Apartis Thanassis (1899 - 1972)
Kyra Antiopi, 1941
He received his early instruction in sculpture from the Armenian sculptor Papazian and in drawing from Vassilios Ithakissios. In 1919, he found himself in Paris, studying at the Academie Julian; in October of the same year, he was admitted at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts but quit only two months later to return to the Academie Julian. There, he studied with Paul Landowski and Henri Bouchard for two years. In 1921, during his participation in the Salon d’Automne, he met Antoine Bourdelle, who took him in the Academie Grande Chaumiere. He studied there for four years and, thanks to the mediation of his teacher, received in 1923 a 40,000 French franc scholarship from Helena Venizelou, enabling him to continue to pursue his studies, without however graduating, as he left the school in 1925. During the same year, he met Charles Despiau. In spring 1940, he permanently returned to Athens. At the beginning of the German Occupation, he was Dimitris Pikionis’s assistant at the Department of Free Drawing for a short period of time; in 1959, he became Professor at the Athenian Technological Institute and in 1961 was elected regular professor of the Second Sculpture Workshop at the Athens School of Fine Arts. In 1967, he was elected an associate member of the sculpture department at the French Academie des Beaux Arts. In 1939, he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur of the French Republic and in 1947 the Palmes Academiques by the French Ministry of Education.
His work has been exhibited in solo and major group exhibitions in Greece and around the world, including the Salon d’Automne, the Salon des Independants in France, Panhellenic exhibitions, as well as the Venice Biennale in 1950 and the Alexandria Biennale in 1961.
His acquaintance with Rodin’s work and his apprenticeship with Bourdelle both played a decisive role in shaping Apartis’s personal voice. The clear plastic volumes, the clarity of outline, the solid structure as well as the pervading spirit of the revival of classical tradition, specifically of Greek Archaic sculpture, all testify to Bourdelle’s influence, all the more evident during Apartis’s apprenticeship with the French master. Whether fragment, bust or full length, the human figure was the Greek sculptor’s main subject. His struggle to confine himself to the essential, to eliminate details, the austerity, clarity, realistic inclination and architectural structure are all characteristic traits of his oeuvre.
Kyra Antiopi, 1941
Female Dog, 1955
On Execution, 1948
Torso of a Portuguese Man or Male Torso, 1921