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Arts

PIASA Auction House Presents Exclusive Sale of Works by Greek Artist Pavlos

PARIS – PIASA Auction house presents, on Thursday, April 8, 5:30 PM Paris time, an exclusive sale of works by the Greek artist Pavlos (1930-2019).

Prefacing their Modern and Contemporary sale, this monographic auction is centered on 28 lots. Exceptionally, the works presented are all directly from the artist’s family.

Having all been shown in major exhibitions in France and abroad, these works epitomize Pavlos’ oeuvre from the 1960s to the 2000s, and benefit from an impeccable provenance.

Pavlos Dionyssopoulos, better known by his artist’s moniker Pavlos, was born in1930 in Filatra. Aged 19, he left his native Greece for the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, which became his lifelong home.

In Paris in the 1950s, home of the Nouveaux Réalistes, Pavlos mingled with sculptors Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, and César, as well as famous art critic Pierre Restany whom he met at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in 1963. In his studio next door to Jean Dubuffet, rue Vaugirard, he progressively relinquished painting and began working with paper collages of cut strips of posters. Guided by the plastic potential of this medium, Pavlos elaborated a singular formal vocabulary. Mischievously drawing from the iconography of classical painting, the artist trimmed thin strips of multicolored papers, which he first assembled into abstract compositions. The near-organic shapes of his works capture the viewer’s attention and distort his relationship to a reality turned strange. In this manner, Pavlos set himself apart from the Parisian “Affichistes” such as Raymond Hains and JacquesVilleglé.

Later on, Pavlos’ abstract compositions gave way to works evoking objects from daily life, such as clothes and accessories. Somewhat echoing Pop Art, Pavlos’ work found success during his first American show in 1967, at New York’s Fischbach Gallery. The early 1970s saw him create a series of paper installations, including a set of 26 trees (La Forêt), presented during his first individual exhibition in Hanover. Free-spirited, Pavlos was instrumental in uniting art and life, the work and its audience, and enthusiastically embraced the art of the performance. One of the works presented here (Le Jeu – Happening de basket) is the sole witness to such an event.

In 1967, Fischbach Gallery, in New York, organized one of Pavlos’ first shows in the U.S. The artist had the innovative idea to recreate a shop. Thus, when spectators entered the gallery space, they discovered simple Formica chairs on which were displayed coats of trimmed paper (Le Congrès, 1967). The effect produced was unsettling and deceptive, as Pavlos explained: “when people walked into the exhibit, they would come back out thinking they had mistakenly entered an actual shop. Some sat on the chairs, others put their coats on the back of the empty chairs. There was really no more distance between the work and the viewer.”

In this entirely neutral décor, where any form of pathos was removed in favor of a voluntarily empty and neutral demonstration, the spectator was caught off-guard.

More information is available online: https://piasa.fr/en/home.

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