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Artists Biography

George Touyas

Greek 1922–1994
George Touyas was born in 1922 in Athens. Initially he studied Economics and Political Science (1940-1945) and then studied painting and printmaking at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1946-1950). He continued his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he studied the art of fresco and large surface painting (1951-1953). He gained the French citizenship in 1958, choosing to settle and work permanently in Paris. After 1968 he increasingly returned to Greece where he eventually settled, while maintaining a close relationship with France.

During the '50s and '60s, his painting style shifted to abstract gestural forms, popular at the time in Paris. He abandoned this idiom when he needed to comment on the social and political reality, especially after the emergence of the military dictatorship in Greece. Then he resorted to a clearly conceivable, rough painting style that depicted the grim picture of modern society with realistic or constructivist elements and limited colour. He presented these works in his first solo exhibition in Greece (Astor gallery, 1970).

Over the following years, his work acquired a more concrete conceptual dimension with the creation of installations and constructions that allowed him to express his views on art and politics in a complex mode, both visually and verbally. This is what he attempted to achieve with the following three exhibitions: Pipelines (1973), Anti-myth(1974) and Cries and Systems (1978). The issues he touches upon through his art and his theoretical language, refer to the alienation brought about by technological civilization, the hardships of political authoritarianism and the hopeless search for a cultural identity.

He did not present many solo exhibitions, but he participated in major group exhibitions and international events, many Parisian Salons, in Avanguardia e Sperimentazione (Modena and Venice, 1978), the Printmaking Biennale of Ljubljana (from 1973 to 1979) and the Biennale of Sao Paulo (1963).

Many of his articles have been published in the Greek press.

A year after his death (Thessaloniki, 1994), Desmos art gallery, with which he often cooperated, presented his work at the 1995 ‘Art Athina’. Part of his work was also presented in the exhibition Selections from ‘Desmos’, P+P=D (DESTE Foundation, 1999).

Works by this artist…

  • La Chute D'lcare
    La Chute D'lcare
    ( ref : 14819 )
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