It is with great pleasure that Supportico Lopez announces our first solo exhibition of London-based, Canadian artist Athena Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos incorporates in her practice a variety of approaches including the photographic, performative, painterly and sculptural to create densely layered two and three dimensional works.
Aspects of sex, blood and decomposition all seem to be participating in a complex yet dreamy design drawn by the artist as a cartoonish expression of her exaggerated world.
Using a variety of materials initially cleaved from personal photographs that she collages together with seemingly incongruous materials- Papadopoulos develops a language of imagery that attempts to accesses the more sinister and ugly aspects of life while at the same time asking us to approach it with a more celebratory approach.
Rancho Rat-King-Cougar features new works made especially for the exhibition. A cluster of seven three-dimensional amputated bodily forms- female legs- will be strewn across the gallery surrounded by heavily collaged paintings. The soft dismembered body parts carry the weight of an intense layering of imagery that includes naive line drawings of women in various states of drunkenness, enlarged temporary tattoos, photo transfers of cartoonish rotting flesh and floating heads amongst other things, that have all been turned into home-made clothing patches and meticulously hand- stitched on to their fleshy, stained fabric surfaces.
The paintings which are housed on tablecloths and bed sheets are host to scenes of festive celebration, built up with a flood of images which are then splashed and stained with various domestic substances such as Pepto Bismol, red wine, self tanner, hair dye, lipstick, henna, Gaviscon and Milk of Magnesia. There are a number of strong associations that these materials throw up – substances that are swallowed to aid digestion of the unpalatable or to rebalance the body after excessive consumption, or substances that are applied to the exterior to disguise or exaggerate features, to mark us into certain ‘tribes’.
Papadopoulos is a Canadian artist living and working in London. She completed her BFA at the University of British Columbia, Canada in 2011 and has recently graduated from the MFA programme at Goldsmiths, University of London. Selected exhibitions include Zabludowiczs Invites (solo) at the Zabludowicz Collection, London (2015), Bloomberg New Contemporaries at the ICA, Liverpool World Museum and Newlyn Gallery in Cornwall (2014-2015); Honeymoon in Pickle Paradise (solo), curated by EMALIN at The Landmark Hotel London during Frieze Art Fair week (2014); Dear Luxembourg: Yours Bucktoothed Girl (group), Nosbaum Reding Projects (2014), The Idiot of Nature, Koerner Library Gallery, Vancouver (2013); Papadopolous was the 2014 recipient of the inaugural Pete Lloyd Lewis Studio at Chisenhale Art Place in London.