Blinded by choices
June 10 - July 9, 2021
Nicelle Beauchene Gallery is pleased to present Blinded by choices, an exhibition of new paintings by Athens-based artist Panayiotis Loukas. This will be Loukas’ first solo exhibition in North America.
Panayiotis Loukas’ oil on canvas paintings tread in dream-like realms that muddle our understanding of the strange and the familiar. Myriad narratives melt together in large-scale, highly detailed tableau; like an exuberant novelist, Loukas fashions scenes that, while seemingly ridiculous, reveal their meaning over time with a considered dose of imagination.
Loukas employs technical observation to concoct compositions that blend elements of psychedelia, folklore, horror, and popular culture. Many of the paintings on view in Blinded by choices hover in and around the domestic: a marble bathroom and a dish-cluttered kitchen sink become stages upon which troupes of peculiar objects cavort. Humans are scarce in this house taken over, though a lone figure appears in several paintings: shrouded and hiding, groggily coping with the surrounding activity.
Specific motifs recur throughout Loukas’ scenes: anthropomorphic fruit, flowers, and glass bottles find themselves among dancing animals, shoes, and dripping, smoking candles. Four small paintings in the exhibition feature close-crops of these bottles and candles, their undulating surfaces glinting with animacy and action. Together, all of these symbols give each painting the air of a cabinet of curiosity—collections of boundless association, lore, and meaning. As critic Chris Wiley observed in a 2019 review of the exhibition The Same River Twice, Loukas’ “harlequin-coloured scenes of priapic hex victims, oracular cats and a Croc-loving bathing Pan look like they should be airbrushed onto a T-shirt covered in lightning bolts.” It is in this sense that Loukas magics a paradoxical profusion of the high and low, history and allegory, reality and fantasy.
Panayiotis Loukas (b. 1975, Athens, GR) lives and works in Athens, Greece. His work was recently included in the exhibition The Same River Twice curated by Margot Norton and Natalie Bell, organized by DESTE Foundation and New Museum for the Benaki Museum, Athens (2019). Loukas has also exhibited at State of Concept, Athens (2019); Dio Horia, Mykonos (2015, 2017); Onassis Cultural Center, Athens (2016); Chalet Society, Paris (2015); Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria (2015); Family Business, New York (2013); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012, 2013); and The Breeder, Athens (2007, 2008), among others.