ALEXI TSIORIS | MYTHOS ALPHA
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and, as a Greek numeric sign, has a value of 1. In his second solo exhibition Mythos Alpha at Livie, sculptor and painter Alexi Tsioris presents his mythical, hieroglyphic and poetic efforts at establishing a mark making vocabulary. Tsioris’ work is always rooted in the act of drawing, from which his work is translated into painting, monotype and sculpture. His new works focus on the painter’s mark making vocabulary: on the one hand, there is a concentration in his drawing; a conglomeration of constant overwriting and, at the same time, an unexpected expansion onto which the working process is allowed to unfold.
Total concentration and density, alongside absolute lightness and delicacy, move rhythmically towards and away from each other on the painting’s surface, almost as if it was within an interior. The depicted body works intensively and appears light on the exterior. It is a trajectory towards infinite overwriting, becoming itself a conglomerate of signs. The mark in the picture initially has no meaning beyond a dense corpus of lines and only becomes a form of the figure when assembled. As soon as one searches too closely, however, one no longer finds anything concrete: in Tsioris’ painting, certainty dips away just before recognition and returns to its own formal language. Color fills in what threatens to fall apart. It consolidates the form of the linear overwritings. Oil crayon and oil paint lay themselves as soft pastel tones into the overwritings, sage-green and peach-pink fill spaces of the almost-there, when color and line become alphabet.
In this charged space, energy is exuded through transparent, line-based overlay via layering, linear overdrawing, and overwriting. The gentle line softly transfers fine drawings, which lie iridescent on the surface of the canvas and momentarily reveal themselves. They rest so tenderly that they almost leave the reduced and gauzy background of the picture. In this rhythm, Tsioris develops a formal language that immediately vanishes the moment it is created: these are ephemeral paintings.
Tsiori’s works tell of the cryptic in art, the archaic, of a universe that develops out of itself. The artist describes this process as organic, one that takes place when he wants to preserve moments in time. This assembling of discrete instances allows Tsioris to perpetually reduce and reconfigure them.
In this fragility, the line reveals itself again, as it balances delicately on the canvas, on the verge of breaking. The line remains clear, and is re-engaged by the painter, as he collects its fragments and reassembles them.
Marlene A. Schenk, translated by Caspar Livie
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Alexi Tsioris, born 1982 in Athens, lives and works in Munich. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich from 2002-2009, where he was a master student with Professor Nikolaus Gerhart in 2008, he received a DAAD scholarship, which took him to Tokyo in 2009. His most recent solo exhibitions were with Encounter Contemporary, London, Livie Fine Art, Zurich Jahn und Jahn, Munich and the Kunstpavillon Alter Botanischer Garten, Munich. Having been awarded the Art Prize of the Bayerischen Akademie der Schönen Künste in Munich in 2011, the artist also received the Bayerischen Kunstförderpreis für Bildende Kunst in 2019.
Installation views by Esther Mathis