Born in Athens in 1975, she studied Painting at the School of Visual and Applied Arts and Theatre at the School of Drama of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Painting 2015-2018 •
Athens Art Gallery•
Athens Art Gallery•
The cakes look appetising and the young ladies behind the counter are serving the customers diligently and professionally. There are several customers in the shop, and those who have been and gone have left behind some sort of shadow or memory. A man is softly touching the back of a tall and elegant woman. The touch suggests a long-term relationship – they are probably married. There is another couple further up the queue whose little dog is trying to get a look at us. The young lady in the long skirt appears happy, but nobody really knows.
Strange… a donkey has got into the house. It has probably been there for a while, since nobody seems alarmed. No… it definitely belongs to them. The man is proudly looking at it from the mezzanine bedroom resting precariously on two bookcases. The little girl is sleeping peacefully on her parents’ double bed.
More books… this particular bookcase has an oven on the bottom shelf. The cook is taking out the casserole dish with care – you don’t play with these things. In a different painting, another cook is carefully approaching the family to serve them. A glass is sitting right on the edge of the table. Just one careless movement and it will fall.
Each one of Angeliki Xynou’s works is a curious story with an unknown beginning and an uncertain conclusion; or even a one-act play that the viewer has to recompose, identify the invisible thread connecting people, spaces and events, and somehow make a plot. Having studied both theatre and painting, Xynou organises each of her paintings like a theatre stage design. Her work draws from the imagery of the great plays and novels of Russia and Central Europe. An imagery deeply rooted inside us which is brought to life in the viewer’s imagination rather than on stage.
Fragments of houses, staircases that lead nowhere, floors made of long planks, tiles that resemble chessboards creeping slowly from the kitchen threatening to flood the living room and its inhabitants who pretend that none of this is happening – these are all elements that recreate the theatrical illusion which, while appearing to be full of life and memories, is nothing but a two-dimensional structure that comes to life through performance. At the same time – as in any work of art – this world of Angeliki Xynou, which seems normal yet completely uncanny, horrific yet completely calm, reassuring yet completely harsh, old-fashioned yet completely modern, is a reality that traps and enchants us.