Born Panayotis Vassilakis, Takis (1925 - 2019) was a Greek sculptor, born in Athens who is best known for exploring a wide variety of effects involving magnetism, compasses, electromagnets, flashing lights, etc.
A self-taught painter, in 1946 he began to make sculpture. Primarely interested in clay as a medium, he experimented with different supports as wood and, from 1954 onwards, with iron. His standing figures related to archaic Greek and Cycladic sculpture, the later ones from 1953 more abstract in treatment.
Takis lived mainly in Paris from 1954 and his first one-man exhibition of figures in plaster and iron was held a year after settling in France, at the Hanover Gallery, London, 1955. From 1955-8 he made swaying reed-like metal 'Signals', and 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, this lead to the launching of A Man in Space with magnetic force at the Galerie Iris Clert, Paris.
His autobiography was published in 1961 under the title Estafilades and his first 'Magnetic Ballets' and his 'musical' Telemagnetic sculptures date from1965.
He received a fellowship to work at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1968-9.
Portrait Image - Takis, shown next to one of his works in 1962 | © Tony Evans/Getty Images