Lot 4
  • 4

Nicos Hadjikiriakos-Ghika

80,000 - 120,000 GBP
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  • Nicos Hadjikiriakos-Ghika
  • A travers la fenĂȘtre (Through the Window)
  • signed and dated 59 lower right; signed, titled and dated 59 on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 45.5 by 35.5cm., 18 by 14in.


Private Collection, Athens

Catalogue Note

In the present work, Ghika transforms a simple view from a window framed by a still life into a pulsating, three-dimensional use of space with a jubilant palette. The origami-like quality of seemingly folded planes of different decorative designs adds a strong sense of dynamism to the structure, in which each element hums with activity. Nothing is strictly representational, and space and surface are manipulated by Ghika's skilled brush, transposing the outdoor environment over the indoor and vice versa.

Beginning and ending his life in Greece, Nikos Hadjikiriakos-Ghika began his artistic scholarship under Konstantinos Parthenis in Athens, relocating to Paris to enrol at the Sorbonne, the Ranson Academy and the studio of Dimitris Galanis. This erudite, well-travelled and sophisticated background would nourish a hungry mind, open to the concept of an analytic and mathematical form of modernism. This rupture with the time-honoured tradition of the Munich School nevertheless was represented by a predominantly Parisian modernist movement, infused in theme, subject or spirit by a distinctively Hellenic character. This visual vocabulary owed much to the methodical teaching of Parthenis, with its emphasis on geometric principles, and to the Byzantine art that Ghika cherished, incorporating its 'strictness, the geometric, hierarchy,' and the work of artistic luminaries of the Parisian modernist enclave such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque (in Marina Lambraki-Plaka, ed., Four Centuries of Greek Painting, Athens, 1999, p. 139).