(Greece, Tripoli b. 1944 / act: Athens)
The art historian Nikos Grigorakis was born on 24 January 1944 in Tripoli, Greece, to a family whose roots can be traced well into the 17th century. His origin in the historical area of Mani, in the Peloponnese, Greece, has indelibly inspired his respect for Maniat tradition and customs. He studied Law at the Kapodistrian University of Athens, but his love for art prevailed. Grigorakis is known for his equal passion for the beautiful in life and art. He founded Yakinthos Gallery in Kifissia in 1979, which for two decades (1979-1999) was one of Greece’s well known and most interesting venues for the visual arts, promoting the following artists: Economidis; Galanis; Grammatopoulos; Katraki; Katsoulidis; Kefallinos; Kogevinas; Komianou; Koroyannakis; Mastichiadis; Moschos; Nikolaidi; Orfanos; Pantelias; Papadimitriou; Pascali; Protopatsis; Tassos; Theodoropoulos; Velissaridis; Venturas; Yannoukakis; and Zavitsianos. His intention was to found a venue that would operate 'extra mures' (out of the walls) of the Greek cultural mainstream of the period. With Yakinthos he aimed to propose his own feeling about the visual arts and to run a gallery with a ‘European’ sensibility. In due course he discovered a real passion for the graphic arts, and made it his duty to protect and promote this artform, whose greatness had as of yet remained regognised. He managed to inspire the interest for the graphic arts to many collectors. His claim of "lifting Greek Printmaking on my shoulders" is widely appreciated by his peers in the arts and the art-loving public. Having faith that the graphic arts today have earned the position they deserve in the Greek artworld, Grigorakis founded in Psychiko in 2000 the Museum of Printmaking, which houses the Grigorakis Collection.
Alongside running the Museum of Printmaking Grigorakis has published books on the graphic arts and has written critics generally on the visual arts. He has offered many entries in the Dictionary of Greek Painters
(Melissa). He has collaborated with newspapers, such as Kathimerini (Epta Imeres) and Vradyni, and with magazines such as Archaeologia, Ikastika, Sylloges and Zygos.
It is worth mentioning and underlining the publication since 1990 of a series of albums known as 'Livres de Luxe' in a limited edition (99 copies) printed by traditional typographic methods on handwoven paper, whose pictures are original engravings by important Greek artists. Grigorakis has also been preoccupied with historical, architectural and folklore studies. His publications (catalogs, essays, albums, studies and over 50 books) form today the basic bibliography for the history of Neohellenic Graphic Arts. On the occasion of the opening of the Arcadian Museum of Art & History, Angelos Delivorrias said that Nikos Grigorakis is per se
a chapter in the History of Neohellenic Art. All of the above, make the name 'Nikos Grigorakis' equivalent to the concept of the History of Neohellenic Art. His contribution to this history of art becomes the reference point in the future of Greek art historians.
With faith in the care of artworks demonstrated by The American College of Greece, Nikos Grigorakis kindly donated to the ACG Art collection works that throw light on the interesting moment of Neohellenic art. This donation includes works by the following artists: Nikos Bel-Jon
; Chronis Botsoglou
; and Sarandis Karavousis
Nikos Grigorakis is a member of organizations such as the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), the Greek Folklore Society, and the Assocaiation of Greek Authors. He currently continues to live and work in Psychiko.
[Megakles Rogakos 01/2007]
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