boundary, a physio-psychological edge, where the aesthetic morphology occurs, in the personal oneiric (dream) world of each of us.

The exhibition was accompanied by a bilingual catalogue.

The exhibition through 30 April 2017, and as always there were guided tours and educational programmes.

Rethymnon Municipal Enterprise (Κ.Ε.ΔΗ.Ρ.)
Messolonghiou 32, 74 100 Rethymnon
Τ: +30 28310 52530, F: +30 28310 52689
E-mail: • http\\

Nikos Viskadourakis, 2017

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