TAKIS, Vassilakis (1925 - 2019)

Five monumental mobile sculptures in black metal, with polychrome extremities on the arms
Date of entry at UNESCO
Country of origin Greece
Donating country Greece
Donation made to UNESCO by Greece
© Photo: UNESCO/C. Michel. One of the yellow sculptures by V. Takis
Adagp, Paris 2012


Green sculpture: 500 x 500 x 31 cm

Yellow sculpture no.1: 500 x 500 x 24 cm

Blue sculpture: 630 x 500 x 38 cm

Yellow sculpture no.2: 252 x 500 x 30 cm

Red sculpture: 630 x 500 x 38 cm

The "Aeolian Signals", an ensemble of five sculptures placed between the Fontenoy building and Noguchi’s Garden of the Peace, are the work of Vassilakis Takis, a self-taught Greek artist. Like a windmill, these mobile structures are in perpetual movement thanks to the wind. The minimalistic, simple shapes and primary colors of these sculptures are characteristic of his work. Takis studies immaterial sources of energy (such as wind, sound, light...) so as to see how they may be integrated into his creations. The strong creativity developed by Takis gives poetic force to his work.

The first of Takis’s "Signals" date from 1954 and consist of rods made with piano cords that create musical vibrations when colliding because of the wind. As of 1980, he began creating large-scale "Signals" and installing them outdoors. This also reflects Takis’s interest in the urban environment; other than the "Signals" at UNESCO, Takis has also installed a ‘forest’ of “aeolians” on the La Defense piazza in Paris, between 1984 and 1987.

Artist Biography

The Greek sculptor Takis Vassilakis Panagiotti was born in 1925 in Athens. He learned how to work stone from Greek craftsmen. In 1946 he began his sculptural research, with works that recalled ancient art as well as Giacometti’s filiform figures, but he later evolved towards more refined shapes. In 1954, he settled in Paris, where he joined Brancusi’s studio for several months. It is at this time that he began creating his "signals", long metal rods topped with lightbulbs, and started exhibiting in Paris. His sculptures were made from found and manufactured objects to which he gave aesthetic sense.

Fascinated by movement, Takis seeks to integrate it in his work. He has created compositions which he names "Vibrating Painting","Telesculpture "," Telelight", hence inserting light, movement and sound within his compositions.

He is one of the few renovators of sculpture after Brancusi and Giacometti. However, his work is unclassifiable and he has never been associated to any school of art. His work is based on the exploration of energies. The random movement in his work translates his desire to highlight the energy sources which are an integral part of his works.