HADJIKYRIAKOS-GHIKAS Nikos “Man in Repose”, 1941

Man in Repose (1941)

The painter Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas was a generally learned man with literary interests, concerns and questions. He expressed himself in an art that was shaped by the great movements of the 20th century, which he experienced firsthand during his stay in Paris, and his extensive knowledge and inexhaustible interest in ancient Mediterranean civilizations, the Far East, Byzantine mosaics, as well as Greek folk tradition. All the factors that he experienced and encountered together with whatever was contained within him transubstantiated into an innovative work that bears the unique brand of his powerful personality and Greek identity. In his first ventures, he tried out abstract expression, but gradually abandoned it to join the Cubist movement, where he followed science and replaced situational truth with virtually mathematical relationships of equilibrium. He analyzed and recomposed the forms according to the dictates of artistic perception. Although Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas is considered to principal proponent of Cubism in Greece, his Cubist style is imbued with the transparency and magic of the Mediterranean light, which produces a poetic exaltation of beauty and manifests the concerns of an inner quest. Even in his most austere compositions, the hot, glowing colors reveal a sensuous painting with no traces of cerebral aloofness.