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Biographical Note

Panayotis Vassilakis, known as Takis, born in Athens. Began to paint, self-taught, and in 1946 to make sculpture. Worked first with clay, then in wood and from 1954 in iron. Made standing figures related to archaic Greek and Cycladic sculpture, the later ones from 1953 more abstract in treatment. Lived mainly in Paris from 1954. First one-man exhibition of figures in plaster and iron at the Hanover Gallery, London, 1955. From 1955-8 made swaying reed-like metal 'Signals', then began a series of 'Telemagnetic' sculptures in which metallic components such as spanners, needles and cones were kept in suspension in the air by a magnet. In November 1960 launched a man in space with magnetic force at the Galerie Iris Clert, Paris. Published an autobiography Estafilades 1961. His first 'Magnetic Ballets' and his first 'musical' Telemagnetic sculptures 1965. Fellowship to work at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1968-9. Has explored a wide variety of effects involving magnetism, compasses, electromagnets, flashing lights, etc. Now lives in Paris and Athens.