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Shift Series (Horizontal / Vertical)

by: Roula Partheniou

Roula Partheniou’s largely sculptural practice centers on an exploration of the replica, calling into question the language of everyday objects and the ways that we read and decipher our environment. Her installations, which are often site-specific, utilize mechanisms such as optical illusion, associative play, visual similes, material puns, colour cues and the double-take, to draw an alternate logic from commonplace materials. The replica is employed as a tool to deconstruct the experience of perception; the difference between what we see and what we think we see, is central to her practice.

Shift Series (Horizontal / Vertical) departs from Partheniou’s approach of evoking everyday objects, operating more directly to address the artist’s longstanding interest in drawing attention to the act of seeing. Here the artist peels back some of the strategies of trickery she has deployed in the past to overtly offer up a painting and its double. The paintings are deliberately non-objective, eliminating common referents to focus attention on the surface treatment of the panels; Each painting is comprised of a 3/4” wooden panel, overlaid with a 1/8” board, which is displaced either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally to create the illusion of a semi-transparent and misaligned duplicate overlay. These layered, self-referential paintings visually defy the material properties of the board they are painted on; the edges of the panels are also painted to reinforce this optical play.

Small patheniou  roula Roula Partheniou

Roula Partheniou was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1977 and obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph (2001). She lives and works in Sackville, New Brunswick.

She has exhibited throughout Canada and internationally, with recent exhibitions at Marta (Los Angeles); Essex Flowers (NYC); Arroniz Contemporary (Mexico City); Manif d’Art Biennial (Quebec); BMO Project Room (Toronto); and Fundacion Calosa (Guanajuanto). Her work is held in numerous private, public, corporate and institutional collections including the Bank of Montreal, TD Bank, MunichRe, the Royal Bank of Canada, Blackwood Gallery, Art Museum at University of Toronto, Hyundai Corporation, Fidelity Investments, Soho House Group, The Art Gallery of Peterborough, the Musée d’art contemporaine de Montréal, the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and Fundacion Calosa (Guanajuato, Mexico). In 2019, she was artist-in-residence at Google HQ in Mountainview (California). She is the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council and ArtsNB. She is the co-founder of the Nothing Else Press (2006), a publisher of artist’s books, multiples, and editions, with her partner Dave Dyment. She is represented by MKG127, Toronto. 

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