19 Patriarchou Ioakim
(+30) 210 7235 226
Tue, Thu, Fr: 11.00-20.00
Wed, Sat: 11.00-16.00
About the artist
About the exhibition
“The twentieth century, more than any other, liberated the perception of both sexes as regards the gender and the body. It examined their identity against the female - male polarity and its role should not be dissociated from the very Nature of Art” - Vana Xenou
The artistic trajectory of Vana Xenou pursues the female presence. Taking the female nature as their starting point, her works move about through history. The artist goes deep into forms and symbols that have left an indelible mark on historical memory and social subconscious. She shapes the female archetypal figure, as is the case with the primordial Gaia-goddess in the depths of religious consciousness. She watches the different faces or masks, as they have been shaped by imagination and defined by the “adventure” of the antiquity and the “destruction” of tragic drama.
Her figures sometimes project the archetypal Mother-Daughter image and sometimes, just like young girls, they hint at or even foretell their transition to female maturity. The little girls in Lewis Carroll's photos put this child-woman duality on display. At the big table with the deities of the earth, viewers get the feeling that they are witnessing transformations of the original model which is perhaps found in the depths of the earth - where the occult and dark Eleusinian Mysteries used to take place.
Vana Xenou seeks the truth that is hidden in the body —naked or not— through myth and history, the course and the experience of women through the centuries. It is the large frieze with the lined-up bodies, which, most likely, is a reference to the friezes of ancient Greek temples.
From Demeter and Persephone of the Eleusinian myth to Eve of the book of Genesis, from Judith of the painting Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi to Lucretia by Lucas Cranach and to Hildegard of Bingen, Vana Xenou introduces us to the depths and the mystery of an ever-transforming identity.