that which dwells
Despina Konstantinides

The solo exhibition that which dwells showcases a decade of artistic exploration by Despina Konstantinides, featuring seven larger-scale paintings created over the past ten years. The exhibition draws its name from Friedrich Hölderlin’s poem “The Journey,” as cited in Martin Heidegger’s essay “The Origin of the Work of Art.” The line, “Reluctant to leave the place/Is that which dwells near the origin,” serves as the conceptual anchor for this body of work, exploring the idea of “dwelling,” a term rich in metaphysical and philosophical meanings.

At its core, the show examines dwelling as being fully present. This concept appears in various philosophical and religious texts, including the Bible and the Upanishads. In the Old Testament, “to dwell deep” signifies seeking refuge in remote or hidden places, symbolizing a retreat to safety and contemplation. Dwell can also denote engaging deeply with someone other than oneself. The Upanishads, an ancient Hindu text dating back over 2500 years, describe the heart as a secret dwelling where the divine resides—a space of fulfillment and ultimate reality.

In an exhibition catalog for some of the paintings previously exhibited and now also included in this comprehensive show, art historian and writer Dr. Jennifer Samet observed: “[the artist’s] work establishes a relation between losing oneself in nature, and losing oneself in the process of painting. It is an allowance of the possibility that Resnick suggests: where the very substance of painting can become a universe in itself. It is an aspiration at odds with our contemporary culture — where nameability and full disclosure is prioritized over the more subtle, gentler ‘unconcealments’ that [the artist] creates in time.”

The newer work expands on the idea of unconcealing and investigates the concept of “that which dwells” as being fully present, inviting viewers, through the painterly landscape pictures, to contemplate what it means to reside within.

About the Artist

Despina Konstantinides, a New York-based painter, has been painting since she was eight years old. She holds a BA in philosophy from Trinity College and an MFA in painting from Indiana University. Her artistic journey has been profoundly shaped by four exceptional mentors. During her undergraduate years, a summer program abroad with Pratt Institute allowed her to study with Richards Ruben (1925-1998), who introduced her to the language of painting and its ability to connect to the inner self. At Trinity, Joseph Byrne meticulously guided her in creating work that paved her way to graduate school. At Indiana University, Barry Gealt imparted both knowledge and pure passion for painting. More recently, David Lund (1925-2023) mentored her on the metaphysical elements of the picture plane.

Despina’s paintings are featured in prestigious collections, including the Consulate of Greece in New York, the AIG corporate art collection, The Delson, and the George T. Douris Tower, as well as numerous private collections. Her work has also gained wider recognition through its feature on the popular HBO show Divorce.

For more information on Despina Konstantinides, visit her website and follow her on Instagram.

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