Katzourakis Michalis (1933)

He was born in 1933 in Alexandria (Egypt). He moved with his family to Athens in 1938 and at the age of 13 he started to work at the studio of sculptor, Th. Apartis (1946). In 1951, he went to Paris to study architecture but eventually he preferred graphic design. He attended painting classes with André Lhote, drawing classes at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, and poster composition with Paul Colin (1952-1955). When he returned to Athens, he presented his first solo exhibition (Monica Pane gallery, 1955), and began studying sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts, with M. Tombros (1955-1958).
His interest in geometrical structures and fundamental color relationships increased during the 60s, with constructivist and minimalist influences. In 1976 he participated in the art group Processes-Systems, which artists of similar trends were joining too. Soon, he went into large-scale works, using multiple media and diverse materials. In the area of design, he moved in the same direction, in which he engaged mostly, alongside his painting. With his first solo exhibition in Paris (Denise René gallery, 1979), he was established as an artist with neo-constructivist tendencies.
He presented more aspects of his art in the next phases of his work, concerning either purely painterly quests or the relationship between art and the everyday environment, with two or three-dimensional constructions, mounted on the wall, or placed in space. His monumental sculpture Incontri, was presented in Venice (1997) on a floating platform. In 2006, he created the work Mazareko for the ‘Panormou’ station of the Athens Metro.
He was artistic director of Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT) (1960-1967), founder and director of advertising firm K&K (with F. Carabott, 1962-74), and AMK Architects & Designers (1974). Many of his artworks have been inspired by business trips around the world (Marrakesh, Singapore, Manhattan, Oaxaca, Nihn Bihn, etc.).
He was awarded in the International Tourism Posters Competition (Livorno, 1961 and 1962) and has also received six Rizzoli awards (1964-1969), the 1st prize at the Brno Biennale (1972), the German press prize at the International Biennale d 'Art de la Colonne Morris in Munich (1989) etc., as well as the Golden Cross of the Order of the Phoenix (1965), for his overall contribution to design in Greece.
He has been very active, exhibiting numerous times in Greece and abroad. His major retrospective exhibitions were presented at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art (Thessaloniki) and the Athens School of Fine Arts (2001, 2002), the Benaki Museum (Freddie Carabott, Michael & Agnes Katzouraki - Design Routes, 2009) and the Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece ([MIET], Works for specific sites, 2012).