About Antonia Papatzanaki
Antonia Papatzanaki is a sculptress currently living and working in New York City. Born in Chania, on the island of Crete in Greece in 1960, Papatzanaki was educated in Athens, Vienna and acquired the MFA at Pratt Institute in New York City. She is the recipient of numerous awards, many of which received the first prize for public art work installations. Papatzanaki has exhibited her works in 13 solo exhibitions, numerous group exhibitions in Europe and the United States, and has many public works on permanent display throughout Greece. Works by Antonia Papatzanaki are in the Vorres Museum in Athens, the Contemporary Art Center of Rethymnon, in Crete, and numerous private collections. In addition to critical essays that analyze her work in five solo exhibition catalogues, more than one hundred articles and reviews of Antonia Papatzanaki's works have been published in art periodicals and newspapers in Greece and New York.
My work concerns the nature of the structure of reality. I found myself between natural and geometrical structures. Between my natural senses and my inclination to use abstract forms and ideas often inspired by Philosophy and Science.
I am working with light, the essential element of our visual perception. My works are self-luminous; light emanates from their interior. A constant dialogue exists between the light of the work and the ambient light of the surroundings, creating an experience of heightened awareness of its qualities, and its relation to time for the spectator. Directly connected to life and metaphorically to truth, since without it most life and vision do not exist, light is a heavily loaded universal symbol. The dual substance of light -mass and energy- corresponds to the duality of human nature as mind and body.
In my work light is formed as it passes through transparent or translucent materials, which penetrate opaque metal surfaces. Structured on a grid, linear signs of light constitute a luminous form from the repetition of an industrial-made glass rod. The lengths of the rods vary and are placed with shifted axes, creating shadows within the light area changing the luminosity of the forms according to the angle from which they are viewed. Currently, I am transferring my drawings to Plexiglas through Laser etching. The cuts glow as the light passes through the molecules of Plexiglas revealing the drawing. I am also working with Plexiglas sheets, that on their linear or curvilinear sections the light refracts as it passes from the body of the material. Formally the work has two aspects: one linear- geometric and one natural- organic that depends on the spectators point of view.
My work charts the relation between: light and darkness, matter and energy, mass and weightlessness, inside and outside, geometric and organic, fragmentation and unity, the hand made and the industrially produced, and finally the viewer and the art object. The structure of the work and its references are an entity waiting for the viewer to experience and discover.