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'Yorgos Sapountzis Head Zest, New Walls' at Simone Subal Gallery
Sapountzis' multi-media works engage both public and private spaces.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Simone Subal Gallery announces the opening of Yorgos Sapountzis’s Head Zest, New Walls on December 11, 2011. The exhibition will be on view through January 22, 2012. This is the first New York solo show for the Berlin-based artist.

Sapountzis’s multi-media works engage both public and private spaces. Many of his projects take as their starting points public monuments, objects that represent some aspect of social, collective memory. A native of Athens, Greece, Sapountzis is intimately aware of how such structures effect both the topography of a city as well as the way individuals construct their identity. He is, though, less interested in what a specific monument depicts, but the fact that the form means something particular for a group of people. For Sapountzis these monuments are conceived as a relational space. It is in the symbolic energy contained in these public works of art that Sapountzis links his own practice, especially when he at times literally builds pieces atop of, or along side of a monument. He refers to this act as “parasitic sculptures,” which enables his work to function as conduits between the context of public commemorations and the essentially private, or withdrawn institutional spaces, of contemporary art. His projects test the parameters of public behavior, collapsing the distinction between public and private space.

Sapountzis’s installations and performances combine elements of theatre, poetry and ritualistic practices, using the specific qualities of a medium to illicit greater interpretive possibilities. At the core of most of his projects are sculptural works that employ such flexible and transportable materials as aluminum sheets and rods, brightly colored fabric, adhesive tape, string, and newspaper. The sculptures, in their carefully haphazard appearance, evoke a number of associations from banners carried at a protest to classic works of Modernism. They often provide an environment in which Sapountzis’s films can be seen. The films show the materials and forms in action and tend to present the sculptures on view in another context, most likely as a critical component of a performance that may or may not refer to the current exhibition. The tension between order and disorder is an important aspect in his work. He is interested in “creating chaos to create order.” Sapountzis’s work is often suspended between moments of disarray and the formalization of a new structure, playing with the temporal distinctions between the creation and reception of a piece. In the end, his art is in a constant state of becoming, things deeply engrained in a particular context but never rooted to such an extent as to be spatially or temporally fixed.

A performance will take place on Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 6:30pm (exact details to follow).

Yorgos Sapountzis (born 1976 in Athens, Greece) works and lives in Berlin, Germany. Solo exhibitions include: Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Germany (2011), Fondazione Morra Greco, Napoli, Italy (2011), Freymond-Guth Fine Arts, Zürich, Switzerland (2011); Loraini Alimantiri Gazonrouge, Athens, Greece (2010), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain (2010) and Hermes und der Pfau, Stuttgart, Germany (2009). Recent group exhibitions include: Based in Berlin, Atelierhaus Monbijoupark, Berlin, Germany (2011), Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011); Kunstraum Innsbruck (2011); Fondo Mole Vanvitelliana, Ancona, Italy (2010); Westfälischer Kunstverein, Muenster, Germany (2010); Kunstverein Arnsberg, Germany (2009); Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin, Germany (2009); Sammlung Hoffmann, Berlin, Germany (2009); DESTE Foundation at the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece (2009); Kuenstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany (2008); National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece (2007) and the 1st Athens Biennale, Greece (2007). Upcoming solo shows and residencies: Ursula Blickle Stiftung; Westfälischer Kunstverein, Muenster, Germany; and Villa Romana, Florence, Italy. In 2009, Sapountzis was awarded the Deste Prize by the Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece.

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