Paris – The death in January of the Greek painter Alekos Fassianos (1935-2022) robbed the country of one of its most respected artists. Considered the rightful heir to the fabled 1930s Generation, Fassianos was hugely popular in Greece itself and his works were also widely exhibited throughout the world. Bonhams Greek Art Sale in Paris on Thursday 24 November offers a selection of his paintings that illustrate the breadth of his talent.
- La photo oubliée executed in 1975 during the artist’s ‘painterly’ period. It demonstrates the mastery of colour and the combination of control and freedom that secured his reputation both in his home country and internationally. Estimate: €80,000-120,000.
- Le Cavalier blanc. Painted in 1983. Captured in sharp profile and set against a solid background that accentuates his heroic scale, Fassianos’s horseback rider is remoulded into an archetypal figure echoing the timeless symbolism of ancient Greek vase iconography. Estimate: €50,000-70,000.
- Nu gris. A telling example from 1970 of Fassianos’s early pink-blue period, this enchanting painting captures the eternity of the moment—a key feature of Fassianos’s art throughout his career. Estimate: €40,000-50,000.
Bonhams Greek Art specialist, Anastasia Orfanidou, commented: “It’s a great honour to be offering so many works by the master painter Alekos Fassianos who sadly died earlier this year. His paintings spoke to people not only in Greece but around the world and we are fortunate to be featuring works from different periods of his career that shine a light on his artistic development.”
Other highlights of the sale, which is made up of 136 lots, include:
- Épithalamique by Yiannis Moralis (1916-2009). Star of Moralis’s 1972 one man show, the work forms part of the artist’s epithalamia series and echoes age-old memories of nuptial songs dedicated to the bride and sung on the way to her marriage chamber. The dazzling whiteness of its sculptural forms is set against a Mondrianesque grid of vivid colour with the abstract motifs distantly echoing fragments of an ancient Greek temple. Estimate: €300,000-400,000.
- La garde oubliée by Yiannis Tsarouchis (1910-1989). Once in the collection of legendary gallerist Alexander Iolas, La garde oubliée is a groundbreaking work that encompasses the defining elements of the painter’s universe, including the sailor—his signature subject and one of the most celebrated images of 20th century Greek art—the male nude, the coffeehouse, the stage-like design, the flower still-life, the mirror, and the dense cloud formation. €80,000-120,000.
- Irô et Leandros Nikos Engonopoulos (1907-1985). The story of Irô and Leandros (Hero and Leander in English) is found in folk tales and love lyrics across Europe and beyond. Drawn from the treasury of Greek mythology, this artistic vision faithfully reflects Engonopoulos’s attitude towards painting as an ideal vehicle to probe into the world of Greekness. Estimate: €60,000-80,000.
- New York Cityscape by Chryssa (Vardea) (1933-2013). Chryssa’s work from the early 1970s ranks among her most extraordinary, producing majestic forms and oscillating patterns that capture the brilliance and throbbing energy of the modern metropolis. Estimate: €40,000-60,000
- Cravates by Pavlos (Pavlos Dionyssopoulos) (1930-2019). The poster paper construction on wood with plexiglass is signed and dated 2003, is estimated at €30,000-40,000.
- Hommes de television by Yannis Gaïtis (1923-1984).Made from laminated wood and a television, the piece carries an estimate of €20,000-30,000.
The Greek Sale is as ever a collaborative sale put together by Bonhams in London and its associates in Athens, Art Expertise.
Selected highlights from the sale will be on preview in Athens at Amalias 36, Amalias Ave. 10558 on 8 November 11.00-15.00 and from 9-11 November inclusive 11.00-20.00 and the entire sale will be available to view at Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr, 6 Avenue Hoche on 19 November from 10:00 to 18:00; from 21-23 November from 10:00 to 18:00, and on 24 November from 10:00 to 12:00.