Uccello con grande ala signed and titled (on the reverse) oil on canvas 100 x 130 cm
EXHIBITED: Rome, L' Obelisco Galleria d' Arte, 1957 or 1959 (possibly).
Kessanlis' first exhibition in Rome -at the prestigious L' Obelisco Galleria d' Arte, whose sticker is glued to the rear of the canvas- launched his career among the ranks of the European avant-garde. "The 1957 show was a success beyond imagination. Not only were all the works sold but one of them was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in Rome." 1
Handled by the Roman gallery, which also mounted the artist's 1959, 1964 and 1965 one man shows, Uccello con grande ala is a jewel-box of floating biomorphic shapes, sparkling colours and curvilinear forms, perfectly demonstrating the artist's restless creativity and inexhaustible metamorphic invention. Art critic G.C. Argan, who prefaced the 1957 show, aptly spoke of the artist's 'barbaric byzantinism.' "There is an element of reciting or dancing in these aggressive paintings; a persistent desire for movement according to some sort of inner rhythm that leaves behind something more than a mere image: the glowing or luminous line of movement." 2
1. A. Chrysostomidis in Nikos Kessanlis, ed. G. Tzirtzilakis [in Greek], Athens 1998, p. 500. 2. G.C. Argan, 'Presentatione', Galeria dell'Obelisco, Rome, 1957 as reprinted in Nikos Kessanlis, p. 61.