Christine Palamidessi’s “Couples,” a multi-faceted exploration of the dynamic commitment between two individuals, promises an epic experience. This exhibition is laced with humor, and studies contemporary relationships and their parallel to antiquity and every historical period in between. Observations come from both the artist’s experience as well as universal qualities that signify the magnetic power of love.
Palamidessi has revisited themes in her work many times over the years, but always from a deeper, newer and more insightful angle. Her materials are ever-changing, the artist focusing on process as well as content. This makes for a consistent stream of the unexpected. Her work, ranging from prints to sculpture to painting and mixed media, combines self-exploration with the study of various aspects of historical research. Many times, her questing for content and methods of construction have taken her to Italy, where among other disciplines, she was able to learn the ancient art of cartapesta right from the source in the town of Lecce.
“Couples” is comprised of at least a dozen sandscape wall relief sculptures, colorful and lighthearted situational puppets, and an almost interstellar line-up of humanoid sculptures the artist has named “The Guardians,” made from paper molded with a hardening agent. Also included in the exhibition is a backdrop by Los Angeles-based colleague artist, Laurie Shapiro, whom the artist encountered recently at the American Academy in Rome. Also, two large format black-and-white photographs by Nick Nixon will be featured. Palamidessi explained the content in depth:
“I created works in a variety of mediums (all 3-D) to show the quotidian aspect of coupling — for example, a series of 12 sandscape bas-reliefs that look both abstract and particularly recognizable. One sandscape shows a couple unloading a dishwasher, another a couple tending a child.