The Zabludowicz Collection Invites series is a unique opportunity for UK-based artists without commercial gallery representation to showcase their work in a solo exhibition at a dedicated project space at Zabludowicz Collection. This spring, Canadian born artist Athena Papadopoulos (b. 1988) presents her multidisciplinary practice. Following her MFA at Goldsmiths, London, Papadopoulos shows a new group of works made especially for the exhibition at Zabludowicz Collection.
She plays with a range of disciplines including drawing, painting and collage and combines personal family histories with consumer brands and found objects. Creating riotous narratives that blur the boundaries between fact and fiction, Papadopoulos employs lyrical excess – gathering magazine cuttings and pop culture together with art historical references.
Inspired in part by her father’s photographs of Baccinalian gatherings, Papadopoulos clusters together three-dimensional forms crudely stuffed like cushions and stitched together from various fabrics. The figures are ostensibly grouped together for a party or collective experience and are layered with imagery denoting disguise or decoration. This concept is further explored by the fact that the fabric is stained with various substances including hair dye, lipstick and henna – all used to exaggerate features. Other stains include Gaviscon, Pepto Bismol, Berocca and Milk of Magnesia – all commercial brands designed to aid digestion of the unpalatable.
Her work harks back to the grotesque satire of popular social convention expressed by such artists as James Ensor and Otto Dix and exhibits the visceral comedy of Nathalie Djurberg and Tetsumi Kudo. Papadopoulos positions herself firmly with her entangled and desperate cast of characters, constructing her work from the inside and revelling in the absurdist collision between the personal and the fictional.
Athena Papadopoulos, Zabludowicz Collection Invites, 29 January – 8 March, Zabludowicz Collection, 176 Prince of Wales Road, London NW5 3PT. For more informations visit www.zabludowiczcollection.com.
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1. Athena Papadopoulos, AA II, 2014. Photo: Oskar Proctor. Courtesy of the artist and Supportico Lopez, Berlin.