Greek sculptor Takis, known for kinetic artworks, dies

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FILE PHOTO: Greek sculptor Takis is seen at an Athens’ metro station during the opening of his exhibition in Athens, Greece, January 29, 2001. Stratos Havalezis/Eurokinissi via REUTERS A

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek sculptor Takis, known for artworks that made use of technology, motion and light and were displayed in art galleries and museums around the world, has died, his foundation said Friday. He was 93.

Athens-born Takis, whose full name was Panayiotis Vassilakis, began producing art in his 20s before moving to Paris, where his career took off. He experimented with magnetic fields, technology, electricity and light, creating what Britain’s Tate Modern, which is currently running an exhibition of his work until October, describes as “some of the most innovative art of the 20th century.”

The sculptor founded the Takis Foundation, Research Center for the Art and the Sciences on the outskirts of Athens in the 1980s. Inaugurated in 1993, the foundation contains a museum, garden and the sculptor’s studio, and aims to promote the appreciation of the visual arts.

“A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed,” the foundation said in announcing his death. “A prolific and visionary mind, whose ingenuity, passion and imagination was endless, Takis explored many artistic and scientific horizons, as well as music and theatre, and redefined the boundaries in contemporary art.”

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted his condolences to the sculptor’s family, described Takis as a “worldwide Greek. A pioneer, heretical, inexhaustibly creative, he opened new avenues in art.”

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said Takis’ artworks combined “technology, magnetism and light, with influences from classical sculpture and the abstraction of modernism.”

“His ‘live,’ kinetic art is itself a phenomenon that continues to fascinate visitors to the world’s most important contemporary art museums and makes Greece proud,” she said.

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