Constantin Xenakis

Constantin Xenakis – Explosive landscape – Ink on paper

Constantin Xenakis

Explosive Landscape

Date : 1959

Dimensions : H : 26 cm ; L : 37 cm

Material : Paper

Condition : Good condition - pinholes at corners.

Conditions & disponibilité: available - unframed


of work

"Explosive landscape" - Ink on paper

“Explosive Landscape” by Constantin Xenakis, created in 1959 with white gouache and black ink, is an abstract work exhibiting both powerful and subtle pictorial effects. Xenakis masterfully exploits the possibilities offered by the brush, using both the raw energy of splatters and the delicacy of dilution.

The black ink, the protagonist of the composition, is applied with vigorous brushstrokes that burst onto the paper, creating a series of dynamic visual explosions. These free and anarchic projections suggest a contained energy suddenly unleashed, a natural force in full deployment.

Simultaneously, Xenakis manipulates the ink with subtle mastery, diluting it directly on the paper. This dilution technique generates variations in tones and textures, ranging from deep blacks to misty grays, imparting remarkable depth and visual complexity to the work. The transitions between areas of high intensity and more evanescent zones create a sensation of perpetual motion, of a landscape in constant flux.

The highlights of white gouache add a luminous dimension to the work. Strategically applied, these accents of white not only create points of light but also sculpt the space, introducing contrasts that enhance the painting’s explosive dynamics. The white acts as flashes of light, piercing through the chaos of the black ink, bringing balance and harmony to the composition.

“Explosive Landscape” is thus a masterful representation of dynamic abstraction. Xenakis succeeds in capturing a moment of pure energy, where chaos and order coexist in visual harmony. This work, with its striking contrasts and inventive use of materials, offers an immersive aesthetic experience, inviting the viewer to dive into a universe where matter and light confront and converse.

Work related to Constantin Xenakis.

Encre sur papier par Constantin Xenakis
Encre sur papier par Constantin Xenakis

« When emotions and impulses are filtered through thought, but thought cannot find the right words to express them, the mediated image gains weight and ultimately says much more. This is precisely what interests and captivates me to the point of obsession.» Notes - Constantin Xenakis

Constantin Xenakis

Cairo 1931 - Greece 2020

Constantin Xenakis was a Greek poet, sculptor, and visual artist born in Cairo, who permanently settled in Paris from 1955 onwards, while dividing his time between Paris and Athens starting in the 1990s. A notable representative of postmodern art, he is recognized for his works imbued with semiotics, combining various codes and letters from different alphabets and objects according to his distinctive style. Born into an Egyptian family, he left Cairo at the age of 21 for Paris, where he studied interior design and architecture until 1961 at the École Supérieure des Arts Modernes and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. During the 1970s, he taught fine arts in Paris and Berlin, while organizing numerous international exhibitions.

From 1980 onwards, Xenakis increasingly incorporated signs and symbols into his works, using Egyptian hieroglyphs, Greek and Phoenician alphabets, as well as Japanese characters, which he enhanced with a variety of colors. In 1986, he was honored with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and in 1996, he received the Prix Delmas from the Institut de France. A critic of globalization and the overabundance of information in the modern world, his work aimed to create a universal and transcendental expression.

In Greece, several of his works are housed in the National Gallery of Athens and the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki. One of his pieces even adorned the office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, underscoring the significance of his art in the Greek cultural landscape.



  • Exhibition at the French Pavilion of the Paris Biennale (1963)
  • “Light and Motion” exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (1967)
  • International exhibition “Expansions and Environments: The Daily Decor of Life” at the Musée Galliera, Paris (1968)
  • International group exhibition Superlund, Sweden (1969)
  • Exhibition “Letters, Signs, Writings – From Russian Constructivists to the Modern Era” at the Malmö Museum, Sweden (1978)
  • Exhibition “Maps and Faces of the Earth” at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (1980)
  • Retrospective at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Greece (2003)
  • Official inauguration of the Constantin Xenakis Museum by Greek Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni in Serres, Greece  Musée Constantin Xenakis (

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