Alecos Fassianos (Greek, born 1935) Summer birds (triptych)  227 x 353 cm

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Lot 93AR
Alecos Fassianos
(Greek, born 1935)
Summer birds (triptych) 227 x 353 cm

Sold for £ 84,000 (US$ 115,513) inc. premium
Alecos Fassianos (Greek, born 1935)
Summer birds (triptych)
signed and titled (upper center)
oil on panel
227 x 353 cm

Footnotes

  • Executed in the summer of 1993.

    "Fassianos’ mythology was shaped by the Greek summer"
    E. Vakalo

    A delightful painting that radiates an ultimate sense of optimism, innocence and joie de vivre, Summer birds unfolds a peaceful and celestial world of ideal yet familiar images that gently comfort the soul. These feathery, utterly graceful creatures, which make one imagine a life full of warm sunshine and carefree, leisurely pleasure, also found in Picasso at Antibes, Bonnard at Le Cannet, and Dufy in Nice, are a constant call to escape to a timeless realm of eternal Sundays. 1

    The ethereal, charming and fleeting images of summer always run through Fassianos’ mind, as the artist himself once declared. 2 “My art expresses my personal sense impression of the Greek land, where I lived and which I experienced deeply. And that’s why I believe that the art of this land will reverberate around the world, not because it s Greek but because the truth of this locality is unique and inimitable. And this is something of interest for the whole world.” He goes on to note, his words bringing to mind his bees buzzing in the summer sky, that “while you travel far and wide, you must, like the bee, pick what you need to produce your own honey.” 3

    Strongly reminiscent of a traditional Karaghiozi shadow puppet stage set and wittily labelled ‘Bird Theatre’, a paraphrasing of the Greek term for shadow theatre, this delightful triptych is a fitting metaphor for the artist’s entire oeuvre. “Fassianos’ artistic universe is a staged play of shadows that need neither screen nor story, liberated from the confines of three-dimensionality and perspective and, consequently, from the obligation to cast, in turn, a shadow of their own. Most of them inhabit a land that could be Greece, a world of two dimensions and prime colours, such as the one captured in ancient pottery.” 4

    The fluid and graceful drawing of his summer birds only confirms the artist’s confession that he has spent countless hours at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens studying ancient pottery, especially white lekythoi. Especially interesting is the inclusion of the title at the top of the painting, a subtle tribute not only to the ancient vase painters but also to the great Theofilos, who wanted everything to be explained and clearly shown in the picture, denoting a unification of iconographic and linguistic symbols in a continuous and eternally unfolding Greek myth.

    1. See M. Lambraki-Plaka, 'The Art of Alekos Fassianos - A Popular Paganism' in Fassianos - Mythologies of Everyday Life, exh. cat., National Gallery - A. Soutzos Museum, Athens 2004, p. 13 and K. Tanikawa, 'A Grecian Smile' in Fassianos Drawings, Adam publ., Athens 1994, p. 24.
    2. A. Fassianos, Eikastika magazine, no. 36, December 1984, p. 32.
    3. A. Fassianos, 'Thought, Nature, Art' [in Greek], preface to A. Fassianos, exh. cat., Eirmos gallery, Thessaloniki 1992, p. 5.
    4. J. Lacarriere, 'A Shadow Play' in Fassianos - Mythologies of Everyday Life, p. 23.
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