'Greek Picasso' Alekos Fassianos dies aged 86

ATHENS (AFP) – Greek artist Alekos Fassianos, whose work drew on his country’s mythology and folklore, died on Sunday (Jan 16) at the age of 86, his daughter Viktoria said.

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.

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

“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 as a painter who “always balanced between realism and abstraction”.

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

The artist 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.

From Paris to Munich, Tokyo to Sao Paolo, Fassianos’s works were shown around the world. Examples of his work can be found in the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and in the Pinacotheque in Athens.


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