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Marianna Katsoulidi
  -  Reviews   -  Innocence – Restart «Web of Dreams»

Man is a being and a part of the nature, within which he exists, acknowledges and determines himself. There seems to be mutual respect then, since man is simultaneously attuned to nature and delivered through it. The only way to man’s entelechy arises through his relationship with nature.
The works of Marianna Katsoulidi breathe longing for a past alienated through time. The stills of her paintings seem petrified or made of stone, reminiscent of “magic”, lost, of ideal conditions. So, in gazing at these hints of life in her works, and as forms and circumstances depicted appear detached from space and time, we are potentially transferred to René Magritte and Paul Delvaux’ magic realism. This is further stressed by the lack of scenery in the background of the painting. These scenes, referring to lost innocence and purified in transparent clarity, are characteristic, as previously said, of a reconstructed, possibly magical, realism, intensified by the leisurely soft scent of the forms, which creates a hazy and at the same time, dreamy atmosphere.
At first glance, the paintings appear one-sided, but they essentially become, in a peculiar manner, mystifying, by giving out a rocky feeling which trembles cloaked in gallantry and lost values and – by extension, in innocence itself, personified in the figures.
In the end, the title of the show “Innocence – Restart” lies in something intimate. The painter explores the innermost being, the primal, original form of natural elements. She searches for the primordial element that has been entirely wiped out in present society, and she eloquently renders it in her painting, in a sequence, in the circle of life.
The figures – cubist but with expressionist extensions – often recall those of Franz Marc. Moreover, she takes us to the same leisurely and stoical surrounding air of Pablo Picasso’s blue period, and specifically to his painting Boy leading a horse. The colors that she uses are restricted to shades and blends of black and white (with soft traces of red in one of her works) with chiaroscuro. They stress the petrifaction, the lost aspect of life, where the passage of time – appearing so abstract and distant in the eyes of the modern spectator, who is bound to the social web – becomes evident. The influence of engraving is evident in her works, as the design is reminiscent of the art of woodcut. Evident is also the imitation of a dot matrix (raster graphics image), probably a result of her familiarity with the graphic arts.
In her works, ‘lurk’ sincerity and lucidity stripping the figures of any external intention or convention. Circumstances, animals, men, the element of nature are depicted precisely as they are. Clarity is the motivating force but there is allegorical inclination, namely zoomorphic symbolism. Men and animals of the same material coexist orchestrated in nature’s perpetual motion and incorporated in cosmic communion.

Helena Staikou
Art Historian