“Black, ochre, red, yellow, orange, azure, white, brown, pink, grey, blue”, Paintings, 22/01/1998 – 21/02/1998
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Epsilon, , January 1998
GAME OF COLOURS
Eleni Zouni, (Medusa Art Gallery, 7 Xenokratous St, until February 21) proposes a colourful journey on which the starting point and the destination are of no importance. You only need to have a ticket to enjoy it. As long as you are free, the rainbow will demonstrate its action. It’s the experience that’s worth it. It is certain that her ‘game’ of colours has no start and finishing lines. The title of the exhibition is an array of colour names, which do not actually describe the colours themselves but the passage through light, through infinity.
Her colour field painting —a term applied to the usually monochrome paintings of certain American exponents of abstract expre4ssionism in the ’50s— is released in her works and multiplied in the dialectic atmosphere of the polychrome. With her entirely personal ‘writing’ on the two-dimensional surfaces of her wooden panels which are painted with ink, crayons and pencil, Eleni Zouni applies in full the inexhaustible questions: “What is painting? What space do we paint? What space do we represent? What reality is depicted?”. The answers are summarised in the saying of Verlaine: “Art, my friends, is being totally oneself”. And the colours are its pieces. Eleni Zouni gives her own ‘luminous’ explanations:
BLACK: absence of light and colour, a solid base or an organic power; a deep, comfortable serenity.
OCHRE: the invasion of light into black.
RED: flame. A great combustion ignites everything around it; aggressive rush, motion in all directions, savagery, dynamic effect on space.
YELLOW: a variation of white, luminosity. It emits orange and green rays. Aggressive, traitorous.
ORANGE: modified yellow, approaches red and becomes a source of fire with it. Pulse – heat.
AZURE: of the sky. Atmosphere, hospitable space, beginning of the journey.
WHITE: absolute truth, void, rebirth. Light. The white as a hint of happiness and gaiety.
BROWN: a mixture of red, blue and yellow, it does not quite know how to behave; it can give shape, it can be moulded and converted. It is affected by the forces it contains.
PINK: shortly after the climax. White invades red, the red calms down and is transformed.
GREY: when black loses its power. The space opens up, receptive and moist. Thinking is suspended.
BLUE: calm, quiet; the truth that can be revealed. The open
Ependytis, January 1998
THE POETRY OF COLOURS
Black, ochre, red, yellow, orange, azure, white, brown, pink, grey, blue…
…. is the title Efi Strusa gives to her text in the catalogue for the exhibition of Eleni Zouni at the “Medusa” gallery (until February 20) and leaves the matter…open for any other colours, those that can fit into our retina or our imagination, those included or hinted at in the chromatic range the artist herself has selected.
Eleni Zouni presents a series of canvases which make up a short painterly anthology of the poetry of light. It is a body of work which depicts the constant passage from the perception of a familiar “reality to the visual experience of its transmutation through the diffusion of light”.
In philosophy, the reference to colour has always been an example of the relativity of human knowledge, i.e. that there cannot be an objective knowledge of reality if everyone perceives the same colour in a different way, or is influenced by the varying circumstances.
“What is the true colour of mountains, if they look brown and green from up close but purple when they are far in the horizon?”, was the question in an article from two years back by Fotini Zika, professor of Philosophy, stressing the relationship between philosophy and vision and ‘introducing’ the subject of two lectures given at the time by Larry Hardin on the “Basic chromatic terms and categories”.
“How can I be sure that what I see as red you see as red, too?” a ‘sceptic’ or a philosopher might ask.
“You will never, never know what we went through with this magnet of every calamity in our eyes”, the artists would answer.
And while to philosophers the question of colour shall always be open, artists give their own answers, even if they keep adding to them. While the former “un-weave the rainbow”, painters keep on weaving their own chromatic fabric which absorbs the drawing, their thoughts and their personal artistic philosophy of colour.
The work of Eleni Zouni over time shows clearly her effort to ‘engrave’ the colours and their traces on the grain of the wood, on the rings of the tree, on the age marks of the trunk of their history.
“Serenity, peace, silence” is written on the surface of one of her works. With this silence or the erased line, Eleni Zouni has got something to tell us.
Eleftherotypia, January 1998
Words based on black
Colour, and in particular black and its gradations, is central to the quest of Eleni Zouni, who exhibits her latest work at the “Medusa” gallery. Colour and space. The possibility of passing from one tone to the other and the permutations of space, within the same canvas, from empty to full and the in-between. In other words, the threshold.
The world of Zouni is built with the old, familiar materials of wood, whose history is written in its knots and its grain, and colour. The closed space is dark; the passage to another level with openings lightens it up.
What does the viewer see? He sees the entries in a journal where words have given way to shapes, exits and prisons and where everything is precariously balanced between retaining its decorative character and defending the motive behind their inclusion in the work: the love for colour.
Black, ochre, red, yellow, orange, pale blue, white, brown, pink, grey, blue... a series of words which, in essence, describe not colors but rather, the passage light. Tonal gradiations of black-white, dissolution of "pure"' color. A feast of chromatic inscriptions. Sparce, geometric shapes appear suspended in light, being born through a single color - tone or multiplying within the dialectic (atmosphere) of multicoloredness.
Eleni Zouni presents a series of paintings constituting a small pictorial anthology of light's poetry. A unity of work where is portrayed the continuous passage from the level of the conception of a "familiar" reality to the visual experience of its transmutation through the refraction of light. The two - dimensional surfaces of her wooden canvasses, drawn with inks, pastels and pencils, continue in an increasingly sharp language to pose the inexhaustible question: what is painting? which space do we paint? which space do we represent? which reality is photo - graphed by means of inscribing the material trace of a surface?
If the passage from one millennium to the next is being photographed today through the loss of the clear outlines which define every field of knowledge, life and behavior, the art of pictorial representation appears, in the work of Eleni Zouni, to have no motive other than to de - scribe the search for a new inscribing mode in an interior space., a primal space, where, since the dawn of creation, the process of transmutation has only ever signaled the continuous bringing forth of new life. Inside this space of the inaugural mental grasp of inscription, which traces upon the earth the world1 s coming into being, Eleni Zouni persists in her motion, in a poetic inscription all her own, by means of an authentic graphic idiom. "Art, my friends, is being yourself absolutely" to quote Verlaine, one of the founders of the spirit of modern times, about a century ago, at another crossroads of overturning changes and transmutations. In the search of the 'self", the path today is not lit by one only source of light. Eleni Zouni appears to know this in depth and with a perfect naturalness she opens the windbags of colors, that flow out of her very soul. In a unified field, upon one surface, all the luminous colors of contemporary material reality with all the tonal gradiations imposed by the soul of the "self", congregate, are mutually complemented or, else, annhilate one another.
Black, ochre, red, yellow, orange, pale blue, white, brown, pink, grey, blue...