The UK’s largest exhibition of artworks by famed Greek artist Takis is due to open on the 3rd July at the Tate Modern, London. The exhibition will showcase more than 70 works from the artist’s career, spanning the 1950s until the present day, and will include a Magnetic Fields installation that is rarely displayed in public. A number of examples of his signature work, Signals, will also be present.
One of the 20th century’s most innovative artists, Takis works in a range of mediums but is perhaps best known for his work with magnetism, light and sound. With a career spanning over 70 years, his oeuvre defies categorisation, including as it does music, stage design, monumental sculpture and jewellery. Takis often repurposes materials ranging from surplus military objects to bomb fragments and in his works he synthesises a broad range of ideas and experiences.
Born in Athens in 1925, Takis grew up surrounded by the scenery of war – Axis occupation, Greek resistance and civil war all followed one another in quick succession. Perhaps due to this, he received no formal arts education but discovered the works of Picasso and Giacometti in the mid 1940s. By 1954 he did as countless artists before him had done – moved to Paris. Here he explored Egyptian sculpture, but was more influenced by the modern technological innovations of the day: radar, radio, magnetic fields and signals.
Takis soon forged a niche as a leading contemporary artist, with particular success in France, where he devoted his years to exploring new aesthetic principles. His works are often three-dimensional and incorporate invisible energies to draw the viewer in, particularly in his kinetic pieces.
The Tate Modern exhibition, which will run until 27 October, has been co-curated by Guy Brett, Michael Wellen and Helen O’Malley, and is a collaboration with the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona and the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, where it will travel to after the Tate exhibition has closed. Sotheby’s is a proud sponsor of the Tate Commission.