Maria Stamati’s new artistic proposal, “end of meaning”, emerged from her need to express thoughts, perceptions and views of life in visual terms. Her inner concerns are visually shaped, acquire colour, shape, volume, material substance and create poetic images. Her inexhaustible perseverance in constant visual experimentation combined with her source of artistic eagerness shapes her work, giving it a distinct aesthetic value and a peculiar and completely personal idiom. A decisive role in the aesthetics and morphology of her works is played by the bold use of various and multiple materials with the emphatic projection of their materials and textures, as well as the wise exploitation of the geometric dynamics of shapes and the ergonomic relationship between them. The skillful use of the colour palette is also very important in her works, with sometimes allusive and sometimes exuberant colour interventions on the absolute void of the white canvas or the metallic surface, depending on the expressive needs and meaningful determinations.
In the first section, “poetic collection”, Maria Stamati’s main medium of expression is mainly the embroidery stitch. The thread stitch, an arduous creative experiential process, is used here as a writing and enables the artist to use all her mental and physical powers and potential. The manual work with the constant movements of the needle with the thread – from the piercing of the canvas, the penetration of the thread into the unseen surface, the temporary visual absence of the thread, the stretching, the reinsertion of the thread – this repetitive and completely controlled movement defines the whole style of the work. With the stretched threads, Stamati delimits the canvas, separates it, unites it, shapes it, gives it measure and rhythm, and proceeds… “wherever the edge takes it”. The visual artist with the thread imagines, projects, projects, captures, records, proposes, cauterizes and signifies pictorially her poetic discourse. Multiple symbolisms are hidden in the verses and in the objects depicted, while the encapsulation of word and image within a context interconnects thought and depiction.
In the second section, “Hymn to Life”, Stamati presents entire prominent universes within larger site-specific sets. In a strong neo-expressionist mood, cubes full of threads are disintegrated, losing their appearance and shape, but gaining a new form and a new life. The artist transports us to a new visual experience by variously revitalizing the abundance of materials, giving them mobility and imbuing them with an abundance of the primary colours of yellow, blue, red and white. The encapsulated primary material is disassembled, released, flowing freely, emitting its aura and celebrating life with a manifest life-giving intensity.
In the third section, “stories without narrative”, the artist tells familiar and unfamiliar human stories by embroidering them on canvas. Her narratives fuse diversity, otherness, historicity of time and other thoughts. Here Maria Stamati also gives new expressive extensions with the systematic use of various objet trouvé, which are mainly used as explanatory elements in her embroidered archetypal drawings. Once again she creates methodically, tirelessly, endlessly searching for the end of the thread- meaning of life. Her stitches, out of an inner necessity, illustrate multiple conceptual references in a strict geometric formulation: “the vertical lines are communication tunnels, while the black line symbolizes movement, the path… the bright colors represent hope and all the compositions impose reflections and establish channels of communication and dialogue with the viewer”.
In the fourth section, the artist surprises with the large-scale installation “biographical weaving”, which also imposes an experiential relationship with the viewer. Her descriptive choices require a larger space, because the change of dimensions enables her to project the theatricality of her composition in a scenographic way. The juxtapositions of shapes and volumes are obvious: from the sturdy metal structure of four meters long and two and a half meters high to the vast surfaces with flowing free-flowing meanings of life waiting to be woven. In the middle, the pending cubes (40 x 40 cm) float high and sway slowly, rhythmically and, having already been woven, outline the course of a whole life. Each cube consists of six works because on each side of each cube a different work tells individual stories about the important and the unimportant things in life, the interdependencies of people, the coexistences, the interactions, the experiences, the experiences and countless other associations. Ultimately, in the 5 cubes and in the total of 30 works, long life journeys in different times are recounted, until time is lost, neutralized and we are transported into a timeless historiography.
Maria Stamati’s conceptual works, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional, are characterized by a sensual minimalism with strict geometric forms. She crafts organized and structured with the energetic gesture of the embroidery technique dominant geometric motifs as archetypal ideograms and in combination with other media and techniques she conceptually records the diversity and multicolour of the human world and the labyrinthine paths of life. The artist at the “end of meaning” defines her artistic identity by using multiple expressive and technical means, juxtapositions of materials, juxtapositions of volumes, the coexistence of word and image, as long as her thematic choices make sense of her existential reflections and personal statements, because after all, “the artist must deposit his thoughts”. Maria Stamati’s visual writing, product of inspiration, original and charismatic, never loses the obvious dynamism that it emits, nor the poetic dimension and the narrative eloquence of the conceptual references.
Louisa Karapidaki MA II