Non-profits and unconventional displays shine at Art16
By Anny Shaw
“Some of the strongest presentations come courtesy of the unconventional and non- profit projects... Independent UK dealers Julian Page and Joanna Bryant, who have no permanent space, are presenting a reproduction of the London-based artist Kostas Synodis’s 160cm-square, windowless sculpture studio—formerly a cupboard. The work of art is priced at £6,000. “Shortage of studio spaces and rising rents are challenges for which serious artists have to find solutions in increasingly inventive ways,” Bryant says.”
The Art Newspaper, 20 May 2016
Global Art Fair returns to Olympia for Art16 – 10 highlights,
David Ellis chooses his highlights of the upcoming art fair at Olympia, from talks to tours to bites to eat
“This exhibition will make it plainly obvious whether London is prohibitively expensive for artists or not. Visitors will, one-by-one, shuffle into a to-scale model of Kostas Synodis’s studio which, owing to London’s absurd rents, is a 170cm x 150cm windowless space, so small Kostas had to sit all day to work. Naturally, such limits on size in turn put limits on the scale of his work, which will also be on display. A stark reminder that London is, without a doubt, squeezing its artists.”
Evening Standard, 17 May 2016
10 Artworks to Collect at Art 16
By Abigail Cain and Alexxa Gotthardt
“Across Synodis’s intriguing practice, materials aren’t what they appear to be. Here, a form seems to bend with the suppleness of rubber or foam but is in fact made from hard resin. The taut rope enhances the Greek, London-based sculptor’s trickery— without it, the piece would lose its compelling sense of tension. Like small, compact responses to Richard Serra’s giant minimalist sculptures, Synodis’s works upend the expectations of materials that we think we know the limitations of.”
Artsy, 16 May 2016
Selected to curate a solo artist booth at Art16 by Emerge Director, Jonathan Watkins, Joanna Bryant and Julian Page weave a tale of how one artist of the next generation is successfully forging a line of enquiry, by encompassing the challenges that a dwindling supply of artists' studios and facilities in London are posing to artists choosing to try and work in our city. The presentation cleverly constructs a positive tale from a negative headline.
Shortage of studio spaces and rising rents are challenges for which serious artists have to find solutions in increasingly inventive ways. Kostas Synodis has converted a 170cm x 150cm windowless cupboard into a makeshift studio. The small scale of the works and the sensations of constriction and compression in the artist's subtle manipulation of his materials, reflect his circumstances in London. In a previous life Kostas' studio had been used to serve tenants with tea and sandwiches. It has no windows and the smell of resin hits you hard as you open the door and experience the tiny working space of one of today's emerging artists in London.
All the works presented were made in this confined space, which will be recreated to scale and installed in the middle of the booth, its entrance initially hidden from view. Visitors will be able to enter - one by one - and experience the artist's miniature working studio. By contrast, works will be immaculately displayed on the surrounding floor and walls of the booth, to highlight a stark juxtaposition between the source of creation and the world of the art gallery.
Through subtle alterations of surroundings, Kostas's man made objects are made to seem dysfunctional, and at times disconcerting. These materialised flights of imagination are complex fabrications that have the contrasting appearance of being casual, playful acts. By challenging the authenticity of our visual perception, Kostas' works have a conspicuous presence, and the qualities of both a practical joke and a more serious reflection on our material awareness - indications perhaps of the strength of character required to endure today's challenging environmental conditions for the next generation.
Press Release dated 15 May 2016