Stratigoula Giannicopoulou

Giannicopoulou Stratigoula
© Katerina Chatzibekiari

Born in Athens in 1966, she studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Nikos Kessanlis and Dimitris Mytaras (1984-1989) and graduated summa cum laude. In 2001 she was awarded a distinction at the 1st Panhellenic Exhibition on Micrographic Art – Miniature. Her works can be found in private collections in Greece and Cyprus. She lives and works in Athens.

Works

Solo Exhibitions

2019

Stone / Oblivion Gallery Genesis Athens

2018

Flip Moments Gallery Genesis Athens

2013

Singular Art Space 24 Athens

2009

Couples in Life & Art Gaia Gallery Piraeus (curated by Lina Tsikouta)

2008

Art Space 24 Athens

2005

Art Space 24 Athens

2002

Art Space 24 Athens

1997

Zalokosta 7 Gallery (Gallery 7) Athens

1996

Argo Gallery Nicosia

Press

Secret Depictions of Faces in a Line-up

What is it that drives Stratigoula Giannicopoulou to create work that is dark, with airtight renditions of figures, internal tension, emotional charge and pain? In her own view, she is attempting a type of mapping of the soul, recording the bold marks left by time within and outside of the people she paints.

In her work in the previous decade, up until 2005, she applied her painting on an underlayer of Χ-ray images. From 1996 to 1997 she created a series of works where, based on random human Χ-rays, she painted over hands, feet, facial features and other parts of human bodies.

Randomness in the X-ray images she used, and randomness in the fragmented human body parts that were incorporated, covering in painting this unexpected base of her work to create a kind of ‘votive offerings’.

The open palms of the works of 1997, resting upon the chests of the X-rays, stand out through an intense brightness, suggesting a special relationship between base and painting, on a conceptual as well as a formal level.

Her work between 2005 and 2008 focuses on a series of portraits, primarily of elderly people.

Tired faces, etched by time and experiences, some with their eyes dimmed, and some with intense gazes, fixed directly on the viewer.

Expressive monuments of existence, they stand serious, austere, on rare occasions with a hint of a smile, while they’re presented as a mirror of their inner, most profound psyche.

This dark line-up of such a human, quiet pain, creates in the viewer feelings of anxiety and tension.

The aesthetic language of Stratigoula Giannikopoulou is deeply expressionistic because it places her subjective emotions over the objective reality, because it depicts her personal emotional state rather than the state of the world around her, and because it takes on the darkest, most sinister sides of human destiny.

The appeal of her expressionist creations lies in her ability to combine her extreme plastic formulations with the profound expression of her existential angst.

The darkness of the background, the absence of colour, the hardness of the black-and-white, with subtle hints of colour, combined with the blatant distortion of the figures, imbue her work with a powerful emotional and psychological dimension.

The art of Stratigoula is a subjective art, which, drawing from her personal expressive ‘deviations’, arrives at the wholly paroxysmal distortion of the human figure.

Human forms, through their defensive line-up, delimitation and isolation, as if taken from the pop-up windows of TV shows, presented in all their vulnerability, evoke traumatic experiences, despair, death, a pessimistic perspective on things.

Her obsession with her subjects, with dark, sparse colours, with distortions, with the frugality of her expressive means bring her deep existential angst to the forefront.

What she puts forward, original and authentic, is firmly founded both in the credibility of form and the truth of concept.

 

Dr Lina Tsikouta-Deimezi
National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum Curator