Athena Politopoulou-Kargsten was born on 21 February 1938 in Volos, Greece. After graduating from Pierce College in 1957, she received a scholarship to study Sociology at Lawrence University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she was attracted by courses in ceramics, textiles, and the graphic arts. Upon completion of her studies in 1960, Athena married the Swedish pediatrician Dr. Sven-Olof Kargsten and went to live in Stockholm, where she had the opportunity to study at the School of Fine Arts (1961-1972) and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (1972-1974). Parallel to her artistic activity Politopoulou-Kargsten collaborated with the philhellene Sture Linnér (1917-2010) on the promotion of Greek culture. For her contribution the Swedish Institute in Stockholm honored Politopoulou-Kargksten with the Prize of the Friends of Athens in the autumn of 1998. In 2011, The American College of Greece commissioned Politopoulou-Kargsten to design the "ACG Alumni Award - Maria West", through which it honors outstanding alumni for excellence in their contribution to culture.
Athena Politopoulou-Kargsten presented the following personal exhibitions: Meya Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden (1974); Zygos Gallery, Athens, Greece (1984); Gallery 17, Stockholm, Sweden (1986); Galerie Regio Genevensis, Carouge, Geneva, Switzerland (1987); Banque Suisse de Credits et Dépôts, Switzerland (1987); Pandora Mansion, Makrynitsa, Pelion, Greece (1993); and Giorgio de Chirico Art Center, Volos, Greece (1993). She also took part in the following group exhibitions: 11th Panhellenic Exhibition, Zappeion Megaron, Athens, Greece (1971); Graduate Exhibition, School of Fine Arts, Stockholm, Sweden (1973); 12th Panhellenic Exhibition, Zappeion Megaron, Athens (1973); Meya Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden (1974); Synopsis, Zygos Gallery, Athens, Greece (1984); Assistance to Mexico, Vorres Museum, Peania, Greece (1986); Three Greek Artists and Sweden, Swedish Institute, Athens, Greece (1986); Woman and Art, Art Center of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Athens, Greece (1987); Greek Contemporary Art, Municipal Gallery, Nicosia, Cyrpus (1988); Sculpture Grecque Contemporaine, Maison de l'Architecture, Paris, France (1991); Contemporary Greek Sculpture, Gallery of the Association of Greek Sculptors, Athens, Greece (1992); ACG Alumni Artists: Painting & Sculpture, House of Cyprus, Athens, Greece (1995); Month of Visual Arts, Technopolis, Athens (2001); A Tribute to the Alumnae Artists of Pierce College, ACG Cultural Center, Athens, Greece (2006); and Wolfgang Guenther - Athena Kargsten - Monika Kochs, Old School of Chora, Patmos (2010); In the depths of the National Gallery-Unknown treasures from the Gallery's collections - Postwar and Contemporary Art, National Gallery - Alexander Soutzos Museum, Athens (2011-2012).
Artworks by Politopoulou-Kargsten are kept at The American College of Greece, Athens; Municipal Theater, Volos; National Gallery - Alexander Soutzos Museum, Athens; and Vorres Museum, Peania.
[Megakles Rogakos 02/2012]
NIKOLAIDIS, ARISTOTELIS The Erotic Emersion of Sculptured Time; FRIAR, KIMON The Triforms of Athena Kargsten 1984 Galerie Zygos, Athens
MACCHAS, MARY Sculptured Triforms 1984 The Athenian, Athens
STEFANIDIS, MANOS Contemporary Greek Sculpture 1985 Zygos Magazine, Athens
MACCHAS, MARY The New Sculpture Gallery 1985 The Athenian, Athens
TAMBAKI, ANGELA The Primordial and the Modern in the Sculpture of Athena Politopoulou-Kargsten 1993 Giorgio de Chirico Art Center, Volos
MACCHAS, MARY Homage to Pelion 1993 The Athenian, Athens
ILIOPOULOU-ROGAN, DORA A Tribute to the Alumnae Artists of Pierce College 2006 The American College of Greece, Athens