Paintings that weave a journey across time and different cultures

One of the positive aspects of globalization has been a greater awareness of cultural differences and an appreciation of diverse traditions. «In Transit,» a solo exhibition on the recent work of Mark Hadjipateras held at the venue, resonates that openness and positive mood. It is a happy and tender exhibition that takes the viewer on a voyage through time and across different cultures. Painted in vivid, beaming colors, Hadjipateras’s compositions show semi-fictional figures, some machine-like or zoomorphic, drawn from different civilizations. There are Peruvian horsemen, Native American women, women dressed in the traditional costume of Chios, Tahitian girls, a Greek tsolias, an elephant that refers to Hindu culture or machine-like figures that are a reminder of technological conquests. A Chinese ideograph that reads «universal love» appears in all the paintings. It is a reminder of the things that connect rather than separate both the past with the present and people across the world. On one of the gallery’s walls, an installation of lightboxes, each showing the portrait (they are digital prints) of one of the various figures that are featured in the paintings, brings to mind a temple or church icon screen. The difference is that it is a «temple» that does not worship gods or saints but cultures across the world and through time. Irreverence is by no means intended. On the contrary, one senses that Hadjipateras’s paintings place faith in a privileged position – not faith in a dogmatic sense but in a larger, encompassing spirit that breeds respect for cultural otherness and self-knowledge. A very contemporary and uplifting exhibition, «In Transit» celebrates human endeavor and places the present in a much broader scope that takes into account history and civilization. At 20 Aristofanous (210.321.4994) through Friday.