Panagiotis Tetsis (Greek, born 1925) Houses in Athens 98 x 68 cm.
Lot 50AR
Panagiotis Tetsis
(Greek, born 1925)
Houses in Athens 98 x 68 cm.
Sold for £18,750 (US$ 29,572) inc. premium

Lot Details
Panagiotis Tetsis (Greek, born 1925)
Houses in Athens
signed in Greek (lower right)
oil on burlap
98 x 68 cm.

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Purchased directly from the artist by the present owner.

    Bathed in the golden glow of the Athenian afternoon, the ochre walls and tiled roofs of the neoclassical houses perched on Lycabettus Hill lose their materiality, transformed by the painter into a purely visual experience. In his subjects drawn from Athens, namely the Houses and Construction Sites (1961), Roofs (1961-1963) and Athens (1961-1970) series, Tetsis is primarily interested in the way light is consumed by the surfaces of the urban volume. As noted by Professor A. Kotidis, "the porous walls of the weathered neoclassical houses absorb the afternoon light and are soaked in it, conveying the exhilarating vibration of a corporeal optimism that permeates, as an expressive constant, the artist's perception of the urban landscape. Here, the echoes of a post-impressionist vocabulary meet the formal transcription of a luxuriant and diffuse light."1

    Reviewing Tetsis's work in the early 1960s, art critic E. Vakalo keenly observed that "a Greek sense of light nourishes his coloured surfaces. He introduces into his form the sensation of the Greek landscape and renders the 'Greek' land with a 'European' pictorial attitude."2 This attitude Vakalo refers to is the art of Cezanne, the fauves and the cubist and abstractive experimentations at the beginning of the 20th century, as well as pure abstraction, which by the early 1960s had become the dominant language of the modernist avant-garde. Tetsis's Athenian neighbourhood is easily recognizable as a wonderful cluster of houses but it can also be read as a nearly abstract sum total of brilliant shapes. "What Tetsis is really interested in is variety of form, human scale and painterly colour. Walls, roofs and facades develop gradually, unfolding their surfaces both vertically and horizontally, leaving no space for ground or sky."3

    1. A. Kotidis, P. Tetsis: His Work and its Reception in P. Tetsis, Painting, Nees Morfes Gallery, Athens 1999, p. 35.
    2. E. Vakalo, P. Tetsis, Ta Nea daily, 10.11.1961.
    3. M. Lambraki-Plaka, P. Tetsis, the Pleasure of Vision and Colour [in Greek], in P. Tetsis, Nees Morfes Gallery, Athens 1990, p.18.

    The work is registered in the e-archive DAMSpace of ISET (Institute of Contemporary Greek Art) under the number AR0537_PHWR_00350
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