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Takis EfstathiouTAKIS EFSTATHIOU (Greece, Athens b. 1944 / act: Athens & New York)

Takis Efstathiou is a well-known fine art dealer. His firm, PTE Fine Arts, is associated with the largest private and public collections in the world's art capitals, and has received acknowledgement in many exhibition catalogs of museums and galleries.

Efstathiou's grandfather took off from Mytilini to seek work in Moscow, where he married Vera Pavlona Tchernova. At the outbreak of the Russian Revolution his grandparents were forced to leave Russia and to find refuge in Greece. The family of his mother were living in Caucasus for three generations, and were forced out of the region in the outbreak of the Second World War on account of their being foreigners. No sooner had they arrived in Athens, than the German occupation of Greece began. His mother met his father, Constantinos Efstathiou, and they had two boys. Takis was born on 26 August 1944. The family lived initially at Vrilissia, then at Nea Smyrne, and finally in the area of Fix Brewers. The times were difficult and the only hope seemed to be America. Thus, the father prepared his family, and in the winter of 1963 they arrived by ship in New York. The young Efstathiou engaged with various art-related activities: studying theater in studios, assisting the artist Nikos Icaris, experimenting with painting and photography. Towards the end of 1960 Efstathiou met Alexander Iolas, who encouraged him to engage with the art market, a field in which Efstathiou excelled.

Initially, in 1973 Efstathiou opened Tchernov Gallery in Manhattan's 57th Street, next to Carnegie Hall. This Gallery commemorates his grandmother's maiden name. There he presented works by American artists, with the exception of the first major exhibition of Christos Caras in 1974. Tchernov Gallery was closed in 1975 as a result of the pressures of the Cold War. Subsequently, he began private dealing with major collections in Japan, until 1977, when he opened Ericson Gallery on Madison Avenue and 74th Street, near The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. There he displayed historic exhibitions featuring works of Steve Gianakos, Hans Hinterreiter, Claes Oldenburg, Betty Parsons, Larry Rivers, Theodoros Stamos, and others. Ericson Gallery lasted eight years, until 1986, when Efstathiou turned towards dealing with collections and major art institutions.

It is worth noting that George Costakis, the renowned collector of the Russian avant garde, when in the United States, was a frequent visitor to Ericson Gallery. At the former's wish, Efstathiou negotiated with Michael Govan and Thomas Krens, of the Guggenheim Museum, to purchase the Costakis Estate, but the Ministry of Culture in Greece prevailed, bringing the Costakis Collection to Moni Lazariston in Thessaloniki. Efstathiou has also been advisor to the Hans Hinterreiter Foundation in Zurich, and in 1986 initiated an exhibition of his work that travelled through the Herbert Johnson Museum, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Duke University, the Museum of Art of Pennsylvania. In his forward to the catalog, Thomas W. Leavitt, former Director of the Herbert Johnson Museum, writes: "Hintereiter's introduction to the United States came largely through the interest of Takis Efstathiou of the Ericson Gallery in New York. It was there that I first was struck by the compelling geometry of Hinterreiter's paintings and agreed to host this first museum of his work in America." He exhibited Hinterreiter's art again at the Hiro Gallery of Tokyo in 1993, and at the Guggenheim in 1998. Moreover, Efstathiou offered an exhibition of Theodore Stamos from his personal collection at the Hiro Gallery in 1995. Furthermore, Thomas Messer, director emeritus of the Guggeheim Foundation, collaborated with Efstathiou on the de-accession of artworks in the 1980s. Through the hands of Efstathiou passed works by Marc Chagall, Robert Delaunay, Rudolf Bauer, Baroness Hilla Rebay, Jacques Villon, and others. At various times Efstathiou has supported The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Herbert Johnson Museum, and other American institutions with significant gifts.

Throughout his career, Efstathiou made friends, and cultivated his relationship with all the artists of the Greek Diaspora. ACG Art greatfully acknowledges PTE Fine Arts' donation of artworks by the following artists: Hitoshi Abe; Martin Abossolo; Demosthenes Agrafiotis (2); Aguilar; Alexis Akrithakis; W.J. Alais; Dimitris Ameladiotis (2); Stephen Antonakos (2); Argyro; El Arte; Constance Bannister; Francesco Bartolozzi; Jackie Battenfield; Hubert Berke; Joseph Beuys (13); Max Bill (2); Guiljelmus Blaeuw; Marcel Breuer; Christos Caras (3); Katharine T. Carter (3); Thomas Cheesman; Vadim Chernoff; John Chios; Chryssa; George Constant; Thomas Cross; Nassos Daphnis (5); Christophe De Menil (2); Richard De Menocal (2); Georgios Derpapas; Michail Derpapas (2); Amos Doolitle; Achilles Droungas; Douglas Dubler (10); Jacob Andreas Eisenmann; Alekos Fassianos; Iannis Falkonis (2); Yannis Gaïtis; Christos Garoufalis; Karl Gerstner; Cris Gianakos (4); Yorgos Golfinos; Dana Gordon (7); Lydia Gravanis; Marc Hadjipateras (3); Franz Hanfstaengl; Erich Hartmann (2); Hans Hinterreiter (8); Cathy Hios; Theo Hios (8); Jijie Hong (2); Gerald Horn; Igbo; Tsuyoshi Ikeda (2); Inuit; Thomas George Johnson; Katerina Kampiti; Tom Keogh; Keramikos; Ladislas Kijno (2); George Kokines (5); Angeliki Korkou (4); Michael Lekakis (109); Stathis Livanis (2); Vered Lieb; Klearchos Loukopoulos; René Magritte; Christina Mamakos (6); George Maniatis (2); Demetrius Manouselis (2); Donald Mavros (13); Sigrid McCabe; Edward Meneeley; Andriana Meyer; Michael Michaeledes (2); George W. Naumburg; Masaaki Noda (32); Nelly's; Newton Mfg. Co.; Miriam Nske; Isamu Noguchi (2); Eva Ohlow (26); Pach Brothers; Herbert Pagani; Theodoros Pantaleon; Pavlos; Albert Henry Payne; Carlos Perez Macías (2); Theo Pfeil; Konstantinos Podotas; Theodore Polos; Yanni Posnakoff (4); Rania Rangou; Rigby; James Rosenquist (2); Herbert Schiffrin (2); Seiho; Sotiris Sorogas; Sarakatsianos, Christos; Theodossis Stamatellos; Theodoros Stamos (8); Oliver Steindecker; Aris Stoidis; Panayiotis Tanimanidis; Theodoros (3); Sotiris Therianos; Pantelis Tsatsis; Tho van Rysselberghe; Nikos Velmos (422); Jacques Villon (2); Alkis Voliotis (6); Rudolph Charles von Ripper; Ioli Xifara; Kay WalkingStick; White;Mark Williams (3); Jessica Wohlers (2); Theodore P. Wolfe; Athos Zacharias; Emil Robert Zettler; Kostas Zimarakis (2); Zym; as well as his own work and works by Anonymous & Unknown artists: Artefacts (7); Ceramics (4); Instruments (2); Numismatics (2); Painting (1); Photography (6); Sculpture (4); and Textiles (7). ACG Art ascribes great value to Efstathiou's donation of 259 tools from the workshop of Michael Lekakis, by permission of the artist's sister, the late Mrs. Catherine Lekakis-Hios.

ACG Art is further entrusted with Efstathiou's archives, including photographs, catalogs, invitations and correspondence of his with the following personalities: Michael Govan (former Director of the Guggemheim Museum); Philippe de Montebello (Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art); Carlos A. Picón (Curator at The MET); Dimitris Papastamos (former Director of the National Gallery in Athens); Anna Kafetsi (former Curator at the National Gallery in Athens); and Katerina Koskina (Curator of the Costopoulos Foundation).

[Megakles Rogakos 08/2005]

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