Marthas Takis (1905 - 1965)

He was born in 1905 in Lavrio. He studied architecture at the National Technical University of Athens (1924-1929). When still a university student, he taught for three years at the Athens Biotechnical School, after Dimitris Pikionis recommended him. He became Lecturer in the Descriptive and Projective Geometry and Perspective Sketching Dept. of the NTUA (1930-1960), professor of Architectural Design in the School of Architecture (1945), and eventually, in 1960, he was elected professor of Freehand Drawing at the Architectural School of the NTUA, remaining in that position till his death. He also taught at the Military Officers Candidate Schools, the Evelpidon Military Academy and worked as an architect for the Ministry of Health (1937-1939).
He never studied painting officially, but he had been painting since his university years. As a matter of fact, at the time of the Occupation, he engaged in printmaking. In his first comprehensive solo exhibition (ADEL gallery, 1955) he presented figurative paintings of the last twenty years, distinguished by a lyrical spirit and echoing influences of fauvism or expressionism.
During his next period, he moved away from representational painting and a painstaking process began which, circa 1960, would gradually lead him to abstraction. That is how he earned his historical place among the pioneers of abstract painting in Greece.
His early subjects (seascapes, animals or human figures) remain fundamentally recognizable, but are not dominant as images. He emphasizes on design structure and its competitive relationship with colour. In his artistic course, the painter also employs his architectural knowledge on geometric design and diverse construction materials, mixing and processing them with great zeal, highlighting their texture through the matières premières of his works. The spirituality that features his painting is expressed through the combination of structural-rational elements with a rather emotional sensitivity.
His work was presented in solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad, receiving distinctions in national competitions and he was awarded the Diplome d'Honneur at the Salon del' Art Libre (1959, Paris). He represented Greece in the Sao Paulo Biennial of 1961.
He published articles on issues related to the social role of art and the coexistence of art and architecture in newspapers and journals.
After his death (Athens, 1965), his work was presented in retrospective exhibitions at the Thessaloniki Municipal Gallery (1990) and the Athens Municipal Gallery (1991).