​Repoussoir for a New Perspective

by Alexandra Kehayoglou

October 13, 2016-February 23, 2017

Repoussoir for a new perspective, is a hand-woven tapestry measuring approximately 23 x 8’, that was displayed on the Art Wall in the Olympic Tower Atrium. The work was specially commissioned by the Onassis Foundation USA for the Antigone Now festival. Executed in earth tones using tufted wool—discarded thread from her family’s carpet factory in Buenos Aires—the two-piece sculptural form represents the cave formations and volcanic activity that produces intricate outcroppings and patterns in the landscape on the Greek island of Milos. The minerals being extracted from this fragile ecosystem for industrial use are currently in danger of vanishing. The work reveals the ways in which the artist weaves tragedy into her practice as she explores the nexus of natural and civic law through Antigone’s intuitive ethical awareness that fundamentally challenges human-made law so as to invoke natural (moral) or “divine” sources.


Inspired by the South Aegean volcanic arc, this new work explores mineral formation on the island of Milos, and in particular, the origination of those rich minerals that hold information about the composition and development of the Greek islands’ rocky landscape. The project focuses on the extravagant minerals we can find in the rocky foundations of these islands—obsidians, high-quality perlite, sulphurs, and the heavily-mined bentonite.

This exploration, which was performed on the island of Milos, tackles both the transformation process of the geological phenomenon in which lava, blasted gases, and rocks produce lunar-like outcomes, and how mankind has exploited this valuable information about the origins of our Earth through mining and industrial use, causing the extinction of enriched minerals.

Alexandra Kehayoglou became recently interested in the Greek landscape, following clues of enigmatic information about the origins of our planet. Once she was in that landscape, she was confronted by the geological beauty, but also by the misuse and exploitation of what can now be considered endangered.

Repoussoir for a new perspective is a two-piece sculptural tapestry that represents the cave formations and volcanic fluid activity that produce intricate geological formations, and celestial colors and patterns. For the artist, these landscapes more closely resemble a new planet we would one day inhabit than the Earth as we imagine it in the future.