Art as language

The chaos created by these lines is almost always surrounded by a frame, which alienates and protects it from the painter’s written word. Her words are also in chaotic form. Their aim is not to offer an explanation, therefore they are illegible. Their existence is purely symbolic. You feel lost in the symbols and the letters in the same way you feel exposed among the spiral lines. Although these symbols are drawn from dead languages and science, they are recognizable only as figures and their meaning is totally.Color, space, design and light are words, which compose the language of art. This language is the means to transmit the artist’s thoughts and emotions to the audience. In everyday and written speech, we communicate through sounds and symbols, which follow strict codes and principles. There are no such codes and principles in art. It is a sophisticated language where anything is possible and the messages we receive can be interpreted in thousands of ways. What happens though when written words intervene on the artist’s canvas? More specifically, what is Maria Kompatsiari trying to present with her? And what urged her to give words to her art?

Maria’s work can be separated into two parts. One part is dominated by the presence of line. It is conceived as a trace left by a point in motion. In geometry, the line has no width; it can only be straight or curved. In art, however, it can appear in various forms. It can be delicate and symmetrical or thick, forceful and threatening. Maria’s lines are fine and intense at the same time. Their movement suggests momentum and their appearance causes tension and confusion. The first word that comes to mind is “maze” making us wonder whether the artist invites us to lose ourselves in this complex pattern, those endless passages she has created. We know that the main characteristic of a maze is the fact that although an exit does exist, it’s almost impossible to find.

So what is this disorder all about? Is It her concern about death or the representation of contemporary reality? Is it her need to point out the sense of a dead end or just statements from her unconscious? We have all stood in front of an abstract painting at some point in our lives, wondering what the image might signify. Each one of us has a different view. The process reminds us of staring at the clouds pondering over their various formations. Is then meaningful to reach a common conclusion? The answer is no and that is where the magic of art lies, in the fact that each person can develop their own interpretation and give their own answers through an artist’s work. Philosophers have argued that art does not serve a specific purpose; it just exists for its own sake. In trying to analyze it too closely, we lose sight of its self-existence. With reference to this aspect, Maria Kompatsiari reveals that creating these random formations is a whole new experience for her. The irregular lines cover each other creating complicated webs, which give the sense of depth and chaos at the same time. She calls them ribbons, routes and encourages people to get lost in them.
unknown to us.

The fact is that there are many aspects to the use of symbolism in art. Maria uses it to disassociate herself from the intimacy created between her and her audience. She won’t reveal space or place. Her ulterior purpose, which is expressed and materialized through the use of these symbols, is to evoke feelings. Her art is expressed by bringing out various personal considerations, through colors, shapes and symbols, enabling the audience to get in touch with the secret and mystic side of visual reality.

Anastasia Charmousi 2004
Art Historian