Over a 70-year career, Takis (Panayiotis Vassilakis, born 1925) has created some of the most innovative art of the 20th century.
Takis’s work seeks out the essential poetry and beauty of the electromagnetic universe. He was one of the most original artistic voices in Europe from the 1960s and remains a pioneering figure today.
Throughout his career he has produced antennae-like sculptures he calls Signals, and musical devices using magnets, electricity and viewer participation to generate resonant and random sounds. Such inventions earned Takis the admiration of the international avant-garde, ranging from the American Beat poets to artists such as Marcel Duchamp.
Takis’s work has roots in a sculptural tradition that ranges from ancient Greek sculpture to Giacometti, up to the technological objects and constructions of the modern era. His works adorn the permanent collections of the most important museums of the world, such as the George Pompidou Centre for Contemporary Art in Paris, the MOMA and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the De Menil Collection in Houston, the Tate Modern in London, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. In France, the Jeu de Paume Museum, the Palais de Tokyo and the Fondation Maeght have organized large retrospective exhibitions dedicated to the artist. His work is also exhibited in the gardens of UNESCO as well as in La Defense, Paris, where the French government granted him the largest public space ever to be given to an artist in the history of Paris: 3500m2 for a “forest” of 49 Signaux Lumineux. He has also participated twice in the Documenta in Kassel, once in the Venice Biennale and also in 1985 in the Paris Biennale, where he was awarded first prize. In 2001, the European Parliament awards Takis Foundation-K.E.T.E. with an honorary plaque for the artist’s offer in the field of renewable energy with his pieces Electric Barrels.
Tate Modern is hosting a solo exhibition of his work (July-October 2019) in collaboration with the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona and the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens.