Patrick Michalopoulos is a Greek-Australian London-based artist working with sculptural objects and drawing. For his solo show ‘Chamber’ ( Schwartz Gallery Project Space, London, 2011) he used reconfigured retro and replica furniture to craft nostalgic ‘furniture-plinths’ that were somewhat paradoxically dressed in chip-board. Reminiscent of packing cases or of boarded-up properties the chip-board acted as a counter-point to the intimacy of the furnishings normally found within or behind it. Integrated into singular structures these inverted ‘home-gallery furnishings’ were used to support arrangements of reclaimed cardboard boxes in a continuation of the artist’s interest in an ambiguous materiality. Wrapped in glossy white paper and re-claimed book pages the boxes continued the inter-play between ideas of packing and un-packing, states of permanence and impermanence and of simultaneously being inside and outside.
‘Unmaking’, 2012 forms part of a series of new works whereby Patrick Michalopoulos utilises materials familiar in his practice but moves away from the gestural approach evident in previous works and focuses on a more methodical and specific process of making letters in three dimensions to form phrases. Works engage the viewer in direct and playful linguistic terms that also operate in ways that are specific to objects unlocking and recapturing surrounding spaces. Often possessing a camp exuberance in their appearance works literally spell out words or phrases to do with more serious notions of the self or architecture presenting the viewer with conflicting and unexpected terms of engagement.
Patrick Michalopoulos creates small-scale drawings and paintings whose protagonists appear cartoon-like in their exaggerated forms. Emerging from gestural mark-making processes the resulting figures are at once traces of these actions as well as coded representations of human encounters. Conflicting senses of parody and of celebration give rise to strange human-like heroes and anti-heroes.
92 WHITE POST LANE