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2002 DOROTHEA KONTELETZIDOU

The work of Maria Kompatsiari usually consist of surfaces elaborated by the artist with great energy and a keen poetic sense. She draws her inspiration from those varied moments where the natural world allows her sensitivity to highlight new and original formations, suggestive juxtapositions and contrasts, landscapes that combine warmth and mystery. Objets of every description, orchestrated by colour and organized by material, isolated depictions – a flower, a bird, a human figure – are not composed as the constituents of a surrealist reference but as the elements comprising the sensory environment of the artist herself: lived experience, memories, reverie and reminiscences of an abstract dream world, all nurtured by poetic instinct and creative imagination. Through the painting techniques she employs and her choice of materials, her work acquires the identity of an indissoluble whole, at the same time endowed with a plasticity of composition which creates, through the dilution or density of the colour, a unique, dreamlike pulse. Well aware that painting – the two-dimensional surface – is just one more independent object, which does not re-present nature but instead presents a new object, Kombatsiari distances herself from the faithful reproduction of nature, for this itself is but another independent object. Liberated thus from thematic constraints, the artist is free to focus, indeed to concentrate hard, on her handling of the techniques involved in the application of colour.

Her basic materials are coloured inks, which lend her work the same associations as those of water colours, yet she stresses the difficulties inherent in the use of this material, as well as the opportunities for intervention through the use of other materials, such as oils. Despite the small dimensions she prefers, the space within her works is shaped in such a way that the material transparencies engender multiple fields allowing the eye to penetrate a world which transcends the bounds of matter.

Her work is eloquent testimony to the artist’s classical training in the mastery of colour, lines and ideas, and yet these have been transformed into a pretext and medium for a fantastic journey in which, amid the rhythms of light which the artist weaves, time is relegated to a level of only secondary significance.

Dorothea KonteletzidouArt historian/critic Thessaloniki 2000

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