Fiori signed and dated 'NIKOS 57' (lower left); signed, titled and annotated 'Fiori / Nikos 157' (on the reverse) oil on canvas 69 x 100 cm.
PROVENANCE: Private collection, California.
EXHIBITED: Rome, Galleria d'arte L' Obelisco, 1957 (possibly).
In 1957, the year he painted Fiori, Kessanlis launched his first Solo Exhibition in Rome in the well known Galleria d'arte L'Obelisco. This landmark year marked the beginning of the artist's international career and most of all his active participation in the Italian art scene. It was in this period that Kessanlis started creating strikingly beautiful works, highlighting his aspiration to portray imagery of floating lines and curvilinear forms. Fiori reveals a balanced combination of movement and colour. In fact, as the art critic Boatto stated:"'Nikos' painting reveals a luminous world, full of miracles and mysteries, a world of Mediterrenean myths".1
The art critic G.C Argan, who prefaced the 1957 show spoke of the artist's 'barbaric byzantinism'. "There is an element of reciting or dancing in these agressive paintings; a persistent desire for movement according to some sort of inner rhythm that leaves behind something more than a mere image: the glowing or luminous line of mouvement."2 In this work, this avant-garde artist, Kessanlis, expresses his persistent tendency towards surrealistic and biomorphic representations of free movement and dazzling colours.
1. A.Boatto, Nikos Kessanlis, Il Taccuino delle Arti, 1959 as riprinted in Nikos Kessanlis, ed. G.Tzirtzilakis [in Greek], Athens 1998, p.74. 2. G.C. Argan, Presentazione, Galleria dell'Obelisco, Rome, 1957 as reprinted in Nikos Kessanlis, p.61.