Marina Kassianidou: One Dimension Lower

Yes Ma’am Projects

May 26 – June 23, 2018

DSC 5648
Yes Ma’am Projects is pleased to present One Dimension Lower, featuring new site-responsive works by Boulder-based artist Marina Kassianidou. In her first solo exhibition in Colorado, Kassianidou responds to Yes Ma’am Projects’ basement dwellings in an almost geological manner, combining and recreating experiences, materials, marks, traces, and patterns. Her subtle paintings and collages on various surfaces create a sense of continuity with the space while simultaneously referencing larger historical contexts, geographical settings and topography, and personal yet shared everyday experiences.

One Dimension Lower expands on Kassianidou’s practice of approaching painting, drawing, and collage as ways of responding to and intervening into everyday surfaces and spaces. Material explorations interweave floral fabric patterns and replica wood grain vinyl sourced from Kassianidou’s home country of Cyprus with the visual aesthetics of an outdated house basement turned gallery, shaping and defining the experience with an anachronistic vision of space. The marks she makes pay close attention to surface details of the gallery—whether additive or subtractive, her physical interventions play off of superficial patterning that is meant to look natural and highlights the more random nature of human memory and arrangement.

In Back to Blue (2018), Kassianidou has gradually “erased” the flowers printed on the readymade cotton fabric by submerging them in blue paint. This covering up has been done in stages, one color at a time, reversing the printing process that brought the original image into being. The “erasure” also involves the recreating of the flowers as painted images. The impulse to recreate found images is evident in the site-specific wall collage Untiled (2018). Here, the artist has isolated and recreated the marks left on the wall after the faux tiles placed on it were removed. The original marks and the faux recreated marks begin to form a decorative pattern on the kitchen walls. Works such as Floor Paintings (2018) and Stain Paintings (2018) recreate natural patterns and accidental marks while transforming them into painted images. Hierarchies between different types of marks, including the human and non-human, are thus disrupted. Floor Paintings are based on the floor of the gallery while Stain Paintings recreate stains found on the floor of the artist’s studio. Finally, works such as Masquetry V (2015–2018) and Faulty Samples IV (2018), both parts of ongoing series of works, involve interventions on found wood and patterned fabric. The interventions hover between disrupting and recreating wood rings and printed patterns while interweaving the artist’s marks with natural and mechanically produced marks.

Kassianidou’s marks excavate surfaces we surround ourselves with, bringing them to the foreground while unearthing alternative narratives. The surfaces expand to encompass time, history, place, and meaning. At the same time, the artist’s interventions become a process of relating to those surfaces. The result is a subtle shift in how we experience and relate to our surroundings and the world at large. As Kassianidou writes, the work “examines modes of relating to the world that do not involve imposing our presence but rather becoming attentive to what is already there, responding to it, and finding ways of working with it.”

Marina Kassianidou was born in Limassol, Cyprus. She lives and works in Boulder, Colorado, and Limassol. She holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Stanford University, California, USA, an M.A. in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, UK, and a Ph.D. in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Arts, London, UK. She has exhibited her work internationally. Group exhibitions include Mediterranea 16 Young Artists Biennial (Ancona, Italy), Tradition Today: Exploring Conditions to Recreate It (House of Cyprus, Athens, Greece), and Livres d’ Artistes: Book Art in Cyprus since the 1960s (Zampelas Art Museum, Nicosia, Cyprus). She has had solo exhibitions in Nicosia, Cyprus (Gloria Gallery, 2006, 2008, Thkio Ppalies Artist-Led Project Space, 2016), London, UK (Tenderpixel Gallery, 2009, Chelsea College of Arts, 2013, 2015, The Center for Drawing, 2014) and Chicago, Illinois, USA (North Branch Projects, 2013). Her work is found in several private and public collections, including the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture. She is a recipient of the 2016 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant.