Dec 3, 2020–Jan 30, 2021

Zoe Zenghelis

Do you remember how perfect everything was?
100 Central Street, London EC1V 8AJ Map
Wed–Fri 11 am–6 pm Sat 12 am–5 pm

Betts Project is delighted to host ‘Do you remember how perfect everything was?’, the first retrospective exhibition of the works of Zoe
Zenghelis curated by Hamed Khosravi. As a two part exhibition with the Architectural Association, Betts Project presents the first part as a
review of Zenghelis’ early paintings from the 1960s, her years at OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) including works of the Hotel
Sphinx project, through to recent works made in 2020. Stretched between abstract metropolitan tectonics and landscape structures, the
selection of Zenghelis’ paintings represent an enquiry into absent architectural projects. An exhibition catalogue published by Betts Project
will accompany the exhibition, while the second part of the project will be hosted by the AA in Janurary 2021.
“In Zoe Zenghelis’ contained paintings, there is, again paradoxically, a suggestion of space stretching far beyond our perception, a celestial
city, without limits. The eye is as absorbed by the space between the forms themselves, set into informal procession. But it is picture making
beyond the stage, set somewhere between the contrived and the natural, the abstract and the representational. These imaginary spaces are
inspired as much by the urban grid of London, the cities of concrete, as the islands of the Ionian Sea, their whiting gleaming houses bleached
by light, the surrounding water both absorbing and reflecting the glittering sky. Space and territory, our own and others, is a question of
politics and aesthetics. These paintings hint at imagination’s journey. As the poet E.E.Cummings once phrased it, always the beautiful answer
to the beautiful question.” - Marina Vaizey, 1992
Zoe Zenghelis is an Athenian artist who has been living and working in London since her student years. After studying painting in Athens
she continued her study in stage design and painting at the Regent Street Polytechnic under Frank Auerbach, Lawrence Gowing, and Leon
Kossoff. She started her painting career as a founding member of OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), whose collaboration with other
OMA members has widened their horizons and opened new opportunities for them in painting and architecture. Her paintings for OMA have
been exhibited in many museums and galleries. Zenghelis’ independent works as a painter have been widely exhibited and published. The
paintings are inspired by metropolitan structure, landform, and abstract tectonics. Yet the imagery is quintessentially modern and modernist:
it is an imagery of the fragment, the collage, the assemblage, the parts standing for the whole, and often greater than the whole. From 1982
to 1993, in partnership with Madelon Vriesendorp, she ran the Colour Workshop at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.