Cloudy sky, trees and riverbed signed and dated 'Ghika 77' (lower right) oil on canvas 55 x 74 cm.
"As an artist, I discover pulsating rhythms from my intimate relationship with nature. I discover them in the leaves and insects, in the light and the shadows cast by wind swayed trees, in the flight of birds and the nuances of colour. In other words, I want the viewer to feel the knife used to carve out nature. I want him or her to even feel the music, the sounds emanating from the orchestration of different forms, different shapes, different lines and not only the orchestration but, if possible, even the inherent scent they exude, which is the most elusive sense of all." 1
A luxuriant work of explosive vibe and paganistic feel, where trees, leaves, bushes and rocks are engaged in a Dionysian ritual, Cloudy sky, trees and riverbed aptly illustrates Ghika's mystical connection to nature. Even the cobblestone walkway, almost enveloped by the verdant flora like an undiscovered ancient ruin, seems to be an integral part of the landscape, while the whirling clouds, with their pronounced materiality and full-bodied forms, participate equally in this feast of nature. Since the early 1960s, the natural world became a key subject in Ghika's work, reflecting his aim to delve into the underlying structure of the Greek landscape, discover its inner truth and then reinterpret it with verve and creative fervour. As noted by the painter and writer N.G. Pentzikis, "Ghika's schemata are rife with distant memories of animals, birds in flight, leaves, shoots, plant anatomy and fibres and flowers. By effectively organising many forms and shapes, he manages to create new ones." 2
1. Transcribed excerpts from the 'Monogramma' television documentary, ERT-2, 1984 in Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, Tegopoulos publ., 2009, p. 150. 2. N.G. Pentzikis in N. Hadjikyriakos Ghika [in Greek], exhibition catalogue, Irmos gallery, Thessaloniki 1994.