Over a 70-year career, Takis (Panayiotis Vassilakis, b.1925) has created some of the most innovative art of the 20th century. A sculptor of magnetism, light and sound, he seeks out the essential poetry and beauty of the electromagnetic universe. Takis was one of the most original artistic voices in Europe from the 1960s and remains a pioneering figure today. Bringing together over 80 works, this is Takis’ largest exhibition in the UK to date and includes a rarely-seen Magnetic Fields installation, musical devices generating resonant and random sounds, and forests of his pivotal Signals.
Born in Athens in 1925, Takis is a self-taught artist who moved to Paris in 1954 and became a key figure in the artistic and literary circles of Paris, London and New York. His inventions earned him the admiration of the international avant-garde, from William S. Burroughs and the American Beat poets to artists including Marcel Duchamp. Takis was at the forefront of kinetic art and pioneered new forms of sculpture, painting and musical structures to harness invisible natural forces. Throughout his career, he produced antennae-like sculptures called Signals – thin, flexible poles topped with found objects or electric lights – which gently sway in response to their surroundings. His idea for these works emerged while waiting at Calais train station surrounded by ‘monster eyes’ going on and off in a ‘jungle of iron’. The renowned Signals London g