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The Greek Sale / Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika (Greek, 1906-1994) Cabines abandonnées (Peint en 1970.signed and dated (lower right)oil on panel)

Lot 54
Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika
(Greek, 1906-1994)
Cabines abandonnées
18 May 2022, 14:00 CEST

Sold for €94,875 inc. premium

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Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika (Greek, 1906-1994)

Cabines abandonnées
signé et daté 'Ghika 70' (en bas à droite)
huile sur panneau
70 x 58cm (27 9/16 x 22 13/16in).
Peint en 1970.

signed and dated (lower right)
oil on panel


K.C. Valkana, Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, His Painting Oeuvre, Benaki Museum edition, Athens 2011, no. 409, p. 304 (illustrated).

Angular shapes, slanted lines and geometric planes imbued with the breath of the earth emerge like ancient ruins from the rugged terrain, while a wooden cabin in the distance seems to impose order on an elemental universe, recalling the artist's famous Kifissia at the National Gallery in Athens. As the schematic undulations of the landscape ascend in petrified waves, the horizontal tilts into the vertical, echoing the Byzantine backgrounds that tend to unfold upwards instead of receding in depth. As noted by Professor M. Michelis, "Ghika's vision is akin to the Byzantine mosaics of the Chora Monastery."1 Small patches of blue sky provide a sense of peace, while in the entire upper part, the subdued palette opens up to a soothing stretch of wonderful lavenders and lilacs.

Starting off with a Cezannesque conception of the landscape's deeper geometrical structure, Ghika delves beyond the surface to capture something of its inner truth. According to the painter himself, the fragmentations and distortions of modern art allude to an enduring convention of Greek art: "The character of the Greek schema, whether in antiquity, the Byzantine era or folk art, is by and large geometric.2 Here, the abandoned cabin in the background and the masonry stones on the left—which in a sense foreshadow the artist's body of work inspired by the restoration of an abandoned olive press on the island of Corfu in the mid-1970s— allude to the words of art historian M. Chatzidakis: "Ghika's paintings are perfect architectural edifices where each element has an essential and irreplaceable function, while all parts are completely subservient to the whole."3

1 M. Michelis, "N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika" [in Greek], Zygos magazine, no. 58, September 1960, p. 10.
2 N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, "On Greek Art" [in Greek], Neon Kratos journal, no. 5, January 1938.
3 See M. Chatzidakis in N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika [in Greek], exhibition catalogue, Eirmos gallery, Thessaloniki 1994, p. 34.

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