Roula Partheniou, Two and Two Together


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Roula Partheniou
Two and Two Together
March 11 – April 23 2022

Strange Objects

It is with gratitude and excitement that Marta presents “Two and Two Together” a gathering of selected works from Canadian artist and sculptor Roula Partheniou, on view at the gallery from March 11 – April 23, 2022.

Within generative sets of potential misrecognitions, Partheniou offers alternative orientations to familiar forms. There is a startling exactitude injected into her sculptures, which mirror and flip proverbial outlines of chalkboards, Post-Its®, snack packaging, erasers. What might the habitual demand of function obscure from view, or blur in our perceptions of these surfaces and their fluctuating meanings? The works hide in plain sight, enacting a hyper(in)visibility which requests active stances of deduction and offers non-linear discoveries that evolve through time.

Partheniou’s research and material reconnaissance engages a vocabulary of replication which stutters across her process—but not in reference to static originals. Rather, she attends to the learned reflections of objects housed in our embodied understandings of language, signification, and meaning-production. We come to know objects in and with time, as the detritus of everyday associations pile atop our understandings of form. In a shifted context, what lesson do we encounter from an object that refuses to satiate our assumptive expectation for its use? Works like ‘Untitled (Post-Its)’ and ‘Untitled (White Square with Colour Bar)’ stare plainly outward, eliciting the subjective palimpsest of a viewer’s memories to roar forward and barrage these surfaces like projected light upon a screen. The symphonic openness which saturates “Two and Two Together” seemingly culminates its deadpan delivery in the wall-work ‘Untitled (Brush Lines),’ a jittering grid of striped felt forms that looms at the edge of optical illusion, like a regime of chalkboard erasers stacking themselves en masse. ‘Untitled (Brush Lines)’ names its own contingency to painting within the title, a strategic departure from other works in the exhibition that further dislodges familiarity and function and asks a different question about how we got here in the first place.

While the conceptual process of Partheniou’s practice is intimately linked to linguistics, pedagogy, and interdisciplinary research, there are no didactic outcomes. “Two and Two Together” remains generously open in order to address the experience of perception itself. Through an ostensive sleight-of-hand, Partheniou illuminates how transferences of meaning skip across the everyday objects of our lives.

Roula Partheniou (b. 1977) is a contemporary artist living and working in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. “Two and Two Together” is the artist’s first exhibition at Marta, and Partheniou’s inaugural solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

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Marta is a Los Angeles-based, globally-engaged art gallery. Founded in 2019, the gallery makes space for artists to experiment with the utility of design, and for designers to explore the abandonment of function. Marta’s curatorial and publication programs take interest in the process of a work’s creation as well the narrative of its creator(s). Marta embraces the intersection of and the transition between disciplines, advocates for diversity in design, and promotes broad access to the arts.