Exhibition Opening: Saturday 26 August from 3-5pm.
The crossover of painting and sculpture is at the essence of the art of Sydney-based artist Yioryios. His organic yet geometric forms are vested in the matter, the concept and context of painting, but realised in ‘sculptural’ form.
The objects in Points of Interception may follow from the soaring flight of Barancusi’s Birds in Space, be grounded in the minimalist floor pieces of Carl Andre or translate as a mega walk-thru site-specific installation for a corporate or public space, but the artist nonetheless deems them first and foremost ‘’painting’’.
Colour selection is at the very beginning of any new work (his mother attests to his having an innate colour sense from a very early age), with shapes suggested by colour choice.
Yioryios restricts colours to the use of three or less per work. Opportunely, his day job is as a brand ambassador for an art materials supplier that requires him to colour-test new paint products, often having first access in Australia. The Deep Cadmium Yellow, Deep Cadmium Red and Burnt Umber are from a recently researched muted range.
Black is the artist’s preferred ‘non-colour’ throughout the series of works as the platform to deepen the grasp and extent of tonal colour and nuance and interplay of light and shadow.
Dense black draws you in, absorbs and repels. Yioryios mines the qualities of sleek, shiny black for its reflective qualities that catch and give back environs in the elusive way of mirrors that are sources of errors and illusions and the intensity and sheen acts as counterpoint to passages of matt colour.
Yioryios acknowledges as a device and source, the curved black mirror, known as the Claude Glass, of early painting: an observer tool and compositional aid, named for Claude Lorrain that had the effect of abstracting the subject reflected from its surroundings. The viewer turned their back and observed through the tinted mirror, reducing a wide prospect within a narrower field of view, distilling the scope and the scape, mutating and translating scale and brightness, reducing and simplifying tonal range.
In Yioryios’s life as in his art, incident and interception have driven his focus and influenced his materials and aesthetic. His interest in architecture was piqued while still a student in South East Sydney when a mixed media painting he entered in a local Kirribilli art show was purchased by Polly Seidler who introduced the young artist to the architecture of her internationally renowned father, Harry Seidler. Yioryios’s early works acknowledge his developing architectural focus while a painting major at The Australian National University School of Art in Canberra and during study in association with a scholarship he was awarded to attend the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. From his accommodation near The Luxembourg Gardens en-route to the Beaux Arts in St Germaine he absorbed the impact of ancient and Modernist architecture.
His earlier works acknowledged their source in the voids and volumes of significant architectural sites and their designers with titles SOH, code for Sydney Opera House and AEP for Australian Embasssy, Paris. Yioryios’s most recent works are primarily now meditations upon the phenomenon and the architecture of space rather than responses to any structure or practitioner. He works intuitively with rigid sheets and strips of aluminium composite and acrylic paints to bend, twist and distill form and colour as a total unity marked by muscularity and refinement and an inherent ‘sprezzaturra’ or seemingly effortless elegance.
A series of constructed wall-based paintings is introduced for Points of Interception. Sleek, precise collages of flat, angle-edged geometric planes in smooth glossy reflective black are joined at their interfaces with perimeters that are meticulously painted with layers of intense matte orange, blue, or white, creating a minimalist linear articulation – operating not unlike a shadow-line in architecture. Colour is a subtle but strong element within the works, dividing surface and its considerations of matt and gloss.
Yioryios is early in his career as an artist, graduating from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours in 2014, yet his achievements include solo exhibitions in Canberra and Sydney and numerous group exhibition participations in both regions. In 2015 & 2016 he was a finalist in the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize and in 2016 he completed a large-scale commission for ANZ corporate headquarters in Melbourne. His work is held in significant private collections both in Australia and internationally, and is also included in the collection of the Australian Embassy in Paris.