Quixotic Vision

20 November - 20 December 2007
Dollinger art Project, Tel Aviv, Israel

Eleni Bagaki, Simon Collins, Konstantina Kapanidou, Alicia Paz, Nick Roberts, Guy Shoham

Quixotic Vision is an exploration of the ways in which the illusory quality of the painted form can counter the cold, intellectual utopianism of the 20th Century. The selected artists work passionately to celebrate the sumptuous potential of surface, and through their obsession allow us to share an outlook where simple everyday objects gain complex associations, and the world that we take for granted is enlivened as a place of endless possibilities.  

Guy Shoham hunts out discarded porcelain figures, and layers these collections of unloved souvenirs with allusions to historical and mythological subjects which give powerful new significance to that which has been thrown away. Glass, plastic and glazed ceramics attract the viewer's gaze and create the illusion of value, just as the sensuous surfaces solicit tactile exploration.

The use of dinner plates in the work of Eleni Bagaki refers back to her Greek heritage, and serves to link simple domestic items with hunger, and a longing to possess. By framing water bottles and plimsols in this manner, Bagaki weaves a seductive spell over the viewer making every day objects intensely precious and desirable.

Alicia Paz is an established Mexican artist who has recently shown as part of the John Moore’s Painting prize. Paz’s current work involves a series of arboreal forms, peppered with cartoon characters, comic book heroines, and brightly coloured globules of slime. Her use of iconography is perhaps in perhaps in line with her shifting cultural identity, and the cacophony of semiotic systems she has been exposed to.

Simon Collins, who has recently completed his studies at the Royal College of Art, illicits a sense of intrigue and domestic incident from scenes of lavish surfaces, and desirable objects. A sense of greed and lust is palpable within his large-scale canvases.

Through working with found objects and common sculptural materials, combining the natural and the synthetic, Nick Roberts creates forms with an uncomfortable desirability, which test our emotional relationship with objects. Roberts embraces the materiality of our world, sampling and regurgitating it to make new and uneasy recipes, interested in the boundaries of reality and the strange allure of the man-made.

In contrast, Konstantina Kapanidou’s work is a tactile exploration of female archetypes, and is both sensitive to a kind of dreamlike nostalgia and the psycho-sexual implications of accepted forms of socialisation. “Sleeping Beauty” consists of a series of intricate drawings on tissue paper of fairytale characters sprawled in the manner of the odalisque, accompanied by the sound of the artists’ father singing a traditional Greek song.

Top and menu image: Eleni Bagaki, 'Volvic Water Bottle,' 2006
Bottom: 'Removed from the Eyes of Strangers', installation view, GSA, 2009
© Matt Roberts Arts 2010