Mármol Rosa by Cypriot artist Christodoulos Panayiotou re-contextualizes and re-signifies personal and domestic elements that evoke Luis Barragan’s spirituality, sensibility and inspiration sources, at the time that are connected to a broader political, social and anthropological discourse.
The architect Luis Barragán nurtured his creativity by inhabiting and studying the cultures of Northern Africa, the Viceroyal Americas, and the native groups that inhabited Mexico during the pre-Columbian period. This spectrum of references produced a highly unique fusion, materializing his works through solid and closed constructions, but also through the paths of his wild and airy gardens.
The artist Christodoulos Panayiotou has developed a significant part of his artistic production as a critical reflection on the hegemonic historiographies and dominant narratives of his home country, Cyprus. Recasting objects and revisiting traditions within a contemporary framework and using elements such as copper, mosaic, and coats of gold leaf, Panayiotou focuses on identifying and uncovering hidden narratives in the visual records of history and time. With a sensibility and wonder akin to that in Luis Barragán’s constructions, Panayiotou arranges and devises installations to contain the energy that emanates from each object. Working with colors, materials, and lighting, Panayiotou successfully creates a subtle and critical atmosphere within the more charged surroundings of Casa Luis Barragán.
At Casa Luis Barragán, Panayiotou takes on specific interventions in the house’s architecture and garden, modifying their chromatic dispositions as well as their surface materials. To do so, he replaces, quotes, inverts, and devises analogies, exchanging household items with both prior and newly created artworks. The studio serves both as a storage space and an exhibition where the objects shift from their initial positions to be kept and installed elsewhere. This strictly formal exchange involves objects that Panayiotou had previously selected to substitute the house’s natural elements.
If Barragán explored the weight of every physical element with artistic rigor, investigating its possible relationship to religious and anthropological surroundings, Panayiotou extends this experience to political and cultural environments as well. As such, his works are activated and resignified in this highly specific and singular space.
1978 / Limassol, Cyprus
Christodoulos Panayiotou is an artist born at Limassol, Cyprus with initial education in choreography and anthropology that, in combination with performance and conceptual art, has developed a wide-ranging artistic career that focuses on the identification and uncovering of hidden narratives in the visual records of history and time.
His work continuously references the history, traditions and language of his hometown context in Cyprus. Nevertheless, his discourses also resonate with the narratives and concerns of contemporary world, taking Christodoulos Panayiotou to the top-list of the most recognized contemporary artists of his generation.
Solo exhibitions of his work have been held (amongst others) at the 56th Venice Biennial, The Cyprus Pavilion; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Kunsthalle Zürich; Casino Luxembourg; CCA Kitakyushu; Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Louis; Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig; Centre d’Art Contemporain de Brétigny; and at Point Center of Contemporary Art, Nicosia. His work was also shown in a number of group exhibitions including: the 13th Sharjah Biennial; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel; 8th Berlin Biennale; 7th Liverpool Biennial; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museion, Bolzano; Migros Museum, Zürich; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; Joan Miro Foundation, Barcelona; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Ashkal Alwan Center for Contemporary Arts, Beirut; Artist Space, New York; and MoCA, Miami.
© Estancia FEMSA, 2017. Photographs by Ramiro Chaves.