The Blender Gallery inaugurates the new season with an exhibition of contemporary art entitled "Highbreeds | Johnston Foster & Dionisios Fragias re-think contemporaneity by way of classical myths" curated by Megakles Rogakos. The show runs through October 30. This is the first exhibition undertaken by The Blender Gallery in collaboration with RARE Gallery, New York, paving the way for Blender's future collaborations with galleries from across the world.
In the accompanying exhibition catalogue Rogakos comments, "The exhibition's title, Highbreeds, is a pun that homophonously echoes the meaning of its progenitor term. This newly coined term connects to the Duchampian ethos in the work of the two participating artists - Johnston Foster (b. 1978) and Dionisios Fragias (b. 1971) - both tinkerers and manipulators of differing methods and materials. Moreover, the title hints at the refreshing new ways in which they incorporate mythology into their works."
The exhibited works are envisaged to present, on the one hand, a contemporary take on archetypal hybrids and, on the other hand, newly devised hybrids inspired by our time. They exemplify the latest international trends in fine art production - appropriation of discarded industrial material by Foster and state-of-the-art water-jet cutting technology combined with traditionally painted reportage by Fragias. These works re-think contemporaneity by way of classical myths to yield new elements of comedy, satire, parody, and farce. Thus, the archetypal hybrids may be reborn in a way that may truly concern us and be relevant in our lives today.
Johnston Foster brings a long-lost sense of "handcrafted-ness" to his sculptures, which are created out of discarded, cast-off materials he finds strewn across highway medians, tossed into dumpsters, and abandoned in alleys. They are allegories for survival, ironically demonstrating how the essential materials of nature can be transformed to support human existence, but then are often recklessly consigned to the waste bin. In resurrecting these materials and transforming them into exaggerated and distorted creatures, Foster cautions us that disrespect for our environment can lead to some very unusual and unexpected consequences.
Dionisios Fragias' multimedia works, which are oil paintings on top of cut-out surfaces or assemblages, combine cultural, social, and political iconography from various phases of human history to comment upon human nature's cyclical and competing tendencies toward creation and destruction, focusing on how today's push toward technological advancement, while full of promise and hope, can be fraught with peril. His works often juxtapose elements from vastly separated time periods to indicate how throughout history various symbols by which societies measure and represent their respective ideals reveal the conflicting duality of mankind's nature.
In conjunction with the exhibition at Blender, Foster has created a sculpture begun in Nova Scotia, where he lives and works, and finished in Athens on the subject of the "Golden Fleece" which is currently on display at the InterContinetal Hotel (Athens). The making of this work has been filmed by Red Bull Media House and is to be included in a 10-episode documentary series titled State of Art. A major work by Fragias, a Cephalonia-born artist who lives and works in New York, is included in the collection of the DESTE Foundation. Both artists are represented by RARE Gallery, New York.
The Blender Gallery
Zisimopoulou 4, Glyfada, 11674, +30 213 0280597
Opening: Thursday, 18 September, 19:00
Monday - Thursday: 09:00 - 18:00, Friday - Saturday: 11:00 - 19:00