Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika (Greek, 1906-1994) Moorings 65 x 50 cm.

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Lot 15AR
Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika
(Greek, 1906-1994)
Moorings 65 x 50 cm.

Sold for £ 100,062 (US$ 133,891) inc. premium
Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika (Greek, 1906-1994)
Moorings
signed and dated 'Ghika/ 73' (lower right)
titled, signed and dated 'GHIKA/ 1973/ MOORINGS/ 65x50' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
65 x 50 cm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Artist's collection.
    Nia Stratos collection, Athens.

    A remarkable recent discovery by Bonhams and an important addition to the artist's oeuvre, this dazzling gem of a painting is a riot of festive, expressive colours and a lacework of energetic lines and rhythmically orchestrated forms, demonstrating Ghika's ability to scrupulously study the objects around him and delve beyond their surface to capture something of their inner, immutable truth. "Every artist who is by nature a colorist bears within him his own harmonies of colour, which are never exactly those of nature but those of his own ideal of nature. In my case, these harmonies are mainly composed of mauves, greys and pinks, but sun-drenched, sun-saturated colors that have at the same time preserved something of the brightness which might have been theirs in a less cruel light."1

    Echoing the fragmented planes and spatial distortions cultivated by cubism, Moorings can be read as a stunning field of abstract lines and shapes, which, nonetheless is still easily recognisable as an image of floating docked boats set against a rich, luminous and cheerful portscape. As noted by writer Christian Zervos, "from 1930 on, Ghika's perpetual expenditure of strength and boldness of freedom diverted him gradually from any intention of disintegrating the object in order to reassemble it in accordance with his plastic vision." 2 His interests focused mainly on issues related to the organisation of space and the interpretation of light, adopting mainly a synthetic cubist approach. Besides his direct references to Picasso's post-cubist inventions, he also looked to Matisse, preferring works by the great French master with an overall cubist feel. 3

    Moreover, this integration of geometric and patterned features in an overall conception of space distantly echoes the abstractive and spatially contorted depictions of Byzantine towns used as backdrops for religious subjects. Unfolding vertically rather than receding in deep space, these structures are depicted almost according to the laws of Byzantine perspective, which is always in motion, adhering to many points of view rather than a single, fixed one. As noted by Professor M. Michelis, "Ghika's vision is akin to the Byzantine mosaics of the Chora Monastery." 4

    1 Ghika's interview by E. Roditi, The Charioteer magazine, vol. 1, no. 2, Autumn 1960, p. 55.
    2 C. Zervos, "Ghika and his Art" in Ghika, Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture, Boston Book and Art Shop, Boston 1965, p. 2.
    3 See C.C. Valkana, "Henri Matisse - Pablo Picasso: the Outline of a Much Discussed Relationship through the Work of N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika" [in Greek], Benaki Museum magazine, no. 6, 2006, p. 146; C.C. Valkana, Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, His Painting Oeuvre [in Greek], Benaki Museum, Athens 2011, pp. 66-69.
    4 M. Michelis, "N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika" [in Greek], Zygos magazine, no. 58, September 1960, p. 10.
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