Spotlight: Abstract Expressionism Meets Street Art in Alexandros Vasmoulakis’s Bold and Colorful New York Debut
The artist's first solo show both with Hollis Taggart is on view through December 29.
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About the Artist: Originally from Athens, artist Alexandros Vasmoulakis (b. 1980) has a practice that spans painting, installation, and large-scale murals, the latter of which have been featured in outdoor public spaces around the world. Vasmoulakis’s artistic style takes inspiration from Greek culture and heritage, specifically the juxtaposition of ancient ruins, which are common throughout his native Athens, and modern-day graffiti and street art. His works on canvas are largely abstract, but through his rigorous layering technique—which involves building up paint and “carving” it away with a pressure washer—he achieves both a visual and physical depth, and it becomes possible to pick out suggestions of natural elements (flowers, the ocean, or microscopic creatures) in the otherwise abstract compositions.
What You Need to Know: New York’s Hollis Taggart is currently showing “Alexandros Vasmoulakis: Journeys,” which is on view through December 29, 2022. The gallery began representing Vasmoulakis in 2020, and this is the artist’s first exhibition both with the gallery and in New York City. Featuring over a dozen new pieces, the works on view are exemplary of Vasmoulakis’s vivid signature style. The exhibition also includes bold installations that accentuate the works on canvas, expanding the artist’s creative vision and immersing the viewer in his kaleidoscopic aesthetic. To complement the exhibition, Hollis Taggart director Paul Efstathiou will be going on Instagram Live with Vasmoulakis for a tour the show on December 21.
Why We Like It: The vibrant works on canvas, both small and large, in this exhibition demonstrate Vasmoulakis’s diverse range of influences, from Abstract Expressionism to rave and psychedelic subcultures. The artist’s unique layering technique is also echoed in the hanging, with paintings positioned atop wallpapered installations, adding another layer of depth to the visual experience and highlighting the theatrical element of his oeuvre. Works like the exhibition’s namesake Journeys (2022) are emblematic of the figurative interpretations that are possible within the abstract works, as the swaths of color suggest a fantastical flower emerging from the within the composition. Elsewhere, a series of works take their names from Vasmoulakis’s point of inspiration, Seaside Paintings (2022), leading the viewer to imagine the works as impressions or memories of a visit to the Greek coastline.
See inside the exhibition and featured works below.
“Alexandros Vasmoulakis: Journeys” is on view through December 29, 2022, at at Hollis Taggart, 521 West 26th Street, New York, New York 10001.
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