Date: 7th December 2012 - 20th December 2012
Location: Grosvenor Gallery, 21 Ryder Street, London, SW1Y6PX
Grosvenor Gallery is proud to present its forthcoming exhibition, Fassianos: Everyday Myths – Le Quotidien Mythique, opening on 6th December 2012. Fassianos is regarded as one of the greatest masters of postwar Greek art and this is his first solo exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery.
Alekos Fassianos (b. 1935) studied violin at the Athens Conservatory and painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts from 1956 - 1960 where he was taught from Yannis Moralis. He then went to Paris on a French State scholarship (1962–1964) where he attended lessons on lithography along with Clairin and Caroline Chariot-Dayez. He lived and worked solely in Paris from 1966 and divided his time between Paris and Athens from 1974. His first real recognition came during a New York exhibition at the Facchetti Gallery in 1966. Since then Fassianos has had many exhibitions worldwide including ones in Athens, Hamburg, Tokyo, Milan, Munich, Paris, London, Stockhom and the United States.
Fassianos draws inspiration from Greek myths, Fayum portraits, Byzantine icons and the shadow theatre. His paintings are also characterised by motion which is emphasised by the hair or cloth waving in the breeze. In his artistic maturity his figures are known for their voluptuousness and the luminosity of the colour he uses to highlight the sensuality and the immense pleasure of everyday life. This is probably less true of his early works. His works from the 1960s were made in the expressionist style and his figures are more grotesque.
"As in ancient pottery, Fassianos's modern figures are captured in an eternal contre-jour which renders them both precise and timeless. These figures inhabit a land which might well be Greece, a totally luminous and airy land, an Aeolian land. The wind which tosses the hair of Fassianos's figures is the same wind which pervades Homer's epics and fills Odysseus's sails on his way to meet the Sirens."(1)
Jean-Marie Drot, former director of the French Academy in Rome, notes that "for Fassianos, the artist's ultimate goal is to transform the most elemental aspects of everyday life, the most familiar figures into divinities, retracing, in reverse, the ancient tradition that allowed the great Olympian gods to assume the guise of mortals and mingle with them, talk to them and even seduce them without scaring them."(2)
Apart from painting he has worked on scribing, poster creation, illustration of books and various publications in Greece and abroad. He has also collaborated in many theatrical projects with the National Theatre of Greece and has also written many poems and essays. Fassianos had also been invited to produce stamps and posters for the Athens 2004 Olympics.
1. J. Lacarriere, A Shadow Play in Fassianos - Mythologies of Everyday Life, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery - A. Soutzos Museum, Athens 2004, p. 24.
2. J.M. Drot, as quoted in Alecos Fassianos, Athlos, Mythos, Eros [in Greek], Kastaniotis publ., Athens 2004, p. 82.