Makris Memos (Agamemnon) (1913 - 1993)

He was born in 1913 in Patras. He studied sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1934-1939), under K. Dimitriadis and M. Tombros. During his university years he was actively involved in the artistic and political life of the '30s as a member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the art group Neoi Protoporoi(Young Pioneers). He fought in the Albanian front (1940-41) and during the German Occupation he was involved in the resistance as a member of the greek National Liberation Front (EAM). He worked with Thanassis Apartis for a while and, in 1945, he went to Paris for further sculpture studies (French government grant), mainly under Marcel Gimond.
In 1950, after he was expelled from France for political reasons, he moved to Hungary, where he lived and worked for many years, as a member of the local Artists Society. He presented his first solo exhibition in Budapest (1951 and 1956), he created monumental sculptures in keeping with the spirit of socialist realism, for which he was awarded (Munkacsy award, 1959 and Kossuth award, 1966). His relations with Greece were restored after 1975, when he regained Greek citizenship. From 1978 onwards, he spent his life between Greece and Hungary, until 1990, when he settled permanently in Athens. In 1992, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Thrace.
His personal sculpture style was a combination of influences incorporated from european art and socialist realism, with artistic elements from the greek ancient times. His work is mostly anthropomorphic, including statues, busts, reliefs and monumental compositions for public spaces - such as his well-known memorial to the Mauthausen victims (Austria, 1964). Apart from the materials and techniques of traditional sculpture, he often used wrought copper sheets joined by welding, especially in his larger works, highlighting even more the solid expressiveness of his subjects. His works have been placed in public places, not only in Hungary, Greece and Austria, but also in France, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Cyprus, and other countries.
He presented his work in solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He participated in several salons in Paris and many exhibitions of Hungarian art. In 1959 he took part in the Visual Arts Biennale of Moscow. His first retrospective exhibition was organized at the Athens National Art Gallery (1979) and two years after his death (Athens, 1993), his second retrospective was presented at the Municipal Gallery of Patras (1995).