The meaning of the “landscape” is fundamental in Sagioti’s painting. We claim that, during the early years of her creations, her work is mainly oriented on a classic basis while during the years that followed she attempts to redefine herself on a whole new basis of questions and intentions.
In any case, the start line is common; it begins with the wandering of the artist in various settings, natural or urban. Through these - mostly everyday - routes, it is the observance of the whole scenery including the details of it that form the basic framework where the artist naturally and repeatedly returns to.
Let us look into a few specific paintings by their title. In the paintings entitled “From above” and “Horizons” we can track a visual aspect “from a distance”, while at the painting entitled “Lines and spots” we track an aspect of “proximity”. However, same thing is observed vice versa; a landscape seen from above renders into marks and lines, while seen in a microscopic view the spot renders into scenery. Subsequently, the image created forms a landscape whether seen from a great or short distance; a landscape that at the same time could be the whole as well as the spot, the universe but also the cell.
Sagioti structures her paintings - while she uses the color in a minimal and discreet way - through the spot and the line. These two principal elements used on plane surface create various qualities such as density and light gradation. Therefore, the paintings of space are penetrated by the same syllogism; for example they form grids but also emptiness or entirety of space.
Thus, we conclude that her paintings express a holistic aspect of the world which aspires to project the unity between the whole and the part, between the microcosm and the macrocosm.
Visual artist, Art critic
Sea has always been a very significant element to Greek people. It is connected to their faith, their history, their life, their art. Either as a memory or as a permanent presence, the sea is always haunting them, persistently, torturously; it hurts their eyes and their soul.
Vasiliki Sagioti, the young artist who was born In Nafplio next to the Gulf of Argolis, has always lived by the sea; an experience that has marked her painting. As an artist who focuses on the landscape (mainly that of the sea), Sagioti persistently observes the natural phenomena of the countryside and their never ending switching, the diversity of the hues, the reflections and the light iridescences: evanescent, ephemeral images that appear magical and illusory.
The elements of the air (clouds) and the sea prevail in many of her paintings; and they are in a constant debate that takes various shapes through the development of her work. This constant connection of her life to the nature is imprinted in her former paintings through a simple – or one could call a primitive - procedure; in clear images that directly refer to the visual stimulus-the painter's source of inspiration.
Her paintings reflect the atmosphere of the Mediterranean light with an emphasis on the horizon; accordingly, they transcribe in visual terms the peaceful, mild ambiance of the landscape in the Gulf of Argolis and the adjacent area.
As her work progress, though, we trace a differentiation both in the selection of the themes and their visual depiction as well as their structure. Her connection to nature (especially the sea) remains the motivation, the stimulus for creation.
Her gaze, always alert, longs to capture the natural phenomena and render them into images. Though now, the tangible origins of reality go through a different processing; feelings are filtered through the processes and the length of memory; now her paintings carry an introversion, more intense that before.
Could her persistence in the moonlight or in the night light – along with their connotations to dreams and mystery - be a coincidence?
The visual dialect that appears to her recent work serves and at the same time indicates the inner evolution of the artist.
She persistently works with oil on canvas creating successive superposed layering; this technique serves her to make the best use of its potential in order to achieve great textures and ambient shading in a wide palette of tones.
Her experience in lithography is a significant advisor to the use of this material. Moreover, the new way of managing her means of expression is proven by her very interesting small black and white sketches; Short, concise capture of inspiration that can still often stand on their own and form a complete artwork. Through the dynamic contrast of black and white, the multiple use of paper (where the incidental result of emblazonments is also to be considered), Sagioti experiments and looks for contrasted balances, intensities, degradations of tones, textures on surfaces; all elements that will expand on her paintings, mostly on the “nocturnals”; paintings that have a strong impact on the audience.
The human figure that gradually appears in her paintings completely fits in the dreamy atmosphere that characterizes her recent work. Evocative figures in fluid shapes, of no clear identity, that look as if they are shapes of the landscape itself, transient shapes of condensed shadows; shapes that play a significant role in the operation of shaping inside the image as they define the first layer and balance the weights in the painting.
As the young artist gradually conquers the tools and the dialect of the art, she takes the information of the real, visible world and renders it into a “space” of the internal world, equivalents of senses, of situations, of her inner tension.
It is in an unmeasured space of no obstacles where Vasiliki Sagioti identifies herself, beyond the narrowness of the artificial horizons that one can trace in the city.
Actually, she obeys to that kind of feeling of freedom that adds wings on the shoulders of the romantic natures that are connected to specific indicative symbols. Ηere, the sky prevails; A sky that cannot be defined, or measured; Where it is the feeling that finally conceives the space that belongs to it. And then it is this open, endless sky, utterly alive, which is later transformed the same way as Proteas is transformed. And every time one gets stunned in front of this never ending variety of transformations and their inconceivable beauty.
To whom has the ability of actually seeing, he shall never feel saturated. While he may have that inner craving of holding back this unstoppable switching and restraint images for ever; Images unique and perfect. This is exactly what Vasiliki Sagioti is expressing through her work; she aims to conceive and constraint all those remarkable moments of the cosmic scenery that takes place in front of our eyes.
Of course, the images that she chooses are the ones that express herself the most; those that depict her emotional tension.
It is the way to express her own feelings about the world, which is no longer “the world of nature” but her own world. Merely seen as a painting, what is interesting is the interrelationship of colors and harmony, the ability of the painter to activate her image as a whole, accordingly emphasizing on the hues and therefore adding to them a musical aspect.
The simplicity of the compositional deletion finally adopts minimal characteristics. Therefore a lot of her compositions have a minimal tone.
So the natural model is supplanted and is therefore seen in a personal point of view, so as to become for the painter the means of expressing her inner personal spirit.
Ph.D. in Art History
Athens, September 1989