The Lost Plans Of Yanni Pounartzis At M16 Gallery In Australia
09 apr 2016 by art:i:curate team
For his solo exhibition at M16 Gallery, Yanni presents a new series of paintings paying homage to the vision of Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahony Griffin. The paintings are based on the Griffin’s competition entry submitted in 1912 and aim to capture what was accomplished, as well as what was lost.
On 1 January 1901, six Australian colonies united to form a Federation. In 1911, the fledgling Australian Government announced an international design competition for their new capital. The brief included a desire for wide tree-lined streets, straight and curved lines, parklands, gardens, public space, private space, and room to grow. Out of 137 entries, and a longish shortlist of 46, Walter Burley Griffin, an architect from Chicago, Illinois, was announced the winner. However, in the constructing of Canberra so much of the plan was compromised. It was a period of turmoil characterised by political and bureaucratic obstacles.
"Even though their original intention was stifled in the final application, there’s still a strong sense of geometrical forms existing within the folds of the landscape. I wanted to remain true to Griffins' technique and application, so each composition is pencilled to scale onto the canvas with the aid of only a ruler and compass. I completely avoided stencilling and projection. But something interesting happened as I drew the compositions: I realised I was actually following Griffin’s same hand movements - it’s as if I was walking the same path." - Yanni Pounartzis
Yanni's paintings reflect the way Griffins’ architecture was founded in a search for pure form, a geometric abstract ideal, inspired by the patterns of nature.
Yanni Pounartzis, Shed, 2019, oil on polyester, 122 x 122 cm, courtesy of the artist.
Yanni Pounartzis is an Australian artist living and working in Sydney. He holds a BA in Interior Design and Strategic Marketing from the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), Reid and a degree in Abstract Art from the National Art School, Sydney (2006). He has exhibited in solo and group shows including 'Metropolis Steals Our Souls', MOP Projects (Sydney, 2016); 'Paintings from SQ1', The Depot Gallery (Sydney, 2015); 'Torstrasse', Salon Dahlmann (Berlin, 2014); 'Disorient', MOP Projects (Sydney, 2013); 'The Deconstructions', Global Gallery (Sydney, 2012).