Sad fortnight for kinetic art. Ten days after the disappearance of Carlos Cruz-Diez, the Greek sculptor Takis died at the age of 93 years, has it learned Friday from its Foundation and the Greek ministry of Culture. “It is with great sadness that the Foundation Takis announces the loss of the sculptor international Panagiotis Vassilakis, said Takis,” said the Foundation in a press release on its page Facebook.
No details have been given in the immediate future on the date and place of his death. A retrospective of his work at the Tate Gallery in London.
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Considered with the american sculptor Alexander Calder as one of the fathers of kinetic art, Takis, whose real name is Panagiotis Vassilakis, has established itself in the world of contemporary art by combining elements of nature and of physics in his works. Its “signals”, of the long iron rods aerial-based railway signalling, stand in the public space of many cities (Paris, New York, London…).
“A relentless pursuit, magnetism, and light” The bassin Takis, on the esplanade of la Défense in Paris. Office du tourisme des Hauts-de-Seine
Born in a suburb of Athens in 1925, Takis has had a childhood marked by years of misery crossed by Greece. During the nazi occupation (1941-1944), he joined the resistance. Then came the civil war (1946-1949), and the political life tormented of his country.
Impressed “by the radars, the antennas, and the construction technology, which adorn the station of Calais”, while he was waiting for a train, “he created his first Signals , which are first rigid and then have the signal light on the top, while changing gradually in shape”, according to his biography published on the website of his Foundation.
“For more than 70 years, Takis was an artist of the avant-garde, which has always had an insatiable curiosity for the powers of the universe”, said the Greek minister of Culture Lina Mendoni, quoted in a press release. “His works were the result of a relentless pursuit of the technology, magnetism, and light, influenced by the classical sculpture and the deduction of modernism,” added the minister.
Having lived mainly in Paris but also in the United States, where he has been invited to give courses at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Takis returned to Greece in 1986, where he created his foundation, the Research Centre for Art and Sciences, near Athens.