The exhibitions Urgent Conversations: Athens–Antwerp and Urgent Conversations: Antwerp – Athens are a collaboration between EMST and M HKA, a theoretical and visual dialogue, based on works from the collections of both museums, which includes more than 70 works structured in 22 topics.   

28.04.2017 - 07.01.2018        

M HKA, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen - Leuvenstraat 32, 2000 Antwerpen

EMST, National Museum of Contemporary Art - Kallirrois Avenue & Amvr. Frantzi Str., Athens 11743

Beyond Knowledge

(c)image: M HKA
Untitled, 1988
Drawing , 35 x 43 x 4 cm
pencil, paper

Nicos Baikas writes, “when I look at a painting, I often imagine that its lower edge-that is, one of its four sides- determines the level of the water, the level of the sea. Thus, seeing coincides with breathing.”

With similar agony, as if it were a matter of survival in a world flooded with technological images suitable for mass reproduction, Nicos Baikas defends the greatness of the painted image. A pictorial alchemist, the artist asks questions that cannot be answered through other rational processes, such as the laws of Physics, but only through the individual logic of each image, systematically and axiomatically conveyed as a universal truth.

Donated by Bart De Baere to the National Museum of Contemporary Art to mark the exhibition Urgent Conversations: Athens – Antwerp, Nicos Baikas’ drawing can only be interpreted by direct viewing, as the wealth of pictorial effects that compose the image are practically impossible to reproduce. In between the gradations of black and the embossed paper, the viewer will be able to discern an enigmatic depiction of different energies – a liquid flowing from a vessel and a solid material hammered onto another surface – that is, two different events with different physical qualities are depicted identically on paper.

Stamatis Schizakis