Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika (Greek, 1906-1994) After the rain 39 x 50 cm.

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Lot 39AR P
Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika
(Greek, 1906-1994)
After the rain 39 x 50 cm.

Sold for £ 47,562 (US$ 62,191) inc. premium
Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika (Greek, 1906-1994)
After the rain
signed and dated 'Ghika/1974' (lower left)
gouache and mixed media on paper laid on canvas
39 x 50 cm.

Footnotes

  • Exhibited
    Athens, Iolas-Zoumboulakis Gallery, December 10, 1976 - January 15, 1977.
    Nicosia, Cyprus, A.G. Leventis Gallery, Ghika - Craxton- Leigh Fermor, Charmed Lives in Greece, February 24 - May 22, 2017.
    London, British Museum, Ghika - Craxton- Leigh Fermor, Charmed Lives in Greece, March 8 - July 15, 2018.

    Literature
    K.C. Valkana, Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, His Painting Oeuvre, Benaki Museum, Athens 2011, no. 431, p. 306 (illustrated).
    E. Arapoglou, I. Collins, M. Llewellyn-Smith, I. Moraiti, Ghika - Craxton- Leigh Fermor, Charmed Lives in Greece, A.G. Leventis Gallery edition, Nicosia 2017, no. 65, p. 101 (illustrated).

    A vibrant landscape1 of undulating rhythm and interwoven lines and forms where trees, leaves, bushes, rocks and thorns are engaged in a delicate dance, After the rain aptly illustrates Ghika's mystical connection to nature. Captured in slanted lines, angular shapes, twisted diagonals and tangled verticals, the natural environment seems constantly expanding and contracting, while the crooked stone walls that inform so much of the Greek landscape emerge like ancient ruins from the damp earth. As noted by painter and writer N.G. Pentzikis, "Ghika's schemata are rife with distant memories of leaves, shoots, plant anatomy and fibres and flowers. By effectively organising many forms and shapes, he manages to create new ones."2 The artist himself once said: "I want the viewers to feel the sounds emanating from the orchestration of different forms, different shapes and different lines. In other words, I want the viewer to feel the knife used to carve out nature."3

    In the 1960s and 1970s, the Greek landscape became a key subject in Ghika's work, reflecting his resolve to unravel its secrets and express "the most arcane nuances of the mystery of natural phenomena."4 Here, by exploring the dynamic qualities of light and atmosphere in a rainy day, he translated the fleeting weather phenomena into a sophisticated vocabulary of form. However, Ghika was not only interested in the landscape's elusiveness and constant movement but also sought to capture its everlasting geological structure,5 to convey both the reality of the changing atmospheric effects and the reality of the rocky terrain, which stands forever, weathering the next storm as it has weathered millions before.

    1 As inscribed on the verso, the landscape is a view of Kardamyli, Mani in the Southern Peloponesse, where Ghika's lifelong friends Partick and Joan Leigh Fermor had built a country house in the 1960s. "Kardamyli was an ingredient of their friendship, Ghika bringing with him his artist's equipment and sketching in the surroundings of the house." M. Llewellyn-Smith, "Kardamyli: the Perfect Refuge" in Ghika - Craxton- Leigh Fermor, Charmed Lives in Greece, exhibition catalogue, Benaki Museum, Athens 2017, p. 96.
    2 N.G. Pentzikis in N. Hadjikyriakos Ghika [in Greek], exhibition catalogue, Irmos gallery, Thessaloniki 1994.
    3 Transcribed excerpts from the 'Monogramma' television documentary, ERT-2, 1984 in Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, Tegopoulos publ., 2009, p. 150.
    4 Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, From the East [in Greek], Athens 1989, p. 43.
    5 See K.C. Valkana, Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, His Painting Oeuvre [in Greek], Benaki Museum, Athens 2011, p. 238.
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