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Cannabis is in the air, from an October issue of Bloomberg Businessweek (with a cover that reads “Pot of Gold? ELEVATE YOUR PORTFOLIO!”) to Canada’s recent legalization of the substance. Chrysanne Stathacos’s ivy and marijuana paintings, made in 1990 and now on view here, champion the healing properties of the plant avant la lettre, anticipating today’s global decriminalization and legalization movement.Exhibited for the first time, the artist’s canvases bring to mind the work of Joan Mitchell and Pat Steir with their verticality and abstract botanical forms. Stathacos uses a range of techniques—etching press, silk screen, and the direct printing of leaves, roses, and hair—to build layered surfaces. These processes coalesce in Potted Passion #2, where directly printed images of marijuana leaves, in black and white, hover over patches of ivy (an evergreen that symbolizes eternity and the strength of friendship) rendered in blue. At the edges of the canvas, the white marijuana leaves take on a spectral character, as they almost disappear into the work’s pale ground. The late artist and activist Jorge Zontal, a member of the queer art collective General Idea, provided Stathacos with the cannabis plants, which he grew in his garden apartment (Zontal died in 1994 from AIDS-related complications). Stathacos’s works, produced during a time of indelible loss, are not only diaristic but funerary.

Mysticism and spirituality have long informed Stathacos’s practice, and her shadowy, elemental depictions of nature in reds, golds, silvers, blacks, and whites lend themselves to a shamanistic reading. In these canvases, altered consciousness becomes a mode of witness and remembrance.

Pleased to announce my one person exhibition,  DO I STILL YEARN FOR MY VIRGINITY?  


at SITUATIONS, 127 HENRY STREET, NEW YORK NY 10002 

  October 20 – November 25  , Opening Reception, October 21, 6 – 8 pm

SITUATIONS is pleased to present Do I Still Yearn for My Virginity?, a solo exhibition by Chrysanne Stathacos, comprised of pivotal printed paintings of ivy and marijuana leaves from the early 1990’s.

The title Do I Still Yearn for My Virginity?* refers to one of the artist’s favorite fragments from the archaic Greek poet Sappho. Stathacos recited excerpts from Sappho’s poetry during her recent performance-installation, Pythia’s Rose Mandala at AA Bronson’s Garten der Lüste, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin and Pythia at The Breeder, Athens. The Pythia references the tripod structures used in ancient Delphi by the ‘virgin’ female oracles who inhaled the vapors of hallucinatory plants. Reflecting on her past, Stathacos presents the paintings as ‘virgins’ to the public for the first time at Situations. While imagining The Eleusinian Mysteries, she created these radical works with the intention to evoke a shamanistic reading. Made in the 1980-90’s as a counterpoint to the Neo Geo and The Pictures Generation commentaries on consumerism and mass media, her investigation explored the spiritual properties inherent in visionary and healing plants.

Additionally, the AIDS crisis had a profound effect on her work, resulting in the use of direct impressions from nature. Just as one would take a handprint or make a death mask, Stathacos used leaves, roses, hair, and body imprints to create permanent marks, inspired by The Shroud of Turin and Yves Klein/s  work. Stathacos’ use of mirroring and patterning of direct printing from the plants manifests a sense of immediacy. She paints back into the canvas, creating an illumination by her use of drips and veils of paint. The final results are paintings that flip directions in the mind, with detailed alchemical gestures that conjure the plant’s inherent healing properties.

Situations is also pleased to reprint Chrysanne Stathacos and Anne De Cybelle, AA Bronson’s preface in her artist book, And So Beautiful (1995, Lombard Freid Fine Arts, NYC). AA Bronson references Stathacos’ self-created alter ego Anne de Cybelle and reveals her as the Psychic d’Elle Arte. Stathacos continues to embrace her Anne de Cybelle, the Psychic d’Elle Arte, and Pythia personages.

Pythia Rose Mandala, Chrysanne Stathacos @ AA Bronson’s Garten Der Luste
Photo © Andrea Rossetti
Courtesy KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, and Esther Schipper, Berlin.

 

Pythia’s Rose Mandala at AA Bronson’s Garten Der Luste, KW, Berlin

 

“Pythia’s Rose Mandala” at The Breeder, Athens, Photo-Andreas Angelidakis

Pythia, The Breeder, Athens, 2017

The Breeder is pleased to present Chrysanne Stathacos’s (b. 1951) first solo presentation in Greece. Titled Pythia.

The Pythia’s Rose Mandala is exhibited in the gallery’s ground floor. The Rose Mandala series was originally created to be presented to the Dalai Lama in 2006 for his visit at the University of Buffalo; the Mandalas have been featured in numerous international exhibitions such as AA Bronson’s Garden of Earthly Delights, Kunstverein Salzburg, 2015; Sacre du Printemps, Kunstverein Graz, 2015; The Temptation of AA Bronson, Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, 2013 and will also be included in AA Bronson’s upcoming exhibition at KW Institute of Contemporary Art Berlin in 2018.

The titular “Pythia” is a bonze tripod censer, placed in the centre of the installation and referencing the tripod structures used in ancient Delphi by female oracles. For Stathacos, these bronze structures reference ancient female spirituality – the oracle that prophesies the future and also heals certain pasts. Her use of the Pythia is an act of feminist reclamation of this spiritual ancestry.

This installation is initiated and concluded by a time-based performative ritual. Departing from the historical mandala structure, Stathacos plucks dozens of roses apart petal by petal, laying them in a circular formation around a colored mirror, at the center of which stands a Pythia censer. Stathacos invites her audience to participate in the place-setting ritual by engaging them in conversation throughout. This has been described by AA Bronson as an act of ‘public service’. The space is redolent with the scent of roses. Throughout the exhibition these petals are left to dry and although the mandalas maintain their colour, they gradually reduce in size. Included in the exhibition are paintings, Rose Dance and Pythia’s Scroll, which are made thought Stathacos unique use of printmaking techniques on canvas and linen.

Press-  Top 12 Must-See Art Exhibitions in Europe this September – Blouin Artinfo

Most Interesting Exhibitions in 2017 – Culture Now Greece 


Oracle Drawings:

The Parliament of Bodies, The Public Programs of documenta 14, July 2017

“Oracle drawings” is a project initiated and curated by Sozita Goudouna and Paul B. Preciado. It consists of a collaborative staging of a public participatory installation by Karen Finley and Adonis

Volanakis and an introductory ritual,  Pythia’s Warm Breath, by Chrysanne Stathacos for The Parliament of Bodies, the Public Programs of documenta 14, and the specific context of Parko Eleftherias.

Working with her text “Delphi, The Womb of the Eurotic World” and Par Lagerkvist’s “The Sibyl,” Chrysanne Stathacos creates a ritual of breathing, meditation and healing with herbs and essential oils that prepares the environment. The project draws from the feminist tradition and takes as a starting point Pythia’s myth and the prophecy as a narrative that foretells the future but also forecloses or heals a certain past. What happens when the door is closed? What remains when our paths have to break apart?


Frieze NY, 1-900 Mirror Mirror at The Breeder , May, 2017

1-900 Mirror Mirror (1993) was shown at Frieze NY with The Breeder, Athens from May 5- May 7th  –  we had the interactive component readings on every day for two hours – with famous psychics and artists! 1-900 Mirror Mirror was well received and on the front page of The Art Newspaper Frieze and selected as one of the 10 Best by iD  ,  and Wallpaper .  Art News featured The Golden Thread from the recent Greek India Series . Here is the link to the book on the history of the project 1993-96 – With text by AA Bronson and photographs by Maxine Henryson.  Frieze Highlights and Looking Forward from Stefan Kalmer  and The Culture Files ..


Political Gestures,  Galerie Heike Strelow, Frankfurt, 2017

The international exhibition “Political Gestures” is the second of three exhibitions that Galerie Heike Strelow has conceived to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The works shown in this exhibition explore the relationship between the individual, society and the environment in different forms. They raise questions about migration, transculturality and demarcation, but also about personal and collective identity. In doing so, they challenge the viewer, at times in a subtle and at time in a very direct way, to consider his position regarding this questions.

The exhibition will include works by Barbara and Michael Leisgen, George Steinmann and Chrysanne Stathacos, who were already dealing in the 70s and 80s in their work with political and personal identity questions. Their works will be presented in discourse with works by emerging and established artists, like the Syrian artist Khaled Barakeh, the British artist Zavier Ellis, the Venezuelan artist Jose Vivenes, the American artist Travis Somerville as well as the German artists Fides Becker, Goekhan Erdogan, Katrin Ströbel and Hendrik Zimmer. During the opening, Chrysanne Stathacos will do a performance.


More News 

Chez Anne – Athens

Art Forum – Kpisis Management by Andrew Durbin –  mention of  performance Chez Anne

Tht Temptation of AA Bronson: A Finissage Witte de With, Rotterdam

The Rose Mirror Mandala (of three reflections for HHDL)” in “The Temptation of AA Bronson”, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Press

Artforum κρίσις 

The Wish Machine in the Toronto Star 

Rose Mirror Mandala installations in Metropolis M , Hyperallergic & here- the Consolation of Temptation , All is Full of Love Art in AmericaArt Forum  Phantasmaphile, and  Springerin.

The Rose Mandala series  and the inspiration behind them was featured in the September 2013  issue of Shambhala Sun

A mention of 466 Bathurst early history in Toronto in Kathy Acker goes to Toronto in Canadian Art

The Banquet inspired  Abby Hertz in  Cosmopolitan   – “Hertz credits the inspiration for the dinner portion of the evening from past works by artists Méret Oppenheim, and Hunter Reynolds and Chrysanne Stathacos,

Flower Power in  whitehotmagaizne by Robert Mahoney, and  the Lincoln Star Journal by   L. Kent Wolgamott.

Floating poems  – Los poemas flotantes de Chrysanne Stathacos

The  Rose Mirror Mandala series at  Salzburger Kunstverein (AA Bronson’s Garden of Earthly Delights)

and Grazer Kunstverein, (AA Bronson’s Sacre du Printemps).

Flower Power,  Fiendish Plots in Lincoln, Nebraska 

The Baby Wish Machines  in  The Botanica”, Carroll and Sons, Boston and Invisible Exports, NYC,

The Rose Mandala Mirror ( of Three Reflections)   in The Temptation of AA Bronson at the Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam

New Publications

Were You Here, (1984-2015) with xxx/888 books and Ho Tam

Delphi: The Womb of the Eurotic World, EROS, Scapegoat Journal, Spring, 2016