ATHENS, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- World acclaimed Greek sculptor and installation artist Takis passed away on Friday aged 93, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.
"It is with deep sadness that the Takis Foundation announces the passing of the international sculptor Panagiotis Vassilakis, known as Takis," Takis foundation, his research center for art and sciences, announced in a statement.
Panagiotis Vassilakis was one of the most prominent personalities of both international and Greek art scenes.
A pioneer of kinetic art, he unfurled his talent after the end of World War II, and he asserted himself by offering a different approach to kinetic art.
Over a 70-year career, Takis created some of the most innovative art of the 20th century.
His works adorn the permanent collections of the most important museums of the world, such as the George Pompidou Center for Contemporary Art in Paris, the MOMA and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the De Menil Collection in Houston, the Tate Modern in London, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
"Thanks to his multifaceted creative genius, his generosity and his incredible intuitiveness, Takis was ahead of his time, a fact that contributed to his international success," the Takis Foundation said in the statement.
Born in Athens in 1925, his childhood and adolescence were marked by the wars from which Greece suffered, such as the German and Italian occupation and the Civil War.
Takis decided to become an artist when he saw sculptures by Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti. He was also inspired by the Ancient Greek sculptures in Athens.
He moved to Paris in the 1950s, to pursue his artistic passion. There, he explored new aesthetic territories, creating three-dimensional works of art that incorporate invisible energies as a fourth, active element. His sculpture brought together art, science and nature.
He returned to Greece in 1986, where he established the Research Center for the Arts and the Sciences in Gerovouno in Attica prefecture.
In 2001, the European Parliament awarded Takis Foundation-K.E.T.E. with an honorary plaque for the artist's works Electric Barrels on renewable energy.
"His live, kinetic art is phenomenal, still enchanting visitors of the most important contemporary art museums of the world and making Greece proud. He was happy to see the big success of his retrospective exhibition in the Tate Modern in UK, one of the most important exhibitions in the world this year," commented Greek Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni on Takis' death in an emailed press statement.