ATHENS — Alekos Fassianos, one of the most important modern Greek painters, died Sunday at his home after a long illness, the state news agency ANA reported. He was 86.
Fassianos was born in Athens in 1935. After graduating from the Athens School of Fine Arts, he moved to Paris, France in 1960 to study lithography at the Ecole des Βeaux-Αrts, with Clairin και Dayez (1962-64). He finally moved to Paris where he lived for 35 years.
Fassianos was also involved in the design of stage sets for major classic and modern productions. His art has been exhibited in museums and galleries, including in Athens, Paris, and throughout Europe, as well as in Tokyo, New York, São Paulo and Melbourne.
In addition to private collections, his art can be found in museums in France.
Fassianos was very popular in Greece, and some of his works are exhibited in public places: two large murals entitled The Myth of My Neighbourhood can be seen in Athens at the Metaxourgeio metro station. Small sculptures can be seen in front of the Orthodox Church of St. Irene in Athens. A giant vertical mural can be seen in the lobby of the Electra Metropolis Hotel in Athens.
In 1999 he was awarded by the Academy of Athens and in 2010 he was decorated with a medal of the Legion d’Honneur (Officier des Lettres et des Arts) by the French government.
On December 13, 2007 a Fassianos painting entitled “The Messenger” sold for 550,701 euros at Bonhams auction house in London.
Although some of his paintings, especially the early ones, were in a contemporary style, he mostly drew inspiration from Greek popular art and Ancient Greek mythology. He was also inspired by Byzantine themes, although his colorful paintings have little to do with Byzantine austerity. Besides painting and lithography, he also illustrated books, designed theater costumes and settings and dabbled in sculpture.
Fassianos was widely celebrated in Greece and many of his works adorn public spaces, including a mural at an Athens subway station. In France, he was made a commander of the Order of Arts and Letters and an officer of the Legion of Honor. He exhibited widely in Europe and Latin America. His last major exhibition was a 2004 retrospective in Athens.
Fassianos is survived by his wife, Mariza, and two daughters.