At the Innermost Layer

By Pavlos Efthymiou - Saturday, January 20, 2018
At the Innermost Layer

Friends of the fine arts in Brussels had the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful opening this Thursday at the Bernier-Eliades Gallery , unveiling the new solo exhibition of Kostas Sahpazis, a contemporary Greek sculptor.

Friends of the fine arts in Brussels had the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful opening this Thursday at the Bernier-Eliades Gallery[i], unveiling the new solo exhibition of Kostas Sahpazis, a contemporary Greek sculptor. Sahpazis is originally from Thessaloniki, but lives and works in Athens. Once a student of the great Greek sculptor George Lappas (1950-2016), the artist, who just turned 40, has already tested his work internationally, counting several solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe. Sahpazis has collaborated with some of the most prestigious Hellenic Foundations and works of his can be found in important private collections. The gallery is exhibiting the artist’s latest work, which bears the deep psychographic title ‘At The Innermost Layer’.

Photo Credit: Bernier/Eliades – Kostas Sahpazis

Seven powerful and diverse sculptures, all unique (edition of one), are finding themselves in dynamic discussion at the wonderful space of Bernier-Eliades at the heart of the Belgian capital. The curation is smart and the visual experience of the exhibition is both pleasant and immersive. The sculptures draw you in, as you move from one to another, and follow the discussions unfolding between the variety of materials, colors, shapes, and ingenuities that the artist has introduced whilst crafting each exclusive piece.

Photo Credit: Pavlos Efthymiou

Psychographic sculpture, new material, new media, all in discussion with the past and the present, while simultaneously exploring the shape, style and essence of the future. Sahpazis’ work is in open discussion with Arte Povera, using elements of the past in his effort to carve his own future. It is a bold project, risky, but it pays off. There is this sense of the ‘unfinished’ both in the theme and in the way the materials are used; there is a powerful game, intensely visual, between the idea of density and hollowness. This generates a genuine constant temptation to touch the works to discover their truths and feel their inner layers. Perhaps hence the show’s title.

Photo Credit: Bernier/Eliades – Kostas Sahpazis

One-hundred and more guests came for the show’s opening, and had the opportunity to meet the artist and discuss the show with him directly. Before leaving the show, and once the crowd begun to disperse, we had the opportunity to speak to the artist, who explained the different stages of his experimentation with each piece and the mix of the materials he ‘marries’ to achieve the desired outcome. When Sahpazis discusses his sculptures, you may sense that he deposits a small part of his soul, his past, his life experiences - even the smells and the tastes of things he grew up with dwell in his works. Perhaps this helps explain why the work feels ‘sensitive’ and ‘delicate’; and why the artist is extremely selective with his work, producing very few works annually, and all unique. Some of the works may appear fragile, but, in truth, most of them are very resilient; same as the psyche. For some, each work may serve as a catalyst for a discussion with their own inner self. Aluminum, rubber, synthetics, bronze – all elements assemble and merge to synthesize Sahpazis’ work and convey his deeper messages.

Photo Credit: Pavlos Efthymiou

The exhibition is on until March 31st. If your road brings you close to Brussels, do visit Bernier-Eliades to immerse yourself into Saphazis’ work and its potent layers.[ii]

==

[i] Bernier-Eliades is located on 46 Rue du Chatelain, 1050, Brussels. The Gallery is open Tue - Sat from 12.00-18.00. For more information you may contact the Gallery on: +32(0)26405504 & brussels@bernier-eliades.com.

[ii] The author wishes to thank Ms. Sofia Evangelou for her editorial assistance with earlier versions of this article.

Pavlos Efthymiou is a London-based business and policy consultant with a passion for art. He is contributing to ArtDependence as a guest editor. Pavlos travels systematically to Brussels and Athens and hunts major artistic events and exhibitions throughout Europe when given the chance. Over the years, he has collaborated with several European artists and gallerists. He has a background in politics, economics and international relations, having completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Bath and his postgraduate research at the University Cambridge, in the United Kingdom.

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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Femme au béret orange et au col de fourrure (Marie‐Thérèse), executed 4 December 1937. Oil on canvas. 24⅛ x 18⅛ in (61.2 x 46.1 cm)

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Femme au béret orange et au col de fourrure (Marie‐Thérèse), executed 4 December 1937. Oil on canvas. 24⅛ x 18⅛ in (61.2 x 46.1 cm)

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