Vangelis Rinas "Passages: Loss, Search and Ascent"

Elga Wimmer PCC

poster for Vangelis Rinas "Passages: Loss, Search and Ascent"

This event has ended.

In Vangelis Rinas’ works the word passages refers to the transition, metamorphosis or evolution from reality to dream, two and three dimensional, real and constructed object/space. The viewer is captivated by Rinas’ ambiguities, allegories and analogies necessitating re-visiting his works both to clearly ascertain their meaning and to admire their eloquent virtuosity. His mixed media painting The Other Half, 2011 in its matte turquoise color and dry tone looks like a Roman fresco of Livia’s Garden. Were it not for the two buildings on the bottom left and the angel form on top, it would definitely appear to have come from a painter of that Roman school. However, the houses are veristically rendered multi-storied edifices, and the angel is Christian thus post-dating the Roman frescoes, and painted in faded outline. This quality, like most of Rinas works, rather than providing answers to our questions, contributes to our sense of need to return to it, in order to puzzle out its enigmas.

Ancient and Modern Eleusis, 2012 offers us a panoramic view of the city where the religious mysteries took place in ancient Greece. And, although it seems literal in its depiction of broken marbles and antique columns in the foreground with the modern city in the background, it is anything but. The abandoned temple marbles appear to be in danger of re-inhabiting the earthen soil. Their former splendor is barely signaled by the scattered layers of rock as they appear and disappear in the piles of dust. Eleusis was locus of agrarian syncretic traditions based on the Goddesses Demeter and Persephone dating back to about 1500 B.C.E. espousing the idea of immortality. Rinas paints modern Eleusis in the background as the industrialized modern city of today with its oil refineries, shipbuilding docks, and buildings, rendering it in a sharper more linear style than the ancient city in the foreground. Eleusis today is the epitome of industrialized landscape and the exact opposite of its ancient historical counterpart. Given that the spiritual part in Rinas’ work is seen as the ancient ravaged city, juxtaposed upon the modern more solidly painted Eleusis, we can conclude that he’s making a statement about the loss of spirituality in the modern age.

Indeed this leitmotif of spiritual vs material, and juxtaposition of solid vs immaterial, soft vs hard, dark vs light is seen in Rinas’ total oeuvre. However, in Rinas’ painting and sculpture installations this is far from resulting in simple dualisms for they are extremely complex. Rinas offers us puzzles that in seeking interpretation enrich the viewer’s life.



from May 02, 2012 to May 31, 2012

Opening Reception on 2012-05-03 from 18:00 to 20:00


Vangelis Rinas

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