Parmakelis Yannis (1932)

He was born in Heraklion, Crete in 1932. He studied sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1952-1958) under Yannis Pappas, and continued his studies in Paris on a state scholarship foundation grant (I.K.Y.), at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (1961-1964) under Robert Couturier. He also studied under Ossip Zadkine. He presented his first solo exhibition in Athens (Zygos gallery, 1961).
In 1966 he taught awhile at ASFA, as assistant to Yannis Pappas. He also taught at the Athens Technological Institute (1968-1976), the Vakalo College of Art & Design (1995-1999), and the Democritus University of Thrace (Polytechnic Faculty, Department of Architecture, 1999-2006), where he endorsed the establishment of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
His early works are dominated by traditional forms of figurative sculpture. From 1968 to 1974, his work acquires greater expressive intensity, as sculptures are carved directly from their material via mechanical equipment, while the dramatic element of social criticism is highlighted through expressionist distortions (Martyrs and Victims).
The largest and most characteristic section of his oeuvre is anthropocentric, with elliptical figures that combine solid structure and expressive mobility. However, at times, he explored other figurative subjects as well, and produced geometric or constructivist compositions too. Apart from metal, his primary matter, he also uses plaster, wood and industrial materials, often in multi-coloured constructions. Nevertheless, the morphic diversity and the rotation of technical media evident in his oeuvre do not contradict the inner coherence of his search on the aesthetic, emotive and semantic potential of modern sculpture.
More than thirty of his sculptures (compositions with statues and reliefs, mostly bronze) are located in public sites in Greece. Moreover, he has created over 70 bronze, silver and gold medals.
He has won 20 times 1st and 2nd prizes in national competitions. In 2011 he was elected member of the Academy of Athens, Chair of Sculpture (Section of Letters & Fine Arts).
His work was presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He participated in the Biennales of Alexandria (1965), Sao Paulo (1967), Venice (1970) and Budapest (1971), the International Exhibition of Modern Sculpture (Rodin Museum, Paris, 1966) and the International Exhibition of Plastics Arts (Bucharest, 1983). His retrospective exhibitions were organized at the Pierides Art Gallery (1992) and the Municipal Gallery of Kalamata (1994).