Natassa Poulantza

Poulantza Natassa

Born in Hannover in 1965, she graduated in 1992 from Athens School of Fine Arts. She studied Painting under Elias Dekoulakos and Chronis Botsoglou, while attending the Printmaking studio where she was taught woodcut, copperplate engraving and lithography techniques. She held postgraduate studies at the Munich Academy’s Painting department (1992-1996), under Professor Jürgen Reipka, on a three-year scholarship granted by the Spyros Vikatos Foundation. She is member of the art group Provo Principles. Works by her can be found in private collections and museums. She lives and works between Athens and Berlin.


Solo Exhibitions


It Is All Lies – Game of Fortune III Donopoulos IFA Thessaloniki


It Is All Lies Zoumboulakis Galleries Athens


New Portraits Alma Contemporary Art Gallery Trikala


It Is All Lies State Museum of Contemporary Art (MOMus – Museum of Modern Art – Costakis Collection) Thessaloniki


Out of Season Encounters… Don’t Believe in Death…. Artbeat Gallery Brussels


Invasion – Flânerie Artbeat Gallery Brussels


Portraits Qbox gallery Athens


Spring Cheap Art Gallery Athens


Sea Cheap Art Gallery Athens


Thalassa Aka Munchen Munich


Thalassa Kulturmodell Passau


It Is All Lies

Natassa Poulantza presents a series of works that she started working in 2010, a series that extends till today and is constantly widening, evolving, is enriched and is placed in present tense. With a systematic way, a personal incorporation, a key concern and a conscious attitude, the artist explores crucial issues that are related with knowledge, communication, the function of memory, reality and its digital version, the endoscopic procedure of artistic production, the different versions of things and situations beyond their apparent facet and the certainties – their refutation and their excess, suggesting a tour in a world of images where the limits between reality and lies are relevantly fluid and always redefined. She achieves that not in a narrative and descriptive way but internally and structurally with her visual ‘writing’ and her turning towards the deeper essence of her quests. These are works in which the dominant idea coexists with the high quality of their technical making and completion. The general title “It Is All Lies” (partly enlightening, in any case ambivalent) isn’t an affirmation or an axiomatic finding, denying after all a one dimensional interpretation.

The series consists of two sections. In the first one (Out of Season Encounters) Natassa Poulantza starting from well known artists’ works, she paints them anew (acrylics on canvas) making copies. Then she prints digitally directly onto the surface portraits of famous important personalities – poets, writers, philosophers – mostly of the 19th and 20th century. The compositions of William Turner, Gerhard Richter, Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning, Vincent Van Gogh and Roy Lichtenstein meet the faces of William S. Burroughs, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Albert Camus, Friedrich Nietzsche, Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, among others. The superposition of the works with the prints, cancels them, turning them into something completely new, defining for Natassa Poulantza a kind of notes, a space upon where she collects information. The meetings, as is emphatically stated, are “untimely and random” without any intention of a certain narrative or conceptual connection and are based first of all in personal and aesthetic associations of the artist. The second section with the complementary title “…missing piece…” comes from the first one and consists of unique digital prints on paper. The part of the composition of the first section of works that was lost is now emerged as an autonomous work, cut from the previous painted environment and from whichever possible narratives and connections that the previous image has created. This is the missing piece-element, the distance that has to be covered, and the absence that has to be negated and filled in order for us to find the point of contact with the substance of the work. It is the implementation of the memory of the lost image, the desire for visualizing the memory, the exploration of a sense of loss that follows it, the way in which memory confutes or rewrites reality.

Natassa Poulantza’s particular work, in the same context of research, expansion and experimentation, resolves with the digital game-application-work “Game of Fortune”, which requires the participation of the viewer and makes reference to the gambling game known as “slots”, “fruit machine” etc. The recurring images are being replaced by edited photos of famous painters in the first column and portraits of famous thinkers of the 19th and 20th century in the second column. The user-player of the application presses the start button of the game and the images begin to scroll resulting in a random combination of the previous images, which appears in the third column of the screen. When the ‘player’ is satisfied by the random combination of images occurring on the computer screen, he gets the chance to print a unique and original work signed by the artist. The game, in dialogue with the exhibition’s works, compose a complete proposal and deposit, an interactive and bidirectional visual environment – imaginative and original – rich in substance, with multiple readings and approaches, forming a welcoming frame of visual observation, motivating the participation-complicity relations between the images and the viewer, exacerbating the constant vigilance of the eye and its perceptual background and the possibilities of its sensory and mental employment.


Yannis Bolis
Art Historian State Museum of Contemporary Art (MOMus – Museum of Modern Art 
– Costakis Collection) Curator
* From the catalogue of Natassa Poulantza’s exhibition “It Is All Lies”, Zoumboulakis Galleries, Athens, 2016.