Everyday Gallery presents Natacha Mankowski's first and highly anticipated solo exhibition entitled Soil is Concrete on September 4. This exhibition addresses a central concern, what are the ecological consequences of mass tourism? What happens when the all-encompassing tourism industry engulfs a fragile micro-ecology? The exhibition is on view until October 9, 2021.
In the summer of 2020, Natacha Mankowski spent her days at the mythical hot springs of Aidipsos (Αιδηψός), situated in a small village located on the Greek island of Evia (Εύβοια). As Greek mythology would have it, the hot springs for which the coastal village is well-known were created by Hephaestus, the volcanic god of metallurgy, in honor of Athena and Heracles as a place to relax. After her visit, she began researching the site. Collecting soil samples, mapping the geography, and studying the micro-ecology of Aidipsos, the outlines for Mankowski’s first solo project at Everyday Gallery began to take shape.
With a pallete inspired by the unique colors that the clay ground and the water in and around the springs acquire from minerals like potassium (chrome yellow), magnesium (silvery white), and iron (rusty red), she explores what takes place at the intersection of the human need to relax and the fragile micro-ecology of Aidipsos. Once a rustic place, what happens when the all-encompassing tourist industry engulfs this fragile micro-ecology? This touches upon a central concern in Mankowski’s paintings, namely: how do humans inhabit spaces at the intersection between nature and culture?
Natacha Mankowski (1986) is currently living and working in Amsterdam. Trained at the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, Mankowski worked as an architect alongside Jean Nouvel and Vito Acconci before turning to painting. Her architectural background still resonates strongly in her paintings. Defying the boundaries between different artistic disciplines, Mankowski’s work is characterized by an exuberant use of the impasto technique. The way she employs this technique allows her to create textural and spatial structures in her paintings that moves them into the realm of sculpture.
In her new work for Everyday Gallery, Mankowski has intensified this spatial and sculptural effect by working with larger formats. With many of these new paintings weighing 15 to 20 kilograms and more, they acquire a singular sense of gravity and presence; indeed, these paintings are objects that themselves inhabit a space alongside the viewers