Alekos Fassianos (25 October 1935 – 16 January 2022) was born in Athens. His father was a musician and his mother taught ancient Greek. He studied violin at the National Conservatory and painting under Yannis Moralis at the School of Fine Arts in Athens (1956-1960). In 1960, he received a scholarship from the French government and went to Paris to study lithography at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
In 1967, with the rise of the dictatorship of the Colonels in Greece, Fassianos moved more permanently to Paris. In 1969, legendary art dealer Paul Facchetti discovered him and they began a vibrant collaboration showing Fassianos’ works alongside fellow artists Jean Paul Riopelle and Georges Mathieu. For the artist, the solo shows organized by Facchetti were critical to furthering his career as they marked the first comprehensive showcase of his artistic idiom, which defined him. In the 70s, he was represented by Alexander Iolas Gallery, showing alongside Max Ernst, Magritte, de Chirico and Martial Raysse. Throughout his career, his works travelled from Malmö to Tokyo through Zurich, Berlin, Milan and New York.
Aside from painting, Fassianos was a writer, a poet, a ceramist, a scenographer and an architect. He created the costumes and stage sets for numerous plays among which, Franz Kafka’s America at the National Theatre of Athens, followed by Euripides’s Helen and in 1980. He was also in charge of the scenography of No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre. Throughout his career, Fassianos illustrated numerous editions for of his friends: writers, thinkers and poets such as Constantin Cavafy, Miltos Sachtouris, Louis Aragon, Hamid Fouladvind, Odysseas Elytis, Guillaume Apollinaire, Jacques Lacarriere Paul Valéry, Arrabal and Jean-Marie Drot among others. He created limited edition publications with Bruno Roy, editor of Fata Morgana and the publisher André Biren.
Alekos Fassianos has been awarded Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Arts, Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la Légion d’Honneur and in 2021, he became Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la Légion d’Honneur.
“He whose name I write, the name I learned to pronounce: Fassianos, Oh, Fassianos! I remember those first days when the surprise hit me – it was a new way to love.”
Louis Aragon, “Fassianos Facing the Sky”