‘Conceivably, drawing may be the most haunting obsession the mind can experience’
- Paul Valéry
Christiana Soulou’s first solo show at Sadie Coles HQ comprises a recent series of her deceptively delicate drawings. While drawing has recently experienced a renewed importance in the art world as a primary rather than a secondary medium, for Soulou it has always been an exquisite end in itself.
The title of the show, inspired by an Emily Dickinson poem, is evocative of both Soulou’s strong literary grounding as well as her fascination with the enigma of death.
Born of her hazy obsessions, for the most part focusing on the human body, Soulou’s activity is investigative, diagrammatic, at times bordering on the anatomical. Indeed, in her writings Soulou reflects on the studies of curvilinear perspective by the sixteenth-century Clouet brothers and twentieth century mathematician Gödel Kurt’s incompleteness theorem. Yet with bones made visible, faces disappearing, and limbs silently absent, her images have an intoxicating effect that regularly leads the viewer to lay personal claim to the visions they perceive. Often described as ghostly but with an assuredness of line firmly grounded in the present, Soulou’s drawings possess a curious permanence. Haunting and insistent, the intensity of Soulou’s drawings is formidable.
Christiana Soulou was born in Athens in 1961. She studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts, Paris. She has staged two solo shows in Athens (2003, 2006, Galerie 3) and one in Paris (2004, Galeries Samy Kinge). She has participated in group exhibitions including em>Petite impertinence, Cachan, France (1996), and Panic Room: Works from The Dakis Joannou Collection, DESTE, Athens (2005), Dream & Trauma: Works from The Dakis Joannou Collection, Vienna (2007). She also took part in Of Mice and Men, the 4th Berlin Bienniale. A new book of the artist’s writings is being published by DESTE, to complement the foundation’s current exhibition Fracture: Figure (2007). She lives and works in Athens.