Carwan Gallery in Athens presents the first-ever exhibition of late artist Alekos Fassianos’ design works, on display until 4 January 2023

Having shown designers such as India Mahdavi and Omer Arbel in recent years, Carwan Gallery’s scope for design showpieces is broad. Now it is displaying lighting, seating, painted ceramics and tables by Alekos Fassianos. The gallery relocated from Beirut to Athens in 2020, continuing its mission to display collectible contemporary design from the Eastern Mediterranean and foster relationships with and between architects, artists and designers. 

Alekos Fassianos: Design works from the archives

While Fassianos operated largely in painting and illustration – and his work ranges extensively in scale – his portfolio also extends into design, sculpture and writing and maintains his distinctive identity regardless of form. Influences from Cycladic, traditional Indian and Japanese artistry shine through in his works, with images of various life forms remaining at the centre of his pieces. Birds, people and snakes appear often in his works, in block colours and minimalist depictions. ‘I like red and blue volumes, but not abstraction,’ Fassianos remarked on colour and subject. 

Fassianos’ motifs are instantly recognisable for the reductive worlds he created with them, which are echoed in the design pieces shown at Carwan Gallery. The bare stone walls of the gallery contrast with the smooth textures of his red-upholstered and timber designs.

Playfully rounded tops of armchairs outline silhouettes and animal busts, and curls of wood house small birds and human characters. The designs are simple and vary from leather-lined benches and armchairs, to a wicker-woven coffee table and a glass-topped dining table, held up by bird-shaped pillars. 

While the collections heavily feature seating, Fassianos’ designs extend to brass cut-out lamps, and each piece is made to be unique, in a resistance by the artist and designer to mass-production.

Polydefkous 39, Piraeus, 18545, Athens, Greece;

Author: Martha Elliott