NEW YORK— Stratifications: Works by Antonia Papatzanaki, presented by the President’s Gallery of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, opened on Monday, July 25. The acclaimed Greek sculptor Papatzanaki is also a visiting professor in the Department of Art and Music at the college. The exhibit features a series of wall reliefs incorporating light called Exceeding Limits and theCellular series of engraved Plexiglas works with archival prints. An opening reception was held on Wednesday, July 27. The artist, faculty members, staff, and John Jay students were among those attending the event, as well as Greta Kamaterou, ?Director of the Greek National Tourism Organization, and Sia Papatriantafyllou, Director of the Greek Press Office.
Exceeding Limits is a series of mounted sculptures. As described in the press release, “Plexiglas, metal, and a hidden source of illumination combine to form graceful conduits that allow for the transmission of light.” Papatzanaki said, “By surpassing the material limits of the work, light saturates the space and alludes to the possibility that human consciousness can transcend material reality.” The linear, rigid, organic, and natural blend to create visual interest that suggests deeper meanings and shifts of consciousness. The structures of living cells inspired the Cellular series created with engraved Plexiglas and ambient light focusing the viewer’s attention on the importance of light for the artist and for life itself. The layered works reflect and refract light in dramatic ways.
Stratifications also includes archival prints from the Cellular series in addition to the sculptural works on display. Evocatively captured light merges technology, science, and art through the powerful abstractions and color in the remarkable prints that seem to possess deep layers.
When asked what inspired her sculptures in the Exceeding Limits series, Papatzanaki said the idea was to give shape to light, to create luminous forms since light surpasses all. She noted that light has a lot of symbolism for Greeks, it carries memory, and light is also truth. The curved forms of the sculptures change as you move around them, capturing how in physics light is both matter and a wave.
Born in Chania on the island of Crete in Greece, Antonia Papatzanaki was educated in the Athens School of Fine Arts, the Vienna Hochschule fur Angenwandte Kunst, and earned her Master’s degree of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in New York. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards and winner of Panhellenic and international competitions for public art installations. Papatzanaki’s public light installation Agora was exhibited at Battery Park during 2000-2001 as part of the Temporary Public Art Program of New York City. Several of Papatzanaki’s outdoor public works are permanently installed throughout Greece, including her sculpture Lighthouse in the square of the Kato Patisia Metro Station, Athens. Papatzanaki has exhibited widely—notable among her many solo exhibitions are Refractions, Ekfrasi – Υianna Grammatopoulou, Athens, 2013; Robust Matter and Image, Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, Rethymnon, 2010; Antonia Papatzanaki, Recent Works, Tsatsis Projects / Artforum, Thessaloniki, 2008; and Visions of Light, Chashama, 112 Gallery, New York, 2007. She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions in Europe, Asia, and the United States, including Whispers, Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, Rethymnon, 2016; History-Irony, Vorres Museum, Paiania, Athens, 2015; Harmony, 22nd Seoul International Art Festival, Chosunilbo Museum, South Korea, 2014; New: Illusion or Reality, 4th Biennial, Tashkent, 2007; and Artistic Fragments, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York, 2005. Further work has been acquired by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Copelouzos family collection, the Vorres Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, and the American College of Greece. She currently maintains studios in Athens and New York City.
Stratifications will be on display from July 25-August 19 at John Jay College, Haaren Hall, 6th Floor, 899 Tenth Avenue in Manhattan. The gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9AM-5PM, or by appointment. More information is available online at www.shivegallery.org or call 212-237-1439.