The misunderstanding. The misinterpretation.
Polys Peslikas’ artistic practice explores the possibilities of non-representational painting, by means of richly textured surfaces in which figurative fragments are caught in a constant state of flux. This play of materialization and disappearance was at the center of Peslikas’ Soft Stones-Documents paintings – which he presented at the 57th Venice Biennale – and returns in the current exhibition, conceived around a series of oil paintings on canvas mounted on wood, which are informally referred to as “mosaics” and “reliefs”. These new works point to Peslikas’s implicit observations regarding the practice of painting: layer after layer, the surface becomes the site of a ritualistic repetition of gestures and forms, almost an oxidized plane of transformation and coalescence.
The series originates in the artist’s misunderstanding of a photograph of the mosaics in the 5th Avenue Subway in New York, which Peslikas thought was a fragment of the Mussolini mosaics in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Starting from this misplacement of locations and times, the artists has created a mysterious narrative around the ambiguity of representation and vision as a form of wondering.
The terms “Variation”, “Study”, and “Doubt” are often used by Peslikas to refer to his series: they stand for the artist’s belief in representation as a transformative site of perception. “Misunderstanding” and “Misinterpretation” are added to the list to allow him the possibility of revisiting, re-questioning and keeping the potential of the paintings open.
Courtesy of Polys Peslikas and Vistamarestudio, Milano
Photos by Ugo Dalla Porta