Miltiadis Papanikolaou for Dimitris Xonoglou

Category : 2009, Reviews

Dimitris Xonoglou is a painter with a long and fruitful tenure in the field of European artistic avant-garde, with academic studies in Italy at a time of heightened conceptualism, which for him was the antidote to the introversion and peaceful expression of an academician modernism. In the new movements, Xonoglou found ground for anti-formalist behaviors, which would satisfy inherent experimental and research disposition as well as the development of an intense reflection on the intellectual and social phenomena of his time whilst would allow him to deal with ‘’stimuli ”of modern reality.

The construction of objects as carriers of symbolism or multifaceted meaning with simultaneous respect for materials and the general process of creation were for our painter popular means of expression, such as the destructive power of fire or materials that are scattered in space (sheets of paper, flour, etc.) creating new tactile and visual relationships as well as new forms (or counter-forms) with experientially personal aspects and not infrequently with social and political extensions.

In his current exhibition the theme is “The Artist’s house”, a rectangular construction made of wood, lined entirely with eggs. The viewer may consider it as an ark with valuable content or a public monument in a strict geometric shape with hidden (or overt) meanings that is transformed into a “dematerialized” artistic object. However, the main point in this semantic ensemble is the emblematic “content” with a dominant idea of life (such as eggs or the video with the pregnant woman, but also the artist in the same condition, but as a greedy consumer).

A variety of objects are also exhibited (bed, scales, chairs, miniature sculptures, etc.) which carry an unexpectedly multifaceted dimension. For the artist they carry the importance given to them by the cultural history of art (with references to love, politics, theology or the sponsor class).

It is clear that Xonoglou revises the simplistic depictions of ideas of the past, which he actively explores, reviving a new trend of expression and aesthetics, that represent a part of society. In this case the society is represented by portraits of “friends and relatives” of the artist, who speechless and pensive ‘’frame’’ his “House”. The repetition of the portraits on the walls of the room is the expression of his experience from the “passage of time”, passing from the static of traditional painting and sculpture and the instantaneous experience that they by definition represent, to an accumulated experience of time, as with clarity is recorded in the integrated (in terms of spatial and temporal) environment.

Miltiadis Papanikolaou

Professor of Art History