20.09.2013 - 02.11.2013

"Zen Garden", 2013, installation, pebbles made of cotton paper pulp, dimensions variable

Nikos Papadopoulos in his new solo show entitled Zen Garden presents a series of works on paper that all have in common the theme of nature. In this series the artist deals with the Japanese monastic rock gardens. From these gardens any kind of flora has been removed in order to leave behind only  pebbles and rocks, elements of nature that do not refer to fertility, neither to intoxicating scents or colours, but to the austerity, the simplicity and the monastic renuciation of Desire.
The Japanese monk arranges the simple geometry of scarce in piles and circles by continously exercising in introspection and Zen. The geometry of traces that consist the form is being detected by Papadopoulos with a persistence similar to a convict sentenced for life. He manufactures one by one tens of thousands of paper pebbles, which unlike the ones we come accross in real life, are light and sensitive in order to set in the gallery’s exhibition space his own «Japanese garden». An actual garden and at the same time a poetic metaphor. The whole process, due to the long time required, alludes to prayer or the ceremonies similar to those of  Zen monks.
This is another issue that the artist deals with through his visual language: Time, Form and the Continuous. Seas and islands, rocks bathed in the light of the white paper, clouds made of dots, obey to the basic principles of pointillism onto white and replaces the dot of the photographic film or the digital pixel in photography or the TV screen. How many dots are needed so that this realistic ripple is created and how many of them need to be removed in order for it to lose its form? The paradox of the heap. In Papadopoulos’ work the poetic transformation of natural elements into images is realized through the language of painting, which after having first deconstructed each scene it then selectively reconstructs it, in order to finally introduce it to a narration system composed anew by the artist.
Repetition is for Papadopoulos a force that enables life. Each point on the works imitates the tip of the printer; and each image exists only through the repetition of that point. Against the speed of the automated mechanical process, the artist places a reverse sense of time; that of the human hand which follows the human mind. Consequently, through observation and imitation he arrives in what Goethe calls rhythm. He develops a method of his own according to the standards of a universal language that is based on the actual, as well as on the intellectual vision and aims towards a more profound understanding of the world. 

Exhibition duration: September 20 – November 02, 2013
image gallery