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Panayiotis Tetsis

Panayiotis Tetsis
Panayiotis Tetsis
August 29, 2009 - September 20, 2009

Virvili Square
18020 Poros Island

(+30) 697 9989 684

Opening Hours
11.00-13.00 & 19.00-23.00

About the artist

1925 - 2016. Panayiotis Tetsis was born in 1925, in Hydra. He settled with his family in Piraeus in 1937, returning to Hydra every summer, where he began to paint. There, he met Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas and Pikionis, whom he considers his indirect teachers. In 1940, Klaus Frieslander gives him his first painting lessons and then continues his studies at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1943-1949). A year before graduating, he presents his first solo exhibition, (Romvos gallery, 1948). In 1951 he begins to teach as assistant at the Freehand Drawing School of the National Technical University Athens, with N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas as head professor. He was elected professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1976), where he taught until 1991 (chancellor since 1989). In 1993 he became a member of the Academy of Athens and in 1999 and was awarded the title of Grand Commander of the Order of the Phoenix. He has held more than 90 solo exhibitions and has numerous participations in group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He participated in the Sao Paulo Biennale (1957) and the Alexandria Biennale (1959). His retrospective exhibition, 35 years of painting (Pieridis Art Gallery, 1992), was also presented at the Municipal Galleries of Mytilene, Patras, Kalamata, Chania and Rhodes. More retrospective exhibitions took place in the Athens National Art Gallery (1999), Florence, Cyprus and elsewhere. Four books with his writings and several of his articles have been published. He died in 2016.

About the exhibition

Tetsis’s seascapes are works inspired by the islands of Hydra and Poros. The title of the series is “Bypassing Tselevinia”. Tselevinia, the small inhabitable islands at the Peloponnese cape between Poros and Hydra, and famous for their rough seas, a divider between the calm Saronic Gulf and rocky Hydra, uniting and dividing the life of Poros and Hydra.

Tetsis’s paintings in the exhibition are mainly seascapes, with the exception of a still life of a bowl of lemons – a playful reference to both the lemon grove across in the coast of Peloponnesus as well as a playful reference to Citronne itself.

Tetsis’s seascapes show an imaginative and emotive interpretation of the sea. The sea has been always present in his life, his mind, his work. He was born in Hydra where he goes back often. The paintings are products of his memories, feelings and sense of the place. The view of the sea opens up as a wide horizon, in front of the viewer’s eyes. The sea in Tetsis’s paintings takes different colors, green, dark deep blue even black. In each painting, it takes a different presentation; deep sea with no land on view, turmoil and dark – deep green, very dark blue occasionally even black; where the spray of the sea extends to the clouds, where water and sky are different to be distinguished, like the wild sea outside Tselevinia in the winter time; light green with overtones of aquamarine blue and above it a blue or orangey summer sky where the rays of the gold sun are passing through and the inviting shore is in the middle ground between sea and sky – the shore painted with strong contrasting colors deep brown red against emerald greens or yellow and ochras contrasting grey or purplish blues.

A thick mass of color is placed on the canvas with the brush, with a knife, even with fingers. Light translates into color. The forms are drowned in flooding color obliterating the boundary between reality and imagination. The handling of form, space, and light transforms his subject into a harmonious construction of planes and spaces. The brush strokes have a rhythmic pattern that gives the canvas its shimmering texture. He is painting pure movement of masses of color, which brings to the finished painting the immediacy of the color sketch. In Tetsis’ paintings, the sky and the sea were brought into an almost abstract relation. Sea and sky together form a vortex of unbridled natural force.