Michalis Economou (Greek, 1888-1933) Houses near the sea 54 x 65 cm.

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Lot 16
Michalis Economou
(Greek, 1888-1933)
Houses near the sea 54 x 65 cm.

Sold for £ 25,062 (US$ 32,600) inc. premium
Michalis Economou (Greek, 1888-1933)
Houses near the sea
signed 'M. Economou' (lower left)
oil on canvas
54 x 65 cm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Nia Stratos collection, Athens.

    Literature
    A.Kouria, Michalis Economou, Adam editions, Athens 2001, no. 47, p. 254 (catalogued), p. 80 (illustrated).

    Rendered in glowing curvilinear forms, a humble seaside dwelling becomes a virtuoso display of the artist's extraordinary ability to transform a simple, ordinary subject into a highly evocative image of subjective truth suspended between real time and memory. As noted by art historian A. Kouria in the artist's monograph, "Economou's intention was not to capture the world of appearances with descriptive accuracy but, rather, to transcend external reality in formulating a personal artistic vision."1

    During his twenty-year stay in Paris (1906-1926), the painter travelled extensively throughout Bretagne, Normandy and the south of France, especially the area around Martigues, 2 depicting weathered houses and old seaside structures captured in a wide range of subtle tonalities and articulated with a sense of sculptural stability and permanence. Many of these paintings were included in the artist's first one man show in Athens (1926) and, as noted by art historian A. Kouria, "they rank among the finest examples not only of the artist's first period but of his entire oeuvre." 3

    Here, although the monolithic seaside structure has a pronounced sculptural quality, the whole subject generates a poetic atmosphere more like a distant, vague recollection than an actual sense experience. This distilled mood is accentuated by the delightful foreground reflections—a favourite and recurrent theme throughout Economou's career echoing distant memories of the Aegean Sea and his native port town of Piraeus—as well as an elusive sense of human presence, suggested by the beached boat, the flower pot at the window and the white bedsheets hanging from the balcony.

    1 A. Kouria, Michalis Economou [in Greek], Adam editions, Athens 2001, p. 33.
    2 Martigues, the 'Venice of Provence' as it is often called, is a town close to Marseilles that attracted such towering figures of modern art as Derain, Dufy and Braque.
    3 Kouria, Michalis Economou, pp. 27-28.
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