Kokkinidis Dimosthenis (1929 - 2020)

He was born in Piraeus in 1929. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1952-1958) under Yannis Moralis and Spyros Papaloukas. He studied Byzantine and folk art and worked at the newly established National Organization of Hellenic Handicraft (Ε.Ο.Ε.Χ.), as head of the artistic department (1959-1961). In that context, he went το Italy for further training and was actively involved in the optimization of Greek folk craft and ceramics. In 1972 he received a Ford Foundation grant.
In his first solo exhibitions in Hydra (Clio gallery, 1961) and Athens (Merlin gallery, 1964) he presented paintings with several abstract elements, on subjects inspired by everyday life in the working-class quarters and the islands. Immediately after, he turned to more clearly politicized themes which reflected the charged atmosphere of the era. The works of that period, some of which were exhibited much later, reveal a critical commentary achieved through violent chromatic tensions and expressionistic distortions, and not via the coldness of realism (War-Violence, And regarding the remembrance of evils, Identities, Protests).
In the '80's he abandons direct references to political issues in his art and focuses on personal experiences revolving around nature and human communication. Later on, he began exploring the concept of timelessness that links the present with the mythical past, producing works inspired mainly by the Odyssey (Mythological Associations).
He also exhibited works of sculpture, and before that, he had designed clothes and art objects. His commitment to painting, however, is what distinguishes him from his peers of the '60's generation', whose art evolved outside Greece.
His interest in the social role of art was expressed soon enough through his dynamic participation, first in the art group Alpha (1961-1967) and then in the Group for Communication and Education in Art (1976-1981).
In 1976 he was elected professor at ASFA, where he taught until 1997, and also served as Dean and Associate Dean of the School (1979-1982).
He has published texts on art, and since 1974, he has been active as a board member of many organizations, such as the State Scholarship Foundation (I.K.Y.), the National Academic Recognition Information Center (D.I.K.A.T.S.A.), the National Theatre of Greece, the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation (MIET) and the Society for Neohellenic Cultural Studies. He was also Chairman of the selection committee for the artworks placed at Athens' metro stations.
He presented his work in approximately thirty solo exhibitions in Greece and participated in several group ones, and in the 'Art & Dictatorship' section of Europalia (Belgium, 1982). In 1989, the Macedonian Center for Contemporary Art (today MMCA) organized his retrospective exhibition in Thessaloniki. A book with his writings on art was published in 2005, and a monograph on his oeuvre was published in 2007.