The Breeder is pleased to present Zoi Gaitanidou’s first solo show with the gallery. The exhibition titled «Clarity» consists of new embroidery and pastel on canvas works along with a film and sound installation.
Zoi Gaitanidou has been using embroidery to create elaborate tapestries that combine abstract patterns with figurative elements resulting in an intensity that recalls tribal art. Tropical foliage is a recurrent element in her work which as art critic Roberta Smith has remarked “is reminiscent of a naive derivative of neo-Expressionism that also evokes a contemporary take on the tropical vision of Henri Rousseau”.
For the new series of works presented in “Clarity” dense embroidery in rich colors alternates with light pastel painting, referencing the changes in one’s state of mind: the meditative clearness of an empty mind in contrast to a whirl of thoughts and feelings. The persistently full areas of the works consist of smaller embroidery, a patchwork of different narratives, either direct, or indirect. A figure striking a yoga pose, a monkey hanging from a tree, geometric patterns, branches and trees all merge together and only upon close inspection can one identify the individual elements and labor intensity they entail. Central to a smaller painting entitled “Stillness” is a face staring back at the viewer, in a state between awe and apathy, in perfect calmness and clarity where nothing really matters.
On the second part of the exhibition at the basement of the gallery is a video and sound installation revealing glimpses of the artist’s process. The imposing sound reminds of waves or even breath, in and out, in a repetitive hymnotic rythm. Created by musician Thalia Ioannidou, it is in fact the sound of the needle and thread piercing the canvas, as revealed in the film directed by Yannis Gaitanidis. Projected on the wall, the exaggerated proportions of a thread going through the eye of a needle gains a different dimension, followed up by a close up of the hands of the artist while sewing with the needle piercing the canvas, again and again. The installation brings to attention the passing of time, the labour behind the works and also the meditative element through the repetitive actions in Gaitanidou’s practice.
The physical strain required to make these works along with their mental and spiritual backbone, are elements found in Yoga that Zoi Gaitanidou is not only practising but also teaching. The three main structures of Yoga: exercise, breathing and meditation also accurately apply to the exhibition. «Clarity» hence becomes a metaphor and a goal for a harmonious balance of body, mind and spirit.
Zoi Gaitanidou (b. 1981, Athens, Greece) is a graduate of the Athens School of Fine Arts and she lives in Athens. She has participated in “The Equilibrists” at the Benaki Museum in Athens which was organized by The New Museum, NY and DESTE Foundation Athens and was curated by Gary Carrion Murayari, Helga Christophensen with Massimiliano Gioni and in the 2nd Athens Biennial “Heaven”. Her work in included in “Younger Than Jesus”, an artist directory selected by the curatorial team of the New Museum and published by Phaidon.