Polys Peslikas at ARCH / Athens



5 Gkoura street, 10558 Athens GR

Photographer: Paris Tavitian

ARCH is pleased to announce the exhibition This Delusive Sentiment, by Polys Peslikas. 
Fragments, cutouts, parts are what make up the whole of Polys Peslikas work. Since the early nineties Peslikas has been collecting images; cutouts from popular culture magazines, photocopies from art books, analog and digital photographs he has snapped himself. To this day this amassing practice continues and has evolved naturally alongside time and technology. Nonetheless, images twenty years apart share in aesthetics and in display format. Archive pages from the 90s are uncannily alike to iPhone photos and Instagram posts- another form of diary. The artist’s binders and archives are meticulously organized similarly; stark white background - image at the center. This on-going image-library of fragments reveal a glimpse into how he processes the world around him. Extracting references from various sources, including classical mythology, folk and sacred iconography, art history and popular culture elements drawn from memory.

Overtime one will notice motifs that repeat themselves throughout. They have subtly made their way into his painting practice and though they might be abstracted, zoomed in, and veiled under kindred hues of pinks, purples, and vermillion, they are evidently there, in repeat. The same image reproduced, revisited, reenacted is an idea that is central to Peslikas’s work. As is the idea that each version of that image lends itself to a different point of view. This tendency of zooming-in is characteristic of Peslikas’ work and the paintings share similar qualities to the grainy low-resolution cutouts and pages from art books. Light also seems to permeate the work despite the choice of a mostly monochrome palette, and hues of the same color veiling the whole like a retinal color filter. The abstract and figurative elements of the paintings oscillate between the subjects depicted and the gestures and techniques used in their representation.

Flows of long hair, flowers, shirts, a reclining back, are some of the motifs that drape these precious sized canvases, hiding and revealing themselves, folding and unfolding before us. Even though at times the subjects he chooses might seem disparate from each other, they all share in his interest in constructing narratives pertaining to image and desire, and notions of the physical in the history of western art. His compositions often feature figures that recall classical subjects like the ‘model’ and the ‘studio’ as a way to point out, question and unsettle heteronormative conceptions of masculinity.

Polys Peslikas (b. 1973 Cyprus) lives and works in London.

Solo exhibitions include: Reenactments (Bacchus), ICA Milan (IT) curated by Alberto Salvadori (https:// www.icamilano.it/en/exhibitions/polys-peslikas-reenactments-bacchus), Mountain, Societa della Api Kastellorizo (Gr) curated by Christiano Raimondi, Studies on the Verticality of Mars, Mackintosh Lane (UK) curated by David Noonan (https://www.mackintoshlane.com/polys-peslikas), Studies on variations ‘malerei’, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (DE), The misunderstanding. The misinterpretation, Vistamare Gallery, (IT) (https://vistamare.com/artisti-polys-peslikas/), Miart – Generations: Polys Peslikas and César Domela, curated by Anthony Reynolds and Chris Sharp, The Cyprus pavilion in the Venice Biennale 2017, curated by Jan Verwoerd (https://www.cyprusinvenice.org/exhibitions/the-future-of-colour/), Impatient Youths of the Sun, Carré St Anne, Montpellier curated by Dominique Thevenot.