Nicolas Kozakis

 

Born 1967, Liège, Nicolas Kozakis lives and works in Brussels.

Kozakis is a painter and a sculptor and makes photographs and videos. He has a particular interest in architecture and public space.
Nicolas Kozakis est peintre et sculpteur, pratique aussi bien l’installation, la vidéo ou la photographie et porte un intérêt particulier à l’architecture et à l’espace public.

 

 

The multilayered oeuvre of Nicolas Kozakis (1967, Liège) is filled with a deep-rooted poetry: with his sensitive soul, he captures the simple, ‘beautiful’ things that he encounters in his immediate surroundings. Using a broad spectrum of artistic means, the artist seeks to capture or compose images or create them himself. For this, he likes to harness the potential of media such as photography and video, which reveal a more documentary side to his work. He makes a giant leap from this ‘in situ’ quest amidst the natural and urban landscape to the white box of the gallery. Here, he exhibits sanitised artworks that contain elements of both painting and sculpture: the wall-mounted objects are somewhere between a ‘flat’, two-dimensional painting on the one hand, and a sculpture that is becoming detached from the wall on the other.

In one of his latest series, Kozakis explores the boundaries between the two art forms, defined by art history as opposites and competitors. Within this context, he draws his inspiration for both form and content from the tradition of icons. For many centuries, holy figures were depicted in Eastern Orthodox Catholic cultures in this singular form: pure and uniform, with their familiar gold-brown, red and blue hues and gold leaf. In this context, the icon is a representation of the deity, not a literal effigy, and acts as a medium for contemplation. Kozakis abstracts these vital details in a contemporary way by resolutely opting for one specific colour: a monochrome.

The works have titles like Rolls Royce Infinity Black Met W41 and Porsche Kristallgrün Met A6W 3P – technical descriptions that directly allude to colour codes that he borrows from luxury cars. Kozakis employs a bodywork specialist to apply these colour shades to the supports in UV-resistant enamel paint, and then finish them with a perfect looking, glossy layer of varnish. The painted medium is usually wood, but is sometimes marble, which he orders from a manufacturer of authentic icons.

The radical absence of figurative elements encourages reflection on the meaning and role of the image. The Western viewer – hardened and oversaturated with mass media on a daily basis – is looking for something to hold on to, some kind of recognition, but fails to find it. In literary sources, icons are frequently described as “windows on eternity”, and Kozakis’ monochromes also function as a kind of two-way mirror. The works lie somewhere in between the artist and the viewer, and bring about a reciprocal projection: what lies behind the artist’s gaze, and what drives us to look in this way? The monochrome surface does not furnish us with an answer, but merely reflects the echoes of these musings.

The artist attempts to shake his viewers out of their lethargy by paradoxically juxtaposing the decadence of luxury cars with the purity of the icon tradition. Contemporary society appears only to function on the basis of the constant, insatiable consumption of useless goods. In this series of monochromes, and indeed in his entire oeuvre, Kozakis’ goal is to offer an antidote: a contemporary view of our centuries-old history that is bursting with extraordinary stories, noble values and pure beauty.

Melanie Deboutte

 

Rolls Royce Infinity Black Met

(…) Nicolas Kozakis reconnaît poser, par le biais du monochrome, une résistance à l’inflation et à la saturation de l’image, (…). A la nature sacrée et contemplative qui se voit volontiers accolée au monochrome, le peintre insuffle de manière subversive et paradoxale un glissement sémantique.
La radicalité du monochrome ainsi pris au pied de la lettre bascule, le formalisme et le spiritualisme, avers et revers d’une même tentation, sont ici parodiés. Le geste de Kozakis n’est pas sans relever d’une attitude post-moderne en ce qu’il utilise le monochrome tel un produit fini hautement connoté, sorte de ready-made conceptuel, pour le déplacer sur un tout autre terrain que le sien. De fait, laques de carrosserie sur panneaux de bois assemblés selon la méthode traditionnelle des supports d’icônes auxquelles ils empruntent également leur format, ses tableaux monochromes au surfacement miroir d’une perfection quasi immatérielle, délèguent aux firmes spécialisées le soin de leur mise en couleur, en un rappel amusé de la nature divine de l’icône « qui n’est pas de la main de l’homme ». Clin d’oeil aussi aux symboles de réussite de ce monde consumériste que sont les luxueuses Porsche, Rolls Royce, Ferrari et autres Lamborghini à la subtile et exponentielle gamme chromatique dont s’inspire le peintre pour formuler autant d’échos contemporains aux tonalités du répertoire iconographique byzantin qui titreront, sans détour mais avec une certaine poésie décalée, ses oeuvres. (…) Résistance silencieuse de ces surfaces aveuglantes (…) réfléchissantes chez Kozakis, défont le regard et déjouent la vision.
Christine Jamart, extraît du texte ‘Par-delà le silence’

 

 

 

KOZAKIS - x5

‘Transfiguration’, 2017, pigments, gesso and linen on cherrywood (5 pieces) 163 x 125 cm (x3) and 91 x 68 cm (x2)

LR_FerrariRossoBerlinetta_Perl_266154_60,5x42x10cm

‘Ferrari Rosso Berlinetta Perl 266154′, 2017, car paint on walnutwood icon, 60,5 x 42 x 10 cm

LR_Porsche25H_LibelltuerkisMet_45x31x4,5cm

Porscje 25H Libelltuerkis Met’, 2017, car paint on walnutwood icon, 45 x 31 x 4,5 cm

 

 

KOZAKIS - #3_Lamborghini LS9R Bianco Icarus Pearl Mat,2016,car_paint_on_wood,38x42cm

‘Lamborghini LS9R Bianco Icarus Pearl Mat #3′, 2016, car paint on wood, 38 x 42 cm

 

 

KOZAKIS - 4.pel.caro+2000

shovel, aluminum foil

KOZAKIS - Un_grain_de_poesie

‘Un grain de poésie dans un désert de sable’ – 2015 digital video – 9,54’ – ©images: Nicolas Kozakis – ©text: Raoul Vaneigem

KOZAKIS - De_la_vie_qui_se_crée

‘Qu’en est-il de notre vie?/What of our life?’, 2014 – digital video, 5,12’ ©images: Nicolas Kozakis – ©text: Raoul Vaneigem

 

 

°1967, Liège (B)
Lives and works in Brussels
Solo Exhibitions (Selection)

2017
– ‘Ferrari Rosso Berlinetta Perl 266154’ at Kusseneers gallery, Brussels (B)
2015
– ‘Rolls Royce infinity Black met’ – with Steven Messiaen -atKusseneers gallery, Brussels (B)
2014
– White refuge-Travel trunk-Capture still, Parc Régional/Gewestelijk Park Tournay-Solvay, Brussels (B)
2011
– Panoramic Refuge – Open air Museum of Sart-Timan – C.H.U – Liege (B)
– Open / Closed – Musée du point de vue – with Aniceto Exposito Lopez – Brussels (B)
2010
– Aux Arts, Etc., Hôtel de Ville – Eupen (B)
– Schlassgoart Gallery – with Marc Angeli – Esch-Sur-Alzette – Luxembourg (L)
2004
-Els Hanappe Underground – with Koen Wastijn – Athens (GR)
2000
– Centre D’art Chapelle De Boendael – Brussels (B)
1999
– Gille-Stiernet Gallery- Brussels (B)
1994
– Les Brasseurs Contemporary Art – Liege (B)
1992
– Dannenberg Gallery – New York (USA)
1991
– Dannenberg Gallery – New York (USA)
Group Exhibitions (Selection)

2017
– ‘A World Not Ours’, Schwarz Foundation, Pythagorion Art Space, Samos
– ‘Art Public Charleroi’, September 2, November 5, 2017, 15 oeuvres dans la ville basse de Charleroi
– Art Space Pythagorion ‘Summer of Love’, at the Schwarz Foundation, Greece – curated by Katerina Gregos
opening August 3, 2017
– ‘La leçon d’anatomie‘ at the Museum ‘La Boverie’, Liège, June 21 – Sept. 17, 2017
– video screening, Raoul Vaneigem & Nicolas Kozakis at Wiels, Brussels – May 7, 2017
– Cultural Center of Marchin, until April 9, 2017, Kozakis_Vaneigem
2016
– ‘Rien ne va plus!’ group show with Juan d’Oultremont and many other artists at the Museum of Elsene, Brussels
– Arts & Métaux’ (monumental sculptures) – ‘Désire tout, n’attends rien’ a collaboration with Raoul Vaneigem at the parc of the Château de Jehay, Amay (B), June/Oct., 2016
– ‘MUSEUM = K (x+y)/D, Jan Hoet gewidmet’ at IKOB – Museum für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Eupen (B)
– ‘not really really’ 75 artists from the collection of Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Brussels (B)
– Art Brussels 2016 with Kusseneers gallery
2015
– ‘Enlightened Fountains (reasons to be cheerful)’ at Jan Colle gallery, Ghent
– ‘VII Biennale Internationale d’Art Contemporain de Melle’ at Jardiniers Terrestres Jardiniers Célestes – Melle (F)
– ‘l’envers du décor’ at CACLB – Luxembourg – Montauban-Buzenol (B)
– ‘Les mains libres’ at Espace 251 Nord – Liège (B)
– Curated by_Vienna 2015 : Tomorrow Today – It’ money Jim, but not as we Know it – Curated by Katerina Gregos – MAM Mario Mauroner contemporary Art – Vienna (A)

2014
– Un moment d’éternité dans le passage du temps – La Terrasse espace d’art de Nanterre – Nanterre (FR)
– Unstuck In Time – Te Tuhi – Pakuranga , Auckland , New Zealand Aotearoa (NZ)
– An exhibition on withdrawing, escaping and dropping out, Bureau Publik, Copenhagen,(DK)
– No country for young men – Bozar – Palais Des Beaux-Arts – Brussels (B)
– Re: Visited – Riga Art Space – Centre For Contemporary Art Latvian – Riga (LV)
2013
– Tower of power in paradise street – Flux Gallery – Liege (B)
– Art Projections – Thessaloniki Film Museum – Cinematheque – 4th Biennale of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki (GR)
– More Light – 5th Biennale Of Contemporary Art Moscow – Moscow (RU)
– Salon Der Angst – Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier/Karlsplatz (A)
– Transformatie/Transformation – De Markten Cultural Centre – Brussels (B)
– Former West: Notes from Berlin – Bak, Basis Voor Actuele Kunst, Utrecht (NL)
– 6èmes Promenades Photographiques en Condroz – Marchin-Evelette (B)
– Etre humain et le savoir ensemble – International Biennale of Contemporary Art – Melle (F)
– 4th Former West Research Congress: Documents, Constellations, Prospects – Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt – Berlin (D)
2012
– L’homme Qui, 2012-2014 – with Raoul Vaneigem – Collectif Mensuel/Cie Pi 3,14, Mamac, Liege (B) – Kulturfabrik,
Esch-Sur-Alzette (L) – Culture Commune, Nord-Pas De Calais, Loos-En-Gohelle (F) – Theater Antigone, Kortrijk (B) –
Assemblea Teatro, Torino (I)
– Manifesta9 – with Raoul Vaneigem – European Biennale Of Contemporary Art – Genk, Limburg (B)
– Montagne – Cultural Centre Marchin (B)
2011
– Loods12 – Wetteren (B)
2010
– Aux Arts, Etc. – Hôtel De Ville Eupen (B)
– Hommage aan de monochromie – Cultuurcentrum Hasselt (B)
– Bip2010, 7th edition, the International Biennale of Photography and Visual Arts of Liege
2009
– L’union fait la forme – Bozar – Palais Des Beaux-Arts – Brussels (B)
– Musee Ianchelevici – No Style No Glory – La Louviere (B)
2008
– L’Union fait la forme – Acte III – Office National d’Art Contemporain – Brussels (B)
– Urban Jealousy The 1st International Roaming Biennial Of Teheran – Berlin – Istanbul – Belgrade
– Homo Ludens Ludens Laboral Centro De Arte Y Creacion Idustrial – Folded-In – Personalcinema – Gijon (E)
– Archives Actives – Des Arts – Espace 251 Nord – Brussels (B)
2006
– There is no place like home – Onufri 2006 – National Gallery of Arts – Tirana (ALB)
– Images Publiques – Espace 251 Nord – Liege (B)
2007
– Nouba – Reading Performance – Halles De Schaerbeek – Video Projection – Staging: Marie Andre – Text: Eugene
Savitzkaya – Bruxelles (B) – (Livre + Cd)
2005
– 175-25 – Affinités – Abbaye De Stavelot – (B)
– Intime Conviction – Les Brasseurs – Centre Wallonie Bruxelles, Paris)
2004
– Atelier 340 Muzeum – Approvisionnement de Printemps – Bruxelles (B)
– Netherlands Media Art Institute, Montevideo/Time Based Arts – Channel Zero – Amsterdam (NL)
– Arco/Medialab, Conde Duque, Caja Suiza – Personalcinema : The Making Of Balkan Wars : The Game
www.balkanwars.org- Madrid (E)
2003
– Abstractions – Le Botanique – Brussels (B)
2002
– Bonjour – Place St Lambert – Liege (B)
– Centre Dansaert, Atelier De Creation Sonore et Radiophonique – Nuit du son de la nuit – Performance – Proffering two voices with Francis Schmetz – Brussels (B)

2001
– Passage De Retz – Les Temoins Oculistes – Instants Fragiles – Paris (F)
2000
– Rialto – Sant’ambrogio – Roma (I)
– World Wild Flags – Aachen (D), Liege (B), Knoke (B), Luxembourg, New-York
– Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art “ 1 X 9 “ – Liege (B)
– Hansabank – Talinn, Estonie – Mars
1999
– Quand Soufflent Les Vents Du Sud, Espace – BBL – Liege (B)
1997
– Atelierhaus Aachen E.V. – Aachen (D) – Mars
– Ludwig-Forum Fur Internationale Kunst – Aachen (D)
1996
– Cartier D’hiver – Espace 251 Nord – Liege (B)
– Ludwig-Forum Fur Internationale Kunst – Aachen (D) – Post-Action, M/I
– Element Feu – Espace 251 Nord – Liege (B)
– Ica Proton “M/I” – Amsterdam (NL)
– Punto Gallery- Valencia (E)
– Etablissement d’en Face – “+- 103 Jours” Video projection – Brussels (B)
– Triennal-Sofia ’96 – International Exhibition Of Painting – Sofia (BG)
1995
– Arsenal Gallery – Poznan (Pl)
– Site Du Grand Hornu – Mons (B)
– Vega Gallery – Hotel Boscholtz – Liege (B)
– Museum of Fine Arts – Mons (B)
1994
– Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art – Liege (B)
– Prospectus – “1×9” – Brussels (B)
– Gille-Stiernet Gallery – Brussels (B)
– Association Art Promotion – Liege (B)
– Espace 251 Nord – Liege (B)
– Element Eau – Les Brasseurs Contemporary Art – Liege (B) –
1993
– Gille-Stiernet Gallery- Bruxelles (B)
– Cap Ateliers (Contemporary Art Promotion) Liege (B)
– Dannenberg Gallery – New-York (USA)
1992
– Espace 251 Nord – Liege (B)
– Young Belgian Painters Award – Palais Des Beaux-Arts – Brussels (B) – selected
1991
– Abbaye de Forest – Flux Gallery- Brussels (B)
– Dannenberg Gallery – New-York (USA)
1990
– L’A Gallery – Liege (B)