“I was once a boy, a girl, a tree, a bird and a silent fish in the depths of the sea.”
Empedocles, On Purifications, 5th century BC
Alekos Fassianos (1935-2022) was one of the greatest Greek artists of the twentieth century. This exhibition celebrates him after nearly forty years since his last Milanese show, which the gallerist Alexander Iolas organized at the Galleria Paolo Barozzi in 1976. The present exhibition coincides with the opening of the Alekos Fassianos Museum in Athens, a modernist building jointly conceived by Alekos Fassianos and architect Kyriakos Krokos in the 1990s.
Fassianos presents over forty paintings and works on paper, which the artist executed from the 1960s to the early 2000s. Fassianos’ works are characterized by a distinctive style and imagery, which merges memory with mythology, the sacred with the profane. The artist translates his childhood recollections into hieratic profiles of classical reminiscence and Byzantine-like gildings, similar to those he used to see in the museums and churches he often visited with his mother, an ancient Greek language teacher, and his grandfather, who was a priest. The color is the absolute protagonist of these images: intense blues and reds, ancient pinks and deep greens, silvery and golden hues dance across the canvas to shape bodies and faces, wings, swallows and flowers.
Fassianos was an extremely polyhedric man. The same mythical reality of his paintings can be found in his design pieces, which he executed with the most diverse materials, from wood to bronze, from rattan to ceramic: elegant and eclectic works, which evoke an oneiric aesthetics imbued with a striking lyricism.