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‘Greek Picasso’ Alekos Fassianos dies aged 86

Fassianos, who had been bedridden at his home in the suburbs of Athens for several months, died in his sleep

Alekos Fassianos with his artworks. — AFP
Alekos Fassianos with his artworks. — AFP


Published: Mon 17 Jan 2022, 2:12 AM

Greek artist Alekos Fassianos, whose work drew on his country’s mythology and folklore, died on Sunday at the age of 86, his daughter told AFP.

Described by some admirers as a modern-day Matisse and by others as the Greek Picasso, his works, which included paintings, lithographs, ceramics and tapestries, have been shown around the world.

While he resisted comparison with Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, he admired both artists, but insisted he had drawn on many different influences.

Fassianos, who had been bedridden at his home in the suburbs of Athens for several months, died in his sleep, Viktoria Fassianou said.

“All the work of Fassianos, the colours that filled his canvases, the multidimensional forms that dominated his paintings, exude Greece,” said Culture Minister Lina Mendoni in a statement.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis paid tribute to Fassianos, the painter, a true poet, who “always balanced between realism and abstraction”.

Fassianos, he added, “leaves us a precious heritage”.

Ill health forced the artist to put down his paintbrushes in 2019.

He split his time between Greece and France, where he studied lithography at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris.

The website devoted to his work says his style was forged in the 1960s and that his main themes have always been man, nature and the environment.

An Athens museum devoted to his work will open in autumn 2022 and display some of the works that currently adorn his home.

His friend, architect Kyriakos Krokos, entirely redesigned the central Athens museum that will showcase his work, collaborating with Fassianos himself.

France has awarded him some of its top awards, including the Legion of Honour (Arts and Letters) and he is also an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts.

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