Home » Exhibitions » Exhibition Review: Takis at Tate Modern from 3 July to 27 October 2019

Exhibition Review: Takis at Tate Modern from 3 July to 27 October 2019

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Tate Modern presents the largest exhibition related to Takis (Panayiotis Vassilakis) in the UK, the exhibition features over 70 works and includes the rarely-seen Magnetic Fields installation and a group of antennae-like sculptures called Signals.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Over a 70-year career, Takis has been at the forefront of kinetic art and has pioneered new forms of sculpture, painting and musical structures to harness invisible natural forces. Takis was born in Athens in 1925 and as a self-taught artist moved to Paris in the 1950s and gradually became a well known figure in the artistic circles of Paris, London and New York. The exhibition is not chronological but is arranged around a number of themes that have fascinated the artist over his long career.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In 1959, Takis moved from figurative work to experimentation with magnetic energy, the first room in the exhibition features Magnetic Fields 1969, on display for the first time since the 1970s, in which magnetic pendulums trigger movement from nearly a hundred small sculptures.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Also in this room is Bronze Figure 1954-55 and Plastic Figure 1954-5 which shows that the artist was inspired by the work of Picasso and Giacometti.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The next room entitled Magnetism and Metal includes works like Telesculpture 1960, Magnetron 1966 and Telepainting 1966. Takis experimented with metallic objects that float with the use of magnets to create a dynamic sculpture of movement.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

His inventions and the dialogues around the works drew praise from diverse artist circles from William S. Burroughs and the American Beat poets to artists like Marcel Duchamp. Takis travelled regularly to London in the 1950s and 1960s and his work was featured in Signals London gallery which was an important meeting place for the transmission of ideas about breaking down boundaries between the arts and sciences.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The artist’s Signal series became known for their ability to respond to their surroundings, they often consisted of thin, flexible poles topped with objects or electric lights.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In the 1960s, the artist began to include sound with the use of electromagnets that would vibrate instrument strings. Musicals 1984-2004 shows the whole process in action.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

It was not just sound but electric lights that began to interest Takis, the Light and Darkness room includes a Signal series that plays with light and energy.

The artist was influenced by a number of artistic and social movements in the 1960s and worked with scientific institutes to develop work into renewable energies. He was also one of the founders of the Art Workers’ Coalition which sought to widen diversity in museums and protect the rights of the creative community.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In the 1980s, Takis began to build his research Centre for the Art and the Sciences, now known as the Takis Foundation. At the centre of the foundation is an open air theatre space organised around a central Gong. A group of these sculptures are featured in the final room entitled Music of the Spheres which incorporates some of the artist’s ideas of cosmic harmony and how energy and natural forces interact to create the universe.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This intriguing exhibition introduces the work of Takis to a wider audience in the UK. Although better known in France, Greece and the United States, the artist’s work has generally failed to engage interest in the UK. This is somewhat surprising because there is often a fun element to the artist’s work which often has a very 1960s ambience when the cult of the ‘modern’ was in vogue. Although light and sound sculptures are now commonplace, it is worth considering that Takis was one of the early pioneers in this type of work and deserves wider recognition.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow me on Twitter

Archives

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: