Michael Tombros (Greek, 1889-1974) Abstract composition 44.5 x 33.5 x 6 cm.
Lot 69
Michael Tombros
(Greek, 1889-1974)
Abstract composition 44.5 x 33.5 x 6 cm.
£ 6,000 - 8,000
US$ 7,600 - 10,000

The Greek Sale

10 Nov 2008, 11:00 GMT

London, New Bond Street

Lot Details
Michael Tombros (Greek, 1889-1974) Abstract composition 44.5 x 33.5 x 6 cm.
Michael Tombros (Greek, 1889-1974)
Abstract composition
marble
44.5 x 33.5 x 6 cm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Acquired from the artist's wife by the present owner.

    Exhibited:
    Athens, Hellenic-American Union, Retrospective exhibition, March-April 1972.

    Literature:
    A Greek Sculpture Michael Tombros 1923-1972, Athens, Hellenic American Union Edition (illustrated).
    P. Pavlopoulos, The Sculptor Michalis Tombros (1889-1974)- doctoral dissertation, Athens 1996, vol. 1, pp 122-123 (discussed), vol. 2, no 56 (illustrated).

    This avant-garde work which won the Grand Prix at the 1937 Paris International Exhibition of Arts and Crafts1 marks a turning point not only in Tombros’ oeuvre but also in the history of 20th century Greek sculpture.
    Abstractive organic forms inhabit an imaginary animal and plant world, created by an exceptionally gifted sculptor, a prominent intellectual and a true revitalizing force, who represented one of the most genuine attempts to reorient Modern Greek sculpture by creatively combining the achievements of the past with the aspirations of the present.

    “In 1932 Tombros decided to move on to contemporary innovation and exploration and created his Composition in black marble from Volos, a predominantly surrealistic, abstract relief, in which interrelated planes intersect each other in a completely free manner. The composition is an exceptionally expressive dialogue between curvilinear and angular motifs that owes its power to the interlocking planes, the projecting and receding forms, the active and passive movements and the soft and hard contours.”2

    In a letter to Kimon Friar, the artist noted: “After my return from Paris in 1928, my efforts to introduce into Greece twentieth-century art resulted not only in separation from colleagues and critics but also in strong reactions by others against my experimental tendencies. My abstract works of that time bore the marks of my contact as a Greek artist with an international climate in art.”3 On another occasion the artist added the following remark: “The underlying principles of 20th century’s formal and expressive revolution were by no means alien to a Greek like me. On the contrary, they were very familiar and I would even say that they are rooted in the sculpture of the Aegean Civilization.”4

    1. See D. Pavlopoulos’ The Sculptor Michalis Tombros - 1889-1974 [in Greek] (doctoral dissertation), Athens, 1996, vol. 1, pp. 122-123, vol. 2, no. 56. The artist’s other two entries, Fat woman, 1926 and Two friends, 1929, were also awarded (note 73).
    2. See C. Christou - M. Koumvakali, Modern Greek Sculpture, Commercial Bank of Greece, Athens 1982, p. 89. See also D. Pavlopoulos, “The Problem of the Avant-Garde in the Sculpture of Michalis Tombros” in Metamorphoses of the Modern - The Greek Experience, exh. cat., National Gallery and Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens 1992, p. 396.
    3. The Charioteer journal, no. 3, 1961, p. 56.
    4. Ta Nea daily, 22.2.1951.
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