Pioneer Greek sculptor and installation artists Takis has passed away at the age of 93, his arts foundation announced on Friday morning. He was world renowned as the master of kinetic sculptures and a pioneer in this kind of arts.
he was born Panagiotis Vassilakis in Athens in 1925.
His political involvement as leader of EPON, the organization against the Axis Occupation in Greece during WWII 1942-1944 results in a six-month prison sentence.
In the following years, Takis discovered Picasso and Giacometti and started creating plaster busts.
He moved to France in the 1950s to pursue his artistic passion and develop it further.
He created his first kinetic sculptures which are subject of permanent exhibition in the Tate Modern in London.
He was interested in the magnetic energy and the forces of nature.
Following a scholarship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Takis moved to US in 1968 where he created his first electromagnetic sculptures.
His most famous works are “The Impossible – Man in Space” and a sculptures series “Erotic.”
He became very popular in France and his works can be found in many public locations in and around Paris.
In the exhibition brochure for The Fourth Dimension at the Menil Collection, Houston, Texas. Toby Kamps writes about Takis:
“Takis is world-renowned for his investigations of the gap between art and science. Since the early 1950s, he has explored new aesthetic territories, creating three-dimensional works of art that incorporate invisible energies as a fourth, active element. Takis, who describes himself as an “instinctive scientist,” employs powerful, elemental forces to generate the forms, movements, and musical sounds of both his static and kinetic works.
Takis’s family and early life were extarted by the German occupation during the Second World War and the Greek Civil War that followed it, and he received no formal education in art. Instead, living and working in Paris, New York and Athens, he synthesized a broad range of ideas and experiences – from intensive scientific research to ancient philosophy and Zen Buddhism to encounters with other artists and writers – to forge a unique, category-defying vision that continues to evolve today. Time, space, energy and even political activism are primary materials for Takis.” (wikipedia)
Takis returned to Greece in 1986.