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Christos Koutsouras: Land Art
May 4 @ 8:00 am - July 14 @ 5:00 pm Free
An artwork born out of nature, as aptly indicated by the title, Land Art testifies the latest conceptual work of Christos Koutsouras at his place of birth, the Greek island of Samos.
Pivotal point for the creation of this artwork was the near devastation island forests suffered during the summer of 2016. Samos and its inhabitants know all too well about the destructive force of the fiery blaze and its perilous aftermath. So does the artist, a native, first-hand witness of the natural environment degradation brought about by the menace of successive conflagrations over the years.
Christos Koutsouras’ invariable delving into landscape painting, along with the scale of the disaster, constitute the main elements that inspired him to intervene aesthetically and create a “tableaux vivant”.
On the canvass of the scorched landscape and by means of liquid whitewash, Koutsoyras paints white the burnt down tree trunks, thus creating a stark contrast between “vivacious” white and “morbid” black. Through his intervention, the artist spells out a story of innate pain aiming at sensitizing and engaging the viewer. The seared forest is redefined spatially, with the burnt trees enfolded by a “white shroud” that is both protecting and purifying them as they stand naked on the bare landscape.
Another aim of his intervention is the initiation of a dialogue between nature and humans. Based on the fact that contemporary society is gradually alienated from itself while progressively degrading the environment, he lets the bleak landscape tell us its own tale, a tale of trespass, peril and oblivion. The signs are abundantly evident: once green and flourishing trees are presently reduced to rigid and charred trunks, amidst the washed out whitish rocky ground.
Intervening in this way on to the natural landscape and protecting the remainders of the burnt trees, it is through consideration and tenderness that Christos Koutsouras creates a living painting tableau aiming at awaking consciousness, while at the same time allowing weather conditions and natural rebirth processes to engulf and transform the artwork and its surroundings.