Yiannis Moralis (Greek, 1916-2009) Composition 37.5 x 69 cm.
Lot 72
Yiannis Moralis (Greek, 1916-2009) Composition 37.5 x 69 cm.
Sold for £36,000 (US$ 60,936) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Yiannis Moralis (Greek, 1916-2009)
Composition
signed in Greek and dated '74' (lower right)
acrylic on card
37.5 x 69 cm.

Footnotes

  • Study for the ceramic composition of the Astir Hotel-Kavouri, pool area.

    PROVENANCE:
    A. Georgiadis collection, Athens.

    EXHIBITED:
    Athens, Benaki Museum, Yiannis Moralis - Architectural Compositions, February 2011.

    LITERATURE:
    Fani Maria Tsingakou, Yiannis Moralis - Architectural Compositions, Benaki Museum, Athens 2011, p. 228-229 (illustrated).

    Echoing the timeless values of ancient Greek art, this perfectly balanced composition of pure form and elegant line adheres to a coherent inner order and a serene, organic rhythm dictated by the classical sense for human scale. "Verticals, horizontals, diagonals and curves compose a harmonious whole full of intensity, hidden under apparent tranquillity." 1 As Nobel laureate O. Elytis once said of Moralis, "by using a limited vocabulary of form, in which recurrent and opposing curves of ochre and black dominate, Moralis has succeeded -in a manner unprecedented in Greek art- to transform the language of the natural world into a purely visual phenomenon. Memories and encounters are repeatedly distilled until they blend into forms of great simplicity and precision." 2

    This perpetual research is evident in the artist's compositions from the 1960s and the 1970s intended for architectural applications, such as this lot designed for the Astir Palace hotel in Vouliagmeni and executed on tiles made by the ceramist Eleni Vernadaki. Everything was carefully and precisely calculated down to the smallest detail, taking into consideration the use and style of the space the work was commissioned for. As pointed out by art critic A. Xydis, the qualities of Moralis' art -his strength in and love of composition, his sensitive and balanced colour harmonies, the diligence of his technique, the clarity and monumentality in the organization of planes and volumes- are particularly appropriate to a work of architecture. 3

    1. M. Lambraki-Plaka, 'Classic and Human-centred' [in Greek], Kathimerini daily, Epta Imeres, 10.4.1994, p. 1.1.
    2. O. Elytis, preface to the Moralis exhibition catalogue, Iolas-Zoumboulakis Galerie, Athens 1972.
    3. A. Xydis, 'Auspicious Collaboration of Art and Architecture', Architectoniki journal, no. 42, November-December 1963, p. 8.
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