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DIMITRIS ARMAKOLAS (Greece, Athens 1939-2009 / act: Athens)

Dimitris Armakolas Dimitris Armakolas was born in 1939 in Athens of islander parents. In 1952, at the age of twelve, he exhibited terracotta sculptures and witnessed his first critics in period newspapers. In 1957 he participated in an exhibition with copies of Post-Byzantine and Popular Greek art. In 1956, at the age of seventeen, he enrolled at the Athens School of Fine Arts to study sculpture, from which he graduated in 1960. In the same year the University of Athens granted him a scholarship to further his studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. There he worked on a series of sculptures in wood entitled Erotic - Bimorfic, which he subsequently presented at international exhibitions. Upon his return to Greece the Greek Presidency honored him with the 1st Sculpture Award in the 2nd Panhelladic Exhibition of Young Artists (1962). He then worked on a series of sculptures in iron and concrete under the title Monomorphic - Pulses and was again honored with the Presidency's 1st Sculpture Award (1970). During this period he collaborated with architects and produced a series of relief architectural ornaments, combining sculpture with architecture.

In 1974 a work of his was distinguished by UNESCO and was included in the collection entitled Art as Environment. At that time he began to work with bronze and marble, producing a great series of works that were characterized by the combination of opposites, which turned out to result in a poetical realism. In 1991 was published the book Armakolas 1960-1990, which presents retrospectively all of his artworks, with a commentary by Academician Professor Chryssanthos Christou. In concision, the artistic evolution of Armakolas' artistic development may be summed up as follows: in the 1960s he engaged with the surface of abstract forms - in 1965 began his interest in dissimilar textures - In the 1970s he introduced abstract geometry in figuration - in 1975 he employed naturalistic patterns (breakages and cracks) to enliven the texture - from 1980 he has been experimenting with the interplay of naturalistic and abstract elements.

Dimitris Armakolas presented the following personal exhibitions: Single & Double Figure Sculptures, Galerie PR, Athens (1970); Helios & Selini, New Gallery, Athens (1971); Montana Vermala, Switzerland (1972); Forms - Symbols - Senses, Tholos Gallery, Athens (1973); Variations, Nees Morfes Gallery, Athens (1975); Dimitris Armakolas: Retrospective, Art Gallery, Thessaloniki (1976); Dimitris Armakolas: Retrospective, Athens College (1977); Aroura Workshop: Sculpture of Five Years, Kapandriti, Greece (1991); Maiden of the Sea, Galerie Epoches, Kifissia, Greece (1992); Antinor Gallery, Athens (1993); Ellinogermaniki Agogi, Pallini, Greece (1993); Yeni Çami, Thessaloniki (1994); Balta Gallery, Thessaloniki (1994); Argo Gallery, Athens (1996); Argo Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus (1997); Art Athina, Galerie Epoches (1998); and Armakolas, Benaki Museum, Athens (2007). He also took part in the following group exhibitons: Peintres et Sculptures de Paris, Museum of Modern Art, Paris (1960); 13ème Salon des Indépendent, Paris (1960); 14ème Salon de la Jeune Sculpture, Musée Rodin, Paris (1960); 2nd Panhelladic Exhibition of Young Artists, Athens (1960); 7th Panhellenic Exhibition, Athens (1963); Object, Athens (1965); 1st Open-Air Sculpture Exhibition, Filothei (1966); 20ème Salon de Jeune Sculpture, Paris (1968); 10th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (1969); Mostra Internazionale di Scultura di Milano, Italy (1969, 1970, 1975); Modern Greek Art, Nicosia, Cyprus (1970); New Sculptors - Painters - Engravers, Athens (1970); 1st Biennial of Small Sculpture, Budapest, Hungary (1971); Freedom, Nees Morfes Gallery, Athens (1971); 11th Panhellenic Exhibition, Athens (1971); 12th Panhellenic Exhibition, Athens (1973); 5th Biennal de Barcelona, Spain (1975); Week of Art, Athens (1975); Aroura: Painters Sculptors Engravers, Kapandriti, Greece (1983, 1984, 1985); Athens Cultural Capital of Europe, Athens (1985); Panhellenic Exhibition of Pireaus, Piraeus (1987); and Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time, ACG Art Gallery, The American College of Greece, Athens (2008).

In 2002 Dimitris Armakolas combined workshop and home by remodelling a neoclassical building at the intersection of Zoodochos Pigi and Smolensky Streets in Neapoli of Athens. Unfortunately it was there that he found tragic death from suffocation when his scarf was caught in the electric wheel, while trying to refine one of his sculptures, on the afternoon of 16 May 2009. He was exactly 70 years of age.

[Megakles 05/2009]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
ARMAKOLAS, DIMITRIS & CHRISTOU, CHRYSSANTHOS Armakolas 1960-1990 1991 Edition Epsilon, Athens
CHRYSSANTHOS CHRISTOU / NIKOS ZIAS / STELIIOS LYDAKIS / DORA MARKATOU / PAVLOS DIMOTAKIS / NELLY MISSIRLI Armakolas 1999 Aroura, Athens [Greek]

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