White Cube is pleased to announce representation of the estate of the Greek artist Takis (1925 – 2019), as well as a solo exhibition of his works at White Cube Hong Kong from 21 November 2020 – 23 January 2021.
Born Panagiotis Vassilakis in Athens, Takis’s practice spanned over seventy years during which he pioneered new forms of sculptures, painting and musical structures to harness invisible forces. The artist, who described himself as an ‘instinctive scientist’, incorporated types of energies—magnetic, acoustic and light wave—as fourth dimensions.
Takis was an important figure in the cultural scenes in New York, London, and Paris where he crossed paths with a diverse group of artists, including the Beat poets, The Beatles, and Marcel Duchamp, the latter whom dubbed him ‘the ploughman of magnetic fields’.
Takis also channelled his research into social spheres, using magnets to suspend a human in space in 1960, in advance of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight a year later, and co-founding the Art Workers Coalition in 1969, an organisation dedicated to giving living artists a voice in museums. Until his death in August 2019, he ran the Takis K.E.T.E., a research centre for the arts in Athens, now known as the Takis Foundation.
The exhibition at White Cube Hong Kong focuses on important innovations from early in Takis’s career, highlighting his goal of making the universe’s fundamental forces perceptible. It will feature an array of works from what is perhaps the artist’s best-known series, Signals, which he began in the mid-1950s. These antenna-like sculptures move in response to wind or vibrations, and Takis saw them as devices for sending and receiving invisible energies. A series of kinetic works involving magnets and electromagnets will demonstrate how the artist was able to take art into realms that were previously considered the domain or physicists and engineers.
Yiorgos Nakoudis, President of the Takis Foundation - Research Center for the Art and the Sciences (K.E.T.E.) said: ‘It is a great pleasure to announce that the Takis Foundation is now working with White Cube. We see this is an exciting moment; our cooperation will foster Takis’s extraordinary work and ideals globally, whilst presenting him as a leading figure of Post-War Kinetic Art. Furthering our commitment to maintaining Takis’s artistic and aesthetic vision and spirit, this collaboration will showcase him worldwide for the years to come, and further establish the Takis Foundation as an exemplary centre for the art and sciences by promoting its activities and missions.’
Susan May, Global Artistic Director at White Cube said: ‘White Cube is pleased to be partnering with the Takis Estate on representing the work of this pioneering artist. Through our extensive exhibition and publishing programmes, we look forward to sharing his innovative vision with audiences around the world.’