of the present time

...worlds at times real and at others imaginatively reconstructed, landscapes untouched by time and unaffected by the bulldozing effect of the logical process. Vague, composite landscapes of accumulated memory entrenched in the two-dimensional surface of the canvas and visualised with expressionist immediacy; the witnesses of an idiosyncrasy striving to discover its own singular reality. Conception, sensation and knowledge converse, impregnating the images with forms of abstract origin which at times glide smoothly past and at others hitch on the viewer's eyes. Alchemic concoctions of colours and intertwining colours forming a nexus, forging unheralded explosions; colours that shatter, that are torn into pieces, that interweave or cancel each other out recreating living images of a nature that is eternally metamorphosing, a nature that is ever changing distancing itself from the idealistic representations of classical landscape painting. Refuting the terms set by the sensible world, Maria Kompatsiari forces the relationship between empirical reality and reality as it is depicted in art to a redefinition. The anonymous landscapes migrate to the surface of the canvas and are condensed within the boundaries set by the quadrilateral frame, in a descriptive rendering alienated from realistic actuality yet at the same time containing it. Taking advantage of light - a unifying factor in her works - in all its chromatic successions, the artist sacrifices the outlines of form and structures her compositions utilising the tectonic quality of colour. Solid forms are dismantled giving birth to structures and shapes of unpredictable intensity. Details are abandoned and neglected in favour of a scale that is surreal.

Flexible gestural brushstrokes moving back and forth and spontaneously vigorous paintbrush lines transforms the immobility of the form into a mystical exaltation of colours that unceasingly record memory traces of a personal life experience. Chromatic quests, head-on colour collisions as well as their harmonic associations construct undisciplined surfaces of dynamic intensity. Unassuming, the gesture forges new paths, taking advantage of the contrasts and inwardness of the flowing painting material, which at times by augmenting and at times by neutralising its intensity, alternates the indistinct and the definite by utilising the memory's associations and inwardness. Flexible gestural script and abstract thought redefine the objects' hidden features, striving towards a dialogue between the accidental and the controlled, between free and structured flow of colour, composing a personal vocabulary, a vehicle by means of which her research in contemporary artistic speculation can take place.

Adding the finishing touches to her artistic formulation, Kompatsiari uses prestudied changes in the flow of her script, consciously aspiring to adopt a code of communication with the viewer of her works, a code distinguished for its variety and ambiguity. Engaging in an intense, fruitful experimentation and a creative quest for new ways of composing her morphoplastic language, she proceeds to utilise the expressive potential of her very own materials to their fullest extent. Shifting from one paintng to another, and without abandoning the expressionist character that defines her overall style, she completes compositions that become progressively more complex. The unpredictable spontaneity of the expressionist script is trapped in diligent preliminary sketches, an efficacious "ploy" in her effort to cancel out potential errors in the actual painting process. Yet, the individual "ethereal" consistency of the light oil-based ink, which bolsters the impression and which, in underlining the dream-like quality, emphasises the atmosphere's transparence with sensitivity, minimises the possibility of covering even the slightest painting error. Hence, before the stimulus is transformed into a plastic event, the painting's multi-neural planes are diligently staged, the compositional structure learns to artfully obey the commands of design, and the unforeseen orientation of line is cancelled so as to obey the controlled eddying of a more limited range of colours. The sole silent yet present note of “discord” in the exalting structured character of the ensemble, the immaterial structures which silently allude to revolving spaces, unseen semiological scripts, vibrations of meanings and intimations of colour, carried as another kind of visual text; as unseen wisps of post-dated memories in the present tense, of the present time...

Anna Matzaridou
Art Historian / Curator 2001