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Copyright art and photos © Marigo Cassi
Born in Athens. She studied painting at the Athens, Greece Fine Art School (1972 - 1977) in the workshop of G. Moralis. Took ceramics lessons for three years. Attended postgraduate lessons in Paris. Lives in Athens since 1979. In 1989, she obtained a three year scholarship from the National Scholarships Foundation for postgraduate studies. Teaches painting at the Vakalo school for applied arts in Athens, Greece.
1982 Cultural Center of Arts ORA, Athens, Greece
1984 TRITO MATI Gallery, Athens, Greece
1990 NEES MORPHES Gallery, Athens, Greece
1992 ARIADNI Gallery in Heraklion, Crete, Greece, "Garden in Anavissos"
1994 Art Space 24, Athens, Greece. "Natures' fingerprints"
1996 ATHINON GALLERY, Athens, Greece
1996 ZINA ATHANASIADOU ART GALLERY, Thessaloniki, Greece. Sculpture-painting
1997 ART SPACE 24, Athens, Greece, "After adieu"
1977 Graduates' Exhibition, Athens Fine Art School, Athens, Greece
1982 Artists' Station in Hydra, Greece
1984 HYDROCHOOS Gallery, Athens, Greece
1985 NATIONAL GALLERY, Athens, Greece. "Memories, Reformations, lnvestigations", Athens Cultural Capital of Europe
1985 ANTINOR GALLERY (Antinor Art Hall), Athens, Greece. "Trends 74 84"
1985 ARTIO Gallery, Athens, Greece. 'Trace Writing'
1987 FRENCH INSTITUTE in ATHENS, Greece. "4 Women"
1989 "EUROPE D' ART" le rendez-vous des jeunes artistes européens, Quais de Ia Sevre, Niort, France
1990 KREONIDES GALLERY, Athens, Greece. "Variations in Black and White"
1990 "IN PROGRESS" KULTURZENTRUM PUMPE Kiel, Germany
1991 "IN PROGRESS" KUNSTELERWERSTATT Munchen, Germany
1992 "IN PROGRESS" CENTRUM BEELENDE KUNST, Groningen, Germany
1992 MUNICIPAL GALLERY OF ATHENS, Greece. "Summer Dewdrops"
1993 IN PROGRESS" STADLISCHE GALLERIE IN BUNTENTOR Bremen, Germany
1993 AMIMONE GALLERY, loannina, Greece
1994 NEES MORPHES GaIIery, Athens, Greece, "from Loss in Space"
1994 NATIONAL GALLERY, Athens, Greece." Offer for Greco"
1995 Art Space 24, Athens, Greece. "The Box"
1995 OPUS 39 GALLERY, Nicosia, Cyprus
1995 Komotini Municipality, Greece
1996 ART ATHINA 96, Athens, Greece
1997 VAKALO School, Athens, Greece. "Plastic Arts teachers of VAKALO School"
1997 Modern Plastic Arts Center, Larissa, Greece. "Focuses of Glance"
Red wild - and black
By NIKOS XYDAKISThe first thing that drew me two years ago to Marigo Cassi's art was the color red. A red that was on fire, provocative, bright and passionate. A red that you don't come across in nature. It was one of those reds that are used in folk art in order to depict a rose, deep red pomegranates, or the heart of a faithful virgin in religious lithographs.
It was a red so extreme and much-used that it flirted with hideousness; it was the charming ambiguous boundaries of passion and prostitution. After that mesmerizing red, you would notice the slight allegorical nature of the work, suggestive, atmospheric. Faint human figures, a child's swing, blurred photographs, which looked like they came from family unions and trips... The red tells us of pretend roses, it gave them body and brilliance it was pleasurable prostitution. The faint black (the darkness) was for the people, as if she had accepted that the human condition is permeated with nostalgia and grief.
I believe that these elements also dominate the best moments of the new exhibition. Human figures are combined to create two archetypes: one child / woman, with an autobiographical allusion, and an active "thief", something which the artist calls herself A third image is a suitcase. The thief often takes the suitcase, the box that hides something inside. The girl looks deep into the painting. With her back to the viewer she is looking back, to lapsed time or to the timelessness of dream. A woman looks at the viewer, or to an imaginary mirror, like in Velasquez' art, like a dream's idol.
I don't know if the thief steals innocence and is heading towards a coming of age, if he is stealing dreams, if he is stealing the creator's old paintings. Maybe it's better to stop analyzing dreams at this point, in order to look in more depth at the painted surface; I believe that therein lies the depth, there lie the secrets.
I immediately pick out a relatively small work, which has condensed practically all of this cycle of events. There are three dark figures, ambiguous, flowing, three levels of charcoal, moving towards the Ieft. The background above is white, a screen; below, the ground is a mark - dust and ashes the stuff that human bodies are made of - coming out of itself. On the charcoal marks are random red stains, suggestions of sweet, passionate pomegranates. The painting's base is a gold, sequined brocade, the most tangible human element, the material (perishable yet consoling) in a world of specters.
The dark human specters, the fire-red pomegranates of passion, and the shamelessly decorative hem, are the main three characteristics of this art Kassi tells us of suggestive dreams, memories and fears, she abandons herself to the intoxication of color (above all to red, but also to fuchsia and orange, and sometimes goes the other way: to green), she also abandons herself to the paroxysm of decoration, of the 'matiere' of substance.
She layers hand-made paper - one on top of the other, half covering traces and making signs more hazy, she glues on pieces of wallpaper and draws over them, she makes pastel marks here and there, she erases and alleviates and then attacks again.
This is a constantly unfinished art, just like dreams and memories: what's strong is what is unfinished, ambiguous. An abstract expressionism, which balances between profundity and painterly matter.
On the one hand, the ineffable; on the other, the intoxication and by and artifice of color, of materials, of painting itself. In between, the painting itself. A sweet futility.