Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika (Greek, 1906-1994) Santorini 45 x 56 cm.

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Lot 41AR
Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika
(Greek, 1906-1994)
Santorini 45 x 56 cm.

£ 40,000 - 60,000
US$ 56,000 - 85,000
Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika (Greek, 1906-1994)
Santorini
signed and dated 'Ghika/67' (lower left)
oil on canvas
45 x 56 cm.

Footnotes

  • Literature
    K.C. Valkana, Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, His Painting Oeuvre, Benaki Museum edition, Athens 2011, no. 383, p. 302 (illustrated).



    Guided by the Dionysian character of magical Santorini, this "queen of Aegean pulses and wings" as Nobel laureate Odysseus Elytis once called it, Ghika produced a powerful townscape throbbing with expressionistic energy. With the assistance of a sickle-shaped curve at the centre of the composition, the island's labyrinthine architecture is pulsating and contorted, sweeping the crooked shapes of rooftops, arches and walls into a cosmogonic whirlpool. The rhythmically developed and spatially distorted depictions of Byzantine towns -used as backdrops for religious subjects in much of icon painting, are here pushed to a relentless extreme, transformed into a dense web of fragmented lines, sharp angles and spiralling curves, a recollection perhaps of the destructive Santorini earthquake in 1956.1

    Starting off with a Cezannesque conception of the landscape's deeper geometrical structure, and after breaking it down to its component pieces in accordance with post-cubist doctrines, the painter set about recomposing it, investing it at the same time with poetic feeling. According to the painter himself, the fragmented planes and spatial distortions cultivated by cubism also 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

    1. See H. Kambouridis - G. Levounis, Modern Greek Art-The 20th Century, Athens 1999, p.123.
    2. N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, "On Greek Art" [in Greek], Neon Kratos journal, no. 5, January 1938.
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