A pioneering artist, Takis combined art with science by making use of and rendering visible the unseen natural forces that determine our existence.
‘Magnetic erotic’ is part of a series of erotic sculptures that Takis started in the 1970s. It is a continuation and elaboration of his earlier experiments with magnetic fields as the force of attraction is the common denominator of both magnetism and eroticism. Magnets hidden in the breasts attract nails, thus creating a dynamic sculptural space.
One of the most innovative artists of the pots war period, Takis had a retrospective show in Tate Modern in 2019.
200 x 140 x 105 cm
1930 - 2019
A versatile artist that defies easy classification, Pavlos is best known for his colorful collages and objects made from fine strips of printed paper. Towards the end of his career he was interested in rendering his pictorial images into bronze sculptures and he subsequently made three sculptures with the subject of trees, one of which is presented here. The tree (and the natural environment in general) is a recurrent subject in Pavlos’ oeuvre. He made various collages of this theme with his trademark technique of sticking together strips of paper. In the early 70s he exhibited an installation of a forest of 26 gigantic trees in the Grand Palais.
100 x 55 x 40cm
Antoine Poncet is an abstract sculptor who plays an important role in the French art scene as a member of the Academie des Beaux Arts. Interested in the purity of shapes, he eliminates the unessential and creates voluptuous forms that give the impression of a whirlwind of motion. Despite the dislocating effect of motion and asymmetry his work is perfectly balanced exuding harmony, serenity and spirituality. Rêve d’Or is done in polished bronze, which adds luminosity, radiance and vivacity to the sculpture, making it seemingly weightless.
Hommage à Gilgamesh
49 x 52 x 35 cm
Francesco Marino di Teana's vision of the city of the future
Francesco Marino di Teana
1920 - 2012
Francesco Marino di Teana developed the the tri-unitary theory, which was based on the premise that by disintegrating forms (by cutting a circle in half for example) a third mass is created, the hollow mass. This hollow ‘mass’, space in other words, became a major element of his abstract compositions. He called it the third element, which united disintegrated forms into a single composition, while also creating tension and dynamism. Hommage à Gilgamesh is part of a series of sculptures made in the sixties and seventies, the so called the circle cities. Marino di Teana envisioned a future where sculptors would take aesthetics in architecture to a whole new level and sculpture would no longer be a mere decorative touch to an already completed building. .
72 x 20 x 9cm
Torse feminin mural
58 x 23 cm
1905 - 2008
Even at very young age Robert Couturier would sketch incessantly and his sculptures bear the mark of this early obsession. His nudes suggest rather than represent and as Dominik and Torse feminin mural attest, he preferred lines over actual shapes. Showing only the essential, his sculptures seem devoid of volume while preserving the contour, the external structure. Originally Couturier had trained as a lithographer, but he switched to sculpture when he became first Aristide Maillol’s student and then his lifelong friend. Although Couturier was initially influenced by Maillol, he soon found his own voice with sculpture that remained figurative, but no longer observed sculptural conventions.
Venus Hottentote Grande
100 x 50 x 55 cm
François Stahly in Meudon, 1950
1911 - 2006
The title Venus Hotentote refers to Sarah Baartman, an African woman exploited for exhibition at freak shows in 19th century Europe on account of her large buttocks. Rather than representational, Stahly's rendition of Venus Hottentote is symbolic. The voluptuous shapes of Venus Hotentote create a sensual, but essentialy abstract image, in which fluidity and movement are key. He made other 'Venus' sculptures as well, such as Venus Paysanne (1932) and Venus Martenité (1958), the first one of which was figurative and the second one foreshadowed his development towards abstraction. Stahly eventually focussed on basic forms grouped together in monumental compositions.
Cactus No 3
75 x 27 x 27 cm
Cactus No 1 &2
183 x 21 x 21 cm
188 x 18 x 15 cm
1913 - 1993
The “Cactuses” are the last series of sculptures of Memos Makris They were created between 1980 and 1993 when Makris had returned to Greece after having lived and worked both in France and Hungary. A departure from his mostly anthropomorphic artwork, the cactuses are his most personal work, referring to and reflecting on his place in the world. The cactus stands proud, isolated and alone, able to thrive in difficult circumstances on very little indeed. Despite its beautiful curves, it is unapproachable, not to be touched. In this way the cactus symbolizes the artist’s integrity and his refusal to compromise.
177 x 177 x 55 cm
Hourdé’s main subject is the male nude, and his epic work is heavenly laden with symbolism from mythology, theology, philosophy and history. Hourdé’s skinless figures render visible that which exists within the body, and in the case of Psyché (and the chair!) this is literally the skeleton. The sculpture deals with a recurrent theme in Hourdé’s work: that of duality (or double je in the words of the artist). Psyché invites us to face our mortality but it also contains a tongue in cheek hint at the vanity of the artist who seeks immortality through art. Similarly, Hourdé’s household objects, such as Chaisse, combine drama and wit. In the summer of 2016 Hourdé turned the Pont des Art in Paris into The Enchanted Footbridge with his larger than life sculptures.
190 x 36 x 25 cm
1918 - 1995
A Greek sculptor, Costas Coulentianos settled in Paris after the war. ‘Sans Titre’ belongs to his early work that combine figuration and abstraction. In the 40s and early 50s Coulentianos focused on the female body, yet his nudes go beyond standardized forms and their underlying anatomy. The bold, fluid curved lines of Sans Titre imbues it with sensuality and movement.
After 1952 a new approach becomes apparent in his work when he started to work directly in metal using sheets of iron. He subsequently created a series of acrobats that are considered among his finest work. Coulentianos identified with the acrobat’s agony because as an artist he too faced difficult challenges.
33 x 32 x 24 cm
Table Basse (A)
42 x 106 x 54 cm
1918 - 1995
Coulentianos gradual development towards abstraction culminated from the early 60s onward in a series of solid geometrical structures without the openings that were typical of his earlier work. Sans Titre combines different planes into a single composition that play with the volumes on either side of the sculpture.
The Table Bas (A) is equally representative of Coulentianos' work in this period. He used the technique of welded bronze on iron, which allowed him to create texture.
75 x 49 x 39 cm
les Chateaux d'Eau de Valence
1923 - 1910
Keenly interested in the integration of sculpture in an urban environment, Philolaos is best known for his iconic, monumental water tower sculptures: the Châteaux d’eau de Valence, 52 and 57 m in height, of which a scale model in bronze is presented here. Looking like lovers interlocked in a perpetual dance, the two towers are twirling cones set upside down, so as to seemingly defy gravitation.
The sculptures, which were realized between 1967 and 1971, earned Philolaos in 1981 first prize for the best urban art project of the decade 1970-1980. The Valence Museum hosted a retrospective exhibition of his work earlier this year.
Petit coffre télé
72 x 68 x 58 cm
Miroir dit ‘de Berlin’
54 x 18 x 18 cm
1923 - 1910
In the belief that art should be part of daily life, Philolaos made a series of domestic objects in metal and wood, that are true works of art. Among these objects made in the sixties and seventies are the 'Petit coffre télé' (initially to keep out of sight the bulky television of the past!), mirrors, closets, lamps, fireplaces and furniture. Philolaos was especially interested in the subject of mirrors, no doubt because it contains a deeper layer in that it literally confronts the viewer with his or her own image, bringing home the message that beauty is, indeed, in the eyes of the beholder.