Parties I am not Invited to
11.11.2022 – 23.12.2022
For her first solo show at Robert Grunenberg gallery, entitled Parties I am not invited to, Tzanou presents a series of new large-scale paintings, that build a panoramic nightlife party scene along the gallery walls. Her portraits of dynamically formed figures are in movement, dancing, posing, and shaping bold silhouettes, sometimes morphing into each other. Her sometimes lightly, sometimes heavily dressed protagonists, women most of it, sit, stand, and pose in groups as if they are on stage or – strangely enough – are the audience themselves. There is an element of drama and drag, an opulent costume show with fierce high heels, heavy makeup, and big hair. The oil paintings where colors are applied thickly on jute or cotton canvases reference a variety of classics: one thinks of the masqueraded figure groups by James Ensor, the painting Carmencita (1924) by Iovis Corinth, the expressionistic nightlife sceneries by Ludwig Kirchner and the composition of Francis Bacons morphing heads and grotesque figures in front of bold color field background. One could even draw a line to the Jungen Wilden of Berlin’s queer and punk movement in the 1980s. Despite all the rich references, Tzanou has a reoccurring discourse, that tackles concepts and representations of femininity as a socially shaped, performative model of gender and has carved out a world through painting that one wants to be invited to.