From the Tangible to the Immaterial

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The poetry of the body, at the pulse of the soul and at the inventive border between tangible reality and immaterial metaphysics, reaches a sustained climax in the recent compositions by Andreas Nicolaou, as these are presented in his most recent individual exhibition at Skoufa Hall.

Surpassing his previous work and in uniform cohesion with his immediately preceding compositions, Nicolaou now manages to incarnate in his female and male nudes light itself or, better, the aura of the soul, which he exclusively decodes in his oil paintings and sketches. Suggestive, sensual as well as conceptual ideograms, his nudes uplift us spiritually as well as emotionally to the point that they offer us the calmest and most representative taste possible of cosmogony itself in its most perceptible dimension to the viewer. Inventively developed either in friezes or in a self-propelled, cyclical, supine, and winding momentum-the present self-illuminated forms break through and, at the same time, annul their dark background so as to create and develop a singular space, an unorthodox yet real, by analogy, atmosphere.

It is an atmosphere nurtured by the dynamism of the forms, by their psychic vigor and bodily vitality. Characteristically, these mobile and pulsing nudes par excellence, whirl, suspend, and advance through inexhaustible inventive solutions; forms like severe testimonies and, simultaneously, dynamic actors of fate itself with everything that it entails in principle, rhythm, and expression; forms created through color-light, sometimes in a more direct and smooth scripture and sometimes through an idiomatic handling of the exceedingly mobile, pulsing trace-in a more dramatic mode. These are forms that, in every case, bring us into communion with the authentically poetic message of the gifted artist.

The human drama is evoked here as ingeniously and as austerely as possible through the pose, the impetus, and the illumination of a nude body that determines the entire atmosphere enveloping it. This human drama touches us timely and gravely, self-propelled through its activated associations even when divorced from the supportive titles (as in Deposition for example). Just as the human body is deposited in the manner that the artist has perceived it (as in the compositions by the same title), that very same body lives, throbs, and breathes with the rhythm of nature, yet enveloped in a metaphysical aura.

The seated, half-naked, poetic female form projects, at once, an image of a funeral stele and of a living presence, of an incarnation of destiny itself and of human solitude. The young naked man in "Ascension" embodies a vibrant metaphysical evocation, formed as he is through the activating light of the universe. Evocative in the extreme are also the male as well as male and female composites which are assembled and activated out of the darkness so as to render light, hope, and the victory of the spirit manifest through the flesh and not independently from it. It is an evocation that purifies the body by recreating through it and rendering manifest, in an unprecedented way, the aura of the soul. Such manifestation renders the work of A. Nicolaou a superlative, cosmogonic expression of the very sensation of life in all its dimensions. This manifestation is realized irrespective of whether life s dimensions are directly perceptible to us or whether they overwhelm our limited capabilities.

Decoded, the pulsing of the soul itself shines forth here through the poetic inspiration and a highly qualified metier. This pulsing, though orchestrated independently in each composition, defines comprehensively as well, in constant unfolding and in their entirety, the compositions of Nicolaou. In this manner, we read here progressively the multivalent message of the artist and, encouraged by the inventively orchestrated rhythm of his vision, trace out our own corresponding psychic pulses.

This process reveals the full spectrum of the charismatic communication that Andreas Nicolaou consolidates through the decoding of the very Idea of each of his stimulus; ingenious in the extreme, this "Idea" is suggested to us by the brush, or rather, by the very "soul" of the artist.

Dora Eliopoulou-Rogan
Dr. Art Historian and Art Critic