JAMES PAPADOPOULOS // in praise of not knowing

On view March 2 - March 23, 2012
Opening reception First Friday March 2, 6pm - 9pm

Through subtle, composed promptings, the work of Portland-based artist James Papadopoulos on view at Nationale for In Praise of Not Knowing encompasses a myriad of distinct, yet parallel, manifestations. By consciously avoiding any over-arching narrative, Papadopoulos deftly implicates the audiences’ role in the viewing process and emphasizes the situational experience of the gallery visit. From analytical combines to gestural paintings, his aesthetic disparity encourages similarly fluid ideas without offering any form of reconciliation. Instead, lingering upon the tenuous cusp of knowledge, Papadopoulos delights in the glorious mystery that predates discovery.

This preoccupation with ambiguity and approaching transformation is immediately tangible in the dynamic nature of his work. For example, stylistically akin to the post-painterly abstractions of such artists as Frank Stella, the graphic impact of Papadopoulos’ tarps highlights the medium’s fluid functionality as both a cover and an exposé. Meanwhile, the reminiscent blurs of his miniature paintings evoke the Internet’s reinterpretation of painting to pixilated Google thumbnail, and in his hands, back again to painting. One arrives at the singular conclusion that, for Papadopoulos, it is the presentation of such exploratory confusion that truly radiates.

James Papadopoulos is currently working on his MFA at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR and has recently been nominated for the Joan Mitchell award in painting. Born in Chicago, IL, he received his BFA in painting at the University of Illinois at Chicago in addition to studying conservation at Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy. Papadopoulos also founded and serves as the Chief Curator of Portland’s ME∑(s)A Project Space, dedicated to the installation of site-specific, participatory art and events.