REVIEWS

ROMANTICISM AND EMOTION

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Tree line
The heritage of Romanticism can be seen most clearly in the astonishing pictures of Stavros Kotsireas, which are nocturnally illuminated by a gold full moon. A painter of colour, more then anything else, where objects lose their shape but suggest a lot more than their identity.

His colour palette is most often composed of dark blue, green, orange, and yellow, twilight's and dawns full of mystery and melancholy, nostalgia and love for the homeland which is far away, yet always in his heart and mind.

The divide between reason and imagination tents to dissolve the tradition of the myth and legend, which was the commonly held belief of earlier times: as a lyric poet may use the plainest words, Kotsireas' simple shapes sum up a wealth of experience and sensation.

Without hesitation Kotsireas transforms clouds, hills, trees, rocks, and little islands, into simple and bold areas. The time of the day he selects to portray his subjects, helps him in his choice of composition, because details are eliminated and silhouettes sketched geometrically, simple and in relief, as if he is trying to sculpt with his brush and colour. In its calculated irrationality there is liberation, a voyage into unknown provinces of a creative mind.

In Stavros Kotsireas' work, expression, abstraction and fantasy coexist. The first stresses the artist's emotional attitude towards himself and the world; the second, the formal structure of the work of art; and the third, which characterizes him the most, explores the realm of the imagination, especially its spontaneous and irrational qualities, the personal labyrinth of the human thought. We must not forget, however, that feeling, order and imagination are all present in every work of art. Without imagination, it would be deadly dull; without some degree of order, it would be chaotic; without feeling it would leave us unmoved.

In summary, Romanticism and emotion has challenged the artist to seek out subjective experience and to accept its validity.

(Exhibition catalog, Gallery Titanium,
Athens, Greece, 1996 )
15 June 1996, Athens , Greece.

Betty Giatrakou
Art Historian