Not all ‘Artists to Watch’ are straight out of art school. Greek artist Apostolos Georgiou (born 1952), has had a long and successful career, yet he is someone we should look at again. His large canvases, some of which were recently on show at the White Cube exhibition Tightrope Walk: Painted Images After Abstraction, can be now viewed at a solo show at Rodeo gallery (19 February 2016 – 9 April 2016).
Georgiou often represents people caught in dynamic actions in his canvases; discussing energetically on sofas, moving chairs, looking out of a window or dancing in a room. The paintings have a strong emotional effect as the figures seem to have been interrupted in whatever they were doing, putting any narrative abruptly on hold and leaving the viewer with the exercise to reconstruct the past and future of the actors. The specific tension between what we see and what might have happened brings in a dialogue between the figurative and the abstracted, and this is what characterises Georgiou’s way of painting.
In a recent interview Georgiou stated: “a painting must have the tension to provoke us to look at it, to wake us up from a state of indifference.” Certainly his paintings convey an urge to be looked at, a need for understanding and the rush of feeling.
Recent shows include the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece (2014); the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece, (2013); the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki, Greece, (2012); the Centre Regional d’Art Contemporain du Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées, France (2009); and many other international venues, so this a rare chance to see his work exhibited in London.