Byzantine Icons in the Postmodern World
April 14 – 25 (closed Easter Sunday)
Gallery Hours: 3-6 PM M-F; 12-4 PM Sat-Sun
During Holy Week, the gallery will be open from 12:30-1:30 PM for prayer, meditation, and reflection
Byzantine icon painting has had a long journey through the centuries, being shaped and reshaped to respond to the needs and expectations of its users through time. The body of work presented here examines creative ways of continuing the Byzantine tradition while enriching it with contemporary art elements. In exploring the potential of Byzantine icon painting in a postmodern context, Kordis’ work highlights the concept of the body and the body’s relation to the sacred, and aims at establishing corporeal connections between the image and the beholder. The space of the icon is marked by the presence of the body as a unified whole that is created by parts in pictorial discourse. Kordis’ work is characterised by a focus on the visualization of unity and harmony by means of the body, a quality that is achieved through the application of rhythm and the use of light. In bringing every element of the icon into dialogue with each other, the image is reshaped into a locus of pictorial interaction that is not confined within the limits of the canvas. Through rhythm and light, the images acquire a third dimension and exit the painting surface to unite with the beholder in space and time. Kordis’ radiant images, suffused with the numinous presence of the Imaged, can be understood as domains of interactive communication that facilitate the beholder’s corporeal encounters with the intangible bodies of the holy persons. Being anchored in Byzantine tradition and at the same time exceeding its limits, Kordis’ work challenges conventional ways of looking at Byzantine icon painting and embodies an ongoing dialogue between the material and the immaterial body.
~Sotira Kordi, Ph.D. candidate, University of Leeds, UK