Critics’ Picks

Loukia Nicolaedes, The Two Orphans, n.d, oil on canvas, 37 x 25."

Nicosia

“Displays”

Point Centre for Contemporary Art
2, Evagorou Avenue Megaro Hadjisavva
May 21 - July 20

A fresh perspective is taking place in an evolving exhibition of art on loan from the Cypriot State Collection of Contemporary Art. Chosen by twenty-seven participants from a range of disciplines, such as art history, archaeology, and dance, these works will be displayed in stages, forming a group exhibition with accompanying events to produce a lively discourse. The undated Gauguinesque painting The Two Orphans by Loukia Nicolaedes, with its earth-toned depiction of two young girls with distant gazes, might act as apt entrée into this multifaceted presentation. The painting’s subdued focus emphasizes personalities over circumstances, causing it to eclipse the more traditional and generic social-realist works the collection has in abundance, like an enlarged portrait of the country’s first president Archbishop Makarios III titled Makarios, 1979. This image, attributed to the photo agency Foto-Cine, is in fact a photograph of a reverential painting of the nation’s leader by C. Averkiou. Considering that Makarios was a spiritual and political leader who had a major impact on this island nation and whose policies are still being debated today, it’s fitting that such straightforward works are presented as they create a juxtaposition with the more conceptual works on view.

Of this latter category, see Savvas Christodoulides’s sculpture Thesi se Kipo (Seat in a Garden), 2007, a graceful, if perilous throne whose seating angle indicates the potential for a fall; it boasts a lofty perch bookended with winged birds roosting on pieces of rough wood held by clamps. Upstairs, another form of control is taking place in Haris Epaminonda’s mesmerizing video, Nemesis 52, 2003, showing a performer’s hands in latex gloves parting silk drapery in a game of exposure and hiding, which becomes highly sexualized because of the mirror-image effect added in postproduction. While Vera Hadjida’s hard-edge diamond-shaped canvas Untitled, 1973, whose geometric composition is split down the middle and repeated, relates only formally to Epaminonda’s video, it is another example of contrasting works shown not to create a harmonious grouping but to reevaluate each piece based on its own merit.