The Greek master of kinetic art—Takis—created a big legacy by pondering the big stuff.
"We shouldn’t consider a material for what it is, but rather as a source of energy. My desire as a sculptor was to learn to use this energy and, through it, to attempt to penetrate cosmic mysteries."
Deeply embedded in the post-war art scene of Paris, Athens-born Takis and his electrified sculptures and magnetic installations spawned a new modernity of artistic expression. Takis’ works appeared both interesting and dangerous—and—it’s fair to say, gave the art world quite a jolt, in every sense!
"Back then, I blew up bronze sculptures with dynamite. I built fireworks that we would throw into the Paris sky. We had ideas about everything and it was fantastic."
Over a seventy-year career in Athens, Paris, London and New York, Takis (real name: Panayiotis Vassilakis) created some of the twentieth century’s most intriguing and innovative artworks, such as his famous Signals series. Covid may have robbed us of the chance to view some of the pioneering works of this late great artist in real life: the exhibition which travelled from the Tate Modern in London to the MACBA in Barcelona was sadly unable to complete its journey to the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens. But the Cycladic has rallied with a new micro-site devoted to Takis. On it, you can read (in English) explorations of his work and practice, hear thoughts from the man himself, and soak up the key themes of Takis’ oeuvre: magnetism and metal; light and darkness; sound and silence.