The Greek self-taught sculptor, Takis (b. Vassilikis Takis, 1925, Athens) has created some of the most powerful, innovative – as well as playful – works of 20th century art. Through them, he has reinvented the formats of painting, sculpture and music in relation to energy.
Whilst Takis is considered to be one of the rare innovators in sculpture today, alongside Calder, Brancusi and Giacometti, the liberation of the forces of nature prevails over aesthetic form in his work. Takis’ pieces, made up of industrial or mechanical parts, are situated at the crossroads between art, technology and science. In this exhibition, Baronian Xippas presents Magnetic Fields, Takis’ most recent works together with an ensemble of Signals. With his work, Takis makes invisible energies palpable and invites the spectator to enter into a wordless, energetic dialogue with the sculptures.
In 1954, Takis moved to Paris, where he joined Brancusi’s studio for a few months. He soon met Yves Klein and the other artists who became known as the Nouveaux Realistes and triggered a certain fascination amongst the writers of the Beat Generation. From then onwards, he has divided his time between Paris and Athens and exhibited in Paris, London and New York. Takis has devoted most of his artistic life to researching magnetism. His work was influenced by the invention of the radar in 1955, together with his discovery of the magnetic field in 1958. The intangible and invisible magnetic energy became his primary material, which he stages in different ways to make it observable. Beyond earthly phenomena, Takis’ work opens up a universal, and therefore timeless dimension. It is not time, but energy, the mysterious force which determines the world. Acting in magnetic fields, sculpture is above all a means to awaken feelings of space in the spectator. Not seeking to dominate matter, but on the contrary, to liberate the invisible forces present in the world, Takis follows Plato’s idea whereby “the artist is one who takes the invisible and makes it visible”1.
His works are now in the permanent collections of the most important museums of the world, such as the George Pompidou Centre in Paris, the MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Tate Modern in London, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. In France, Jeu de Paume, Palais de Tokyo and the Fondation Maeght have organised large retrospective exhibitions dedicated to the artist.