11 March 1989
Pepi Svoronou Kokkinidis began her artistic career in textiles, designing and executing hand-painted fabrics for the American market. In recent years she has turned to oil painting, reflecting in this medium the zest and freshness of her previous work.
This is Kokkinidis’ first one-person show, at Medusa Art Gallery, and she presents a series of figurative paintings with highly-keyed color moving joyously on the canvas. She juxtaposes figures and animals symbolic of good and bad forces painted in dark grey hues, but more often in lush and vibrant color. The figures, a bare suggestion of body and facial features, are gay or sad; the animals are creatures of mockery or wildness. All are part of a personal narrative.
Kokkinidis eases into painting at first with collage work of pre-painted fabrics. Later, she combines oils and fabric paints, creating a brilliant mosaic of color patterns and rhythms. She develops this theme in “The interior”, which shows a woman sitting in the profile pose of a Greek sculpture facing a glowing tapestry wall of luminous emerald green and Persian blue. The structure of the color scheme evokes the feeling of a textile design.
Kokkinidis comes into her own with explosive Expressionist color recalling the “young wilds” of Berlin and energetic strong emotion.
Rythmic brushstrokes lead the intense color into upward, swirling movement as shown in “The Tiger”. In “The Fairy Tale”, three striking figures are propelled by the rhythms of dynamic color patterns. Bold color also intensifies the ferocity of the “Centaur”, a blue-yellow creature, and of the “Yellow Cat”, caught in the act of capturing a bird.
The atmosphere changes in several paintings as the palette darkens. Figures, dislocated hands and feet, or o sneering monkey face float in space showing the man/animal relationship as grim and depressing. In contrast, in “The Portait”, where a woman emerges out of a landscape back-ground, a field of warm rich color floods and animates the work.
Svoronou Kokkinidis studied art at the Athens School of Fine Arts and textile design in Paris.