‘Re-touching Memory’ by Konstantinos Argyroglou (Projektraum London)
19 Jan to 4 Mar 2023
Private view on 19 Jan 2023 from 5 to 8pm
Claas Reiss presents ‘Re-touching Memory’ by Konstantinos Argyroglou at Projektraum London in his first solo exhibition after his recent graduation with MA Painting from Royal College of Art in London. The exhibition is accompanied by an essay written by Matt Carey-Williams, Head of Sales, Victoria Miro.
‘… John Keats’ beautiful poem “What can I do to drive away …”, penned by him whilst still blooming from the simplicity of youth into the complexity of adulthood, voices the immortal phrase: “Touch has a memory”. Keats’ poem is not just an ode to longing but an entreaty to forget. So powerful, so agonising are his memories of his young, now lost “brilliant queen”, that he wishes to eradicate any memory of her: “Touch has a memory. O say, Love, say/ What can I do to kill it and be free/ In my old liberty?” Touch and memory make up the foundations of Konstantinos Argyroglou’s temple of painting. His is a practice that seeks to feel remembered moments from his childhood: some clear, others foggy; some comforting, others challenging with such moments offering a condensation of sensation; physically, psychologically and painterly. Touch and memory propose themselves as binary antagonists in a delicious oxymoron. One cannot touch impalpable memories. Haptics betray different truths to those evoked by anamnesis; memory being that tapestry of essence and sentiment wittingly recalled yet inexorably imagined. That Keats’ jewel of a phrase points to the muscle memory of love unveils just how poignant such memories can be to pain or pleasure oneself in such a powerful way. For Keats, the past touches of his lost love impress upon his memory as if he were viscerally communicating with her. Memory now has its own nervous system, much like the semantics of Keats’ words reveal the somatics of his yearning. Likewise, just like lost love, Argyroglou’s surfaces throb with this tension between the desire to remember but also to invent, and, in so doing, unearth the artist’s quest for the truth – sailed on seas of time – of his matter, mater and meaning as a painter, once child, now man, but ever son. …’
Matt Carey-Williams, Head of Sales, Victoria Miro
(The full version of the exhibition essay is available below).
Konstantinos Argyroglou (born 1998 in Athens, Greece) graduated with BA (Hons) Fine Art Mixed Media from University of Westminster in 2020 and MA Painting from Royal College of Art in London in 2022. His forthcoming exhibition at Claas Reiss’ Projektraum London in January 2023 will be Argyroglou’s first solo exhibition. He lives and works in London.