The great Greek painter, teacher and academic, Panayiotis Tetsis, died at the age of 91. “Who can really imagine the history of modern Greek painting without Tetsis?” said the director of National Gallery and close friend of his, Marina Lambraki Plaka, a few days ago at an event held by the Ministry of Culture, which awarded him Yannis Moralis award. Due to health problems the painter was not able to attend.
He was born in 1925 in Hydra and his studies in painting begun under Klaus Frislander in 1940. However, meeting Pikionis and Hatzikyriakos-Ghikas was to be a determining influence on his career.
In 1951 he was appointed lecturer in free-hand drawing in the Faculty of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens and then he was elected professor in the Athens School of Fine Arts.
During his career he has received many distinctions, the Critics’ Prize (Keranis Award) for his Shipyard (1962), a grant from the State Scholarships Foundation (1953), an honorary scholarship from the Italian state (1960), and a grant from the Ford Foundation (1972).
His first solo exhibition was held in 1948 at the Romvos Gallery in Athens and since then he has held more than 40 solo exhibitions and participated in at least 20 group exhibitions.
The painter Tetsis bequeathed 210 of his works to the National Gallery asking also 20% of them to be used so as to the gallery could buy art works of other artists that are missing from its collection. In his honor, National Gallery will host one of his great art work ‘Laiki agora’ at a hall that will bear his name.