“Krokatsis is an artist who trades in the nature of change, using the currency of impermanence.” Edward Kelley
For his third solo show at Galeria Leme, Henry Krokatsis presents a materially disparate group of works.
Navigating between mediums, we’re confronted with two piles of crutches one of adult’s, one of children’s. These have been bright cast in aluminium and mirror polished. Referencing the crutches displayed in certain churches after being publicly cast off in gratitude when the user’s prayers to heal had been answered, these objects, more used to evoking human vulnerability and pity (particularly the children’s), are transformed into symbols of hope for others who also have prayers to be answered.
Krokatsis takes this transformation and pushes it towards the immaculate, remaking these abandoned objects in a highly polished, industrial form, simultaneously pushing them towards the symbolic by reducing their effective functionality.
Similarly appearing to hover at the intersection of the spiritual and the mundane are four window-like works that evoke church forms (two round ‘ocular’ and two upright with rounded tops) and are leaded like stained glass. Glazed in geometric patterns, but relaxed hand drawn versions, that make an off kilter approximation, instead of stained glass we find panels cut from found glass and discarded mirrors.
The window form offers itself readily for Krokatsis’ handling. Beyond its place as a functioning component, it plays a rich metaphorical role as a threshold between different worlds. From Leon Battista Alberti’s assertion of the painting as an open window (De Pictura 1435) through to the Romantics use of it to symbolize the expansive gaze, and in Christian allegory as the threshold to the absolute Other. From within this deep vein elements of the sublime are extracted and set in confrontation with reality.
Reflected across the space are a series of casts. Made from common household mirrors, each featuring small decorative effects such as a beveled edge or decorative clips. Now cast in an obdurate black rubber that kicks against the mirrors’ original qualities – of transparency (in all senses – in fairytales the mirror serves always as an instrument for establishing truth), of reflection, even of its fragility.
Although diverse in form, Krokatsis consistently chooses objects and methods of production dense with association. He loosens these connections, allows them to drift until they resettle in an unexpected, often disconcerting manner. It’s in this liquefaction and reconfiguration of the object and its place in the world that Krokatsis exposes the instability in how and where we choose to invest belief and value, whilst manifesting a quiet faith in the obsolete.
About the artist:
Henry Krokatsis (London, England, 1965). Lives and works in London.
Among his main shows there are the solos “Part Time Paradise”, David Risley Gallery, Copenhaguen, Denmark (2011); Galeria Leme, São Paulo, Brasil (2010); “New Acquisition”, New Art Gallery, Walsall, United Kingdom (2006); and the group shows “British”, Vigo Gallery, London, England (2012); “Themes & Variations. Script and Space”| Gastone Novelli and Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy (2011); “Still or Sparkling”, Gazelli Art House, London, England (2011); “Scarecrow”, Averoff Foundation, Metsovo, Greece (2006).