Tsoclis Costas (1930)

He was born in 1930 in Athens. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1948-1954) under Yiannis Moralis. He travelled to Rome (1957-1960) on a Greek state scholarship (I.K.Y.), where he participated in the artistic group ‘Gruppo Sigma’ (along with Caniaris, Gaitis, Kessanlis and Kontos). He then lived in Paris (1960-1970) and Berlin (on a DAAD grant, 1971-1972). From 1984 onwards, he settled in Athens, after living and working between Athens and Paris for several years.
He had the opportunity to familiarize himself with all the modern trends of European art, similarly to other painters of his generation, which he was able to interpret in his own unique style and artistic approach. The most distinctive feature of his art from the beginning was the use of painting skills in the composition of images that are on the verge of optical illusion, in combination with other materials, objects and media (drawing, constructions, photography, and later on videos, installations et al.).
In his mature period, the painting image ‘comes alive’ with the aid of an on-canvas video projection, while a bit later, installations are being converted into complex modular spectacles, consisting of multiple screens and sound and light effects, where actual and artistic space are intertwined, creating an atmosphere of theatrical narrative. His themes, which vary greatly and develop different conceptual layers, refer both to contemporary experiences and social concerns, and to time values of art, ancient myths and cultural archetypes.
He has been particularly prolific in the presentation of his work: To date he has exhibited his works in more than 100 solo shows and has participated in a large number of group shows and significant international art fairs in Greece and abroad. In 1986, he represented our country at the Venice Biennale (along with C. Caras). He has also participated in the Paris Biennales (1963, 1965), the Sao Paulo Biennale (1965), Kassel’s Documenta (1975) and many more. In 2001, the National Museum of Contemporary Art presented a large retrospective exhibition of his oeuvre.
Many public and private collections owe his artworks. He has created public space projects, among which there is a large installation for the Athens metro station ‘Ethniki Amyna’ (2000). In 2011 he founded the Tsoclis Museum in Tinos, where many cultural events take place every summer.