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Vanishing Points: Panayiotis Tetsis

In the summer of 2006, the spaces of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation in Andros were overflowed with colour and light, as the work of Panayiotis Tetsis (1925-2916), renowned exponent of the Modern Greek tradition in contemporary painting, was presented there, offering the public this great pleasure.

This elegy of colour was an attempt in revisiting the space and time of Tetsis’ painting, through a theme that we all hold dear, namely the sea. The sea as experience and memory is an emotionally charged space, around which developed a considerable part of the artist’s visual problematics and on which focused an equally significant part of his quest in art, already from the very beginning of his career, ultimately placing him among the genuine representatives of the Greek seascape tradition.

Tetsis’s painting treats this primeval theme in the spirit of the times, both avoiding stereotypes and radical breaks with tradition, taking it into its contemporary iconographic expression on the basis of rules and perceptions that took shape in the first decades of the 20th century. His seascapes are an ode to the Aegean, sea of light and of myths, sea of alternating colour variations and shades.

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The Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1979. Its main purpose is the operation of its two museums, on the island of Andros and in Athens and the promotion of visual arts on a domestic and international level.

Its founders and inspirers were Basil and Elise Goulandris who were passionate about art. Painting was the main focus of their interest which connected them to the artistic circles of post-war Paris; they also promoted young Greek artists, helping them to evolve their art and expand their artistic horizons.

Its Collection is one of the most important private collections created during the second half of the 20th century. The main purpose of the B&E Goulandris Foundation in Athens is to house this collection and make it accessible to the public, in accordance with the wish of its founders. As is the case with most private collections, the selection criteria for the works which are included in it were purely subjective. Basil and Elise Goulandris, chose these specific works guided only by their personal preferences and aesthetic codes. Their wish was the creation of a museum in Athens, which would provide the opportunity for a broader audience to come into contact and become familiar with the art they so loved. They envisaged a lively cultural organization, on a par with internationally acclaimed institutions in the field of the visual arts.

The Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation which is in the centre of Athens and houses the Collection of the Foundation, also hosts temporary exhibitions, educational programs and cultural events using advanced museological applications within the broad spectrum of modern and contemporary art.

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