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April 11 - May 24, 2024

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Lola Shepard is thrilled to announce the debut of DESPINA ZOGRAFOS: THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT a virtual solo exhibition presenting an exquisite collection of fourteen abstract works on paper and a short film entitled “Creatures of Light.” This virtual exhibition will premiere on the gallery's website beginning Thursday, April 11, 2024, at 10:00 AM, and will remain accessible until May 24, 2024.


THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT delves into the methodology, materiality, and conceptual depths of Despina Zografos' dynamic abstract paper art practice. Zografos’ body of work spans various mediums, including acrylic paintings, hand-cut paper works, and alternative photographic processes such as cyanotype and solar plate etching. Through a process of subtraction and the interplay of light and shadow, the artist explores the multiple possibilities generated by the use of a single geometric motif.

In her journey as a mother, Despina Zografos discovered a wellspring of inspiration that led to the creation of her remarkable Strolleroptera series. Fascinated by the interaction between light and shadow, she began photographing images of her shadow alongside her stroller. Upon mirroring the shadow, a striking resemblance to a butterfly emerged, prompting Zografos to coin the term Stroller-o-ptera by merging 'stroller' with the Greek word ‘ptera,’ meaning wings, as a nod to this butterfly-like imagery. 

Employing Bristol paper as her canvas, Zografos constructs her compositions by tracing and delicately cutting her motifs with an X-Acto knife from the reverse side. Each precise incision is a testament to her careful handiwork, with the faint marks on the back serving as a subtle record of her paper cutting process. Utilizing the same motif, she replicates it onto two separate papers. By altering the shapes and the configuration of the papers, Zografos transforms the piece into abstraction. She inserts foam board spacing between the papers, creating a three-dimensional effect that gives the work room to breathe. The concept of interconnectedness is conveyed through the notion of the lace-like arrangement, wherein the layers, though separated by spacer inserts, remain linked, akin to our connections with other individuals, nature, and the universe.

The Strolleroptera collection, defined by its delicate and intricate craftsmanship, embodies the profound symbolism of the journey through motherhood's life-changing phases. Additionally, within several pieces, Zografos integrates punctured text by carefully piercing the paper to form letters. These textual components carry personal significance, conveying poignant messages that resonate with significant moments in her life. 


In the Cyanotype series, Zografos experiments with the cyanotype photographic process. This technique involves placing an object onto a chemically-coated paper and exposing it to light, resulting in a silhouette effect on the paper. By imprinting her cherished doily heirlooms onto the paper, the artist conjures childhood recollections and familial ties. In the Cyano+ series, Zografos assimilates cyanotype images of doilies with hand-cut paper designs from the Strolleroptera series, resulting in striking works characterized by beautiful cobalt blue tones.


Zografos ventures into solar plate etching as well, utilizing metal plates to transfer photographic imagery. This innovative method enables her to fashion elaborate geometric motifs and mirrored image effects. The photographs utilized in this technique stem from Zografos' capturing images of the remnants of paper cuttings.  Enamored by the resulting ‘dancing’ or ‘fluttering’ silhouettes, Zografos incorporates silver threading, drawing upon her familial heritage in crocheting and embroidering to further enrich the visual narrative of her artwork.


The exhibition will feature a short video titled “Creatures of Light” by Zografos. In this footage, Zografos captures the interaction of light and shadow. As Zografos lifts the hand-cut paper from the board, a fluid, butterfly-like form gracefully evolves, emerging from the play of light refracted through the intricately crafted cuts.


Central to Zografos' artistic process is her meticulous and meditative approach to paper cutting, resulting in multi-layered works that transcend the surface, beckoning viewers to explore dimensions beyond. Through experimentation with various mediums, Zografos establishes connections between her art, her inner world, and the timeless allure of paper as a medium of expression.


DESPINA ZOGRAFOS was born and raised in Crete, Greece and moved to New York in 2010 where she currently lives and works. Zografos earned her MSc in Art Therapy from Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh, Scotland), BFA from Athens School of Fine Arts (Athens, Greece), and a BA in French Language and Literature from National and Kapodistrian University (Athens, Greece). She is currently working towards her MA in Art Education.  Zografos also participated in an Erasmus program at the Faculdade de Belas Artes (Lisbon, Portugal) and studied graphic design at Vacalo Art & Design College (Athens, Greece).   


Recent group exhibitions include Rockefeller Capital Management (New York, NY), Art On Paper (New York, NY), New York Live Arts (New York, NY), Heckscher Museum of Art (Huntington, NY), WAH Center (Brooklyn, NY), B.J. Spoke Gallery (Huntington, NY) and The Other Art Fair 2021 (Brooklyn, NY). Additionally, she served as a mentor at NYFA’s Immigrant Artist Program (New York, NY) and completed a residency at The Art League of Long Island (Dix Hills, NY). Zografos’s work has been featured at Women United Art Magazine, Suboart Magazine, NAWA’s online Magazine, and in NAWA’s monthly series “Art in Conversation with Farrin”.

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