“Juxtapositions”-Stavros Kotsireas at Peckham’s Copeland Park and Bussey Building, London

Still life painting – but not as you know it.

 Renowned Greek artist Stavros Kotsiréas announces the first UK exhibition of an exciting new body of work, which turns the still life genre on its head.

 ‘Juxtapositions’, an exhibition of installations, paintings and sculptures opens 29th May at Peckham’s Copeland Park and Bussey Building, London SE15 3SN. Previously exhibited in Berlin, The Hague, Athens and Thessalonica, this will be the first time this body of work has been seen in the UK.

About Stavros Kotsireas

Athens has been dubbed ‘the new Berlin’ as the art scene, in the crisis hit capital, puts affluent centres in the shade. Fresh from his phenomenal exhibition at the first ever Art Thessaloniki International Contemporary Art fair, UK based Kotsiréas is sharing this cultural resurgence with us Brits at a London exhibition later this year.

Professor of History of Art and ex-director of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, The Hague, Dr. Chris Rehorst explains “in his latest work Kotsiréas re-interprets a familiar theme in the history of art, that of the still life… in contrast with the history of the still life, in Kotsiréas work the source is not destroyed, but is left intact and allowed to co-exist with the inspired painting”.

Celebrated artist Sir Peter Blake added “this is a novel and fascinating addition to the genre of still life, especially when painting and sculpture are combined. This is a unique and clever idea”.

Kotsiréas has chosen the historic industrial space in south-east London’s artistic hotspot, Peckham, as the perfect backdrop for this springtime show.

Kotsiréas’ unique approach to the still life genre challenges the ephemeral nature of the source of inspiration. In his work, the source of inspiration, those carefully chosen inanimate objects, is retained and bound together with the final still life painting. This remarkable approach to still life challenges the notion that there is a hierarchy of value between the painting and subject matter. Through the strange and unsettling juxtaposition of source and still life painting, the true value and life force of the work is revealed, as the space between the two . . . the creative process.

Creativity is part of our humanity – I want people to see what inspired me to create – that’s why I bring the still life arrangements out of the studio into the gallery. I want to demystify aspects of the creative process” said Stavros Kotsiréas.

This deeply reflective work marks a return to the artist’s origins as a painter and the intensity and rigour of his early still life classes at The Royal Academy in The Hague, The Netherlands. In this work, the artist makes a conscious return to the origins of still life and the easel pictures on wood of his ancestors, the ancient Greeks.

When I take an inanimate object out of the natural world and place it in still life arrangement, I am purposefully isolating it, stripping it down to its basic material attributes: its form, colour and mass. This enables me to explore the essence and mystery of the object. Giving expression to lifeless matter on canvas is for me a poetic act” said Stavros Kotsiréas.

The exhibition will also include a series of eight extraordinary bronze sculptures, cast at the V&P Tassis Art Foundry in Athens – whose quality and craftsmanship is attracting collaborations with an increasing number of artists from the UK and Europe.

About Stavros KotsireasFollowing a two-year apprenticeship with Vassilis Fotopoulos [stage and costume designer, painter and Oscar prize winner for the set and costume design for the film ‘Zorba the Greek’] Kotsiréas began six years of study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague, The Netherlands. There he specialised in painting, drawing and graphic art and went on to complete a Master’s degree in Set and Costume Design.

The artist has presented his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world and his work can be found in many private, public and corporate collections. The artist currently lives and works in the UK.