signed and dated 70 upper right; signed and titled on the reverse
oil on canvas heightened with gold
Executed in 1970 and exhibited at the 1971 São Paulo Biennale, this work is of great importance within the oeuvre of Fassianos.
The present work is an ambitious narrative of monumental scale, depicting life in Greece post-World War II. The title itself outlines the theme: the name 'Anastasios' comes from the Greek word 'anastasi', meaning 'resurrection', describing Greece's release from devastating Axis occupation in the form of a series of clear visual movements, like the narrative of a musical suite. Composed of Fassianos' distinctive characters and unique personal iconography, the multi-faceted subject incorporates the wider themes of daily Greek life, leisure, social and national obligations, the Church and even fashion.
The lower quarter of the composition is dominated by the chequerboard pattern of the black-and-white tiles commonly found on Greek floors and backyards. The red figure to the far left ushers in the post-war freedom, lighting the way with a fiery candelabra signifying the potential for new life and hope. Similarly, the bicycle represents joy and freedom, and more literally the most popular mode of transport used by a war-impoverished Greece that began anew to travel and enjoy leisure activities.
The gold and black figures wear Fassianos' signature flowing fabrics, in this case the ties sent in relief boxes along with other items of clothing, cigarettes, etc. by the Americans through the Marshall Plan. The figures all smoke as a sign of insouciance and the novel availability of luxury items. The shorn head of the gold figure is a potent reminder of the obligatory military service of Greek men of age.
In this historical work of epic proportions, as in the rest of his oeuvre, Fassianos creates an all-encompassing, dynamic atmosphere of hope, rich with his own symbolism. A pervasive sense of joy and celebration enriches this contemporary masterpiece, a commemoration of Greek resilience in the face of adversity.
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