Mark Hajipateras: HABITATJune 4 - July 11, 2015
Hadjipateras pulls a tour de force with two cohesive bodies of work. We are entering into the artist’s Kingdom of Imagination: the culmination of years of developing a personal, unique land and its inhabitants, as well as their own aesthetic language.
New Yorkers familiar with the more than three decades of Mark Hadjipateras’s practice will not be totally alien to the habitat terrain, including the millions who for the past 15 years have seen his mosaics on the 28th Street Broadway subway station. Each Habitat (two 8’ square metal platforms rising slightly off the floor thus transforming the viewer into a flying observer) is occupied by some 50 grayish-black-stained cast aluminum elements of seemingly endless variation.
Hybrid archetypal figures (anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and natural) leap off the pages of children’s books, works of science fiction, epics, myths, rituals, narrating, in a democratic vernacular language, timeless situations of human existence in a mythical country without borders.
We discern a continuity and interconnectivity of different things; the importance of the notion of play; the cartoon-like figures and the optimistic, almost childlike sensation they exude; the pairing of technology and nature, the personal and universal, familiarity and strangeness.
Equally dynamic and integral to the exhibition are his bold and iconic black and white canvases, all from 2015. They comprise strong and forward solitary forms that are both riveting and Zen-like. They appear to have ritualistic and shamanistic qualities. Biological resemblances as well as geometric shapes recall architectural elements and mechanisms from both past and future cultures. These canvases are kindred spirits to the sculpture in this exhibition. The forms, rendered in black chiaroscuro, are equally established, definite and full of intrigue and wonder.
Mark Hadjipateras was born and raised in London. He lives in New York and Athens. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions including: Queens Museum of Art, Cooper Union, Alternative Museum, in NY, The State Museum of Cont. Art and The Macedonian Museum in Thessaloniki and The Benaki Museum in Athens. His works are in important public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, Zimmerli Art Museum, NJ, IDS/American Express, NY, Prudential Insurance Corporation, NY, Princeton University Art Museum, NJ, The Royal Bank of Scotland, U.K., Ernst & Young, Athens, Athens Municipality, Basil & Elize Goulandris Foundation, Daki s Joannou Collection, and The Vorres Museum.
In 2000, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of the N.Y.C. commissioned Hadjipateras to create a permanent installation comprising of 40 mosaics for the 28th Street of the Broadway line subway.