The House of Cyprus presents Rena Papaspyrou’s new solo exhibition titled “Staircases”, curated by Christophoros Marinos.
The exhibition includes works that have been completed in the last four years and trace an important element of urban space, namely the staircase. With “Staircases” Papaspyrou wants to emphasise the importance of staircases in relation to inhabitation and the poetic experience of urban space. Materiality/immateriality, movement/immobility, possibility/impossibility are some pairs of contrasting concepts that we come across in this established artist’s new artistic proposition.
Using a special type of paper and polyester, Papaspyrou moulded the marble steps that connect the different floors in the apartment building where she lives. In this way she created twelve staircases in various sizes, ranging from 28 to 320 cm, and then she intervened on their pleated surfaces with drawings. The works have a double meaning in the formal sense, as they combine sculptural and painting elements.
In addition to the twelve staircases, the exhibition includes an installation consisting of hundreds of photocopied female faces that form an inclining surface in relief. Developed between 2014-17, this large-scale installation bears many drawn details and alludes to the steps of an ancient theatre.
Amongst other works, there are five drawings in pencil on A3 paper, moulded directly on steps (created during a trip of the artist to Zagorohoria in 2014) as well as an older work titled “Image to Matter” (1984-85) made of material extracted from a wall with added fabric and colour.
Art historian and curator of the exhibition Christophoros Marinos notes: “All these years, through the inventive recognition of the micro-elements of how matter is structured, Papaspyrou managed to create a distinctive, thoroughly personal language. With ‘Staircases’ the artist proposes a visual metaphor that suggests the need for an imaginative and contemplative experience of the everyday.”
Rena Papaspyrou was born in Athens in 1938. She studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts and at the Exole Nationale Supérieur des Beaux Arts in Paris. She taught at the Athens School of Fine Arts from 1993-2005. She lives and works in Athens.
Curator: Christophoros Marinos
Coordination: Maria Ragia
Cover photo by Eleni Lyra
Text translated from the Greek and edited by und. Athens