Loucopoulos Clearchos (1906 - 1995)

He was born in 1906 in Thermos (Aetolia). He took his first drawing and painting lessons from Konstantinos Maleas at an early age. He studied law for three years at the University of Athens, attending at the same time violin lessons (National Conservatory of Athens) and theater classes. In 1934 he went to Paris to study sculpture at the Academie Colarossi and then became an apprentice at the studio of Thanassis Apartis (1939).
His artistic career began with figurative, anthropocentric sculptures in limestone or marble. Towards the end of the '50s he selected metal as his primary material, whereas his sculptural forms become more and more abstract. That is how he earned his place among the pioneers of abstract sculpture in Greece. The clean, simple lines, the powerful structure of the compositions and their firmly balanced arrangement in space feature his work in all creative stages. The fact that he drew inspiration from the pre-classical period in greek art, something already evident in his early sculptures, becomes apparent in his mature work as well, through the existence of solid polyhedral volumes, reminiscent of the mycenaean stone walls.
As his transition to abstraction was completing in the '60s, he collaborated with the architect, Aris Konstantinidis, and created a series of monumental compositions for the Xenia hotels of the Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT), located in several greek cities. His first solo exhibition in Athens (Hellenic-American Union, 1972) included sculptures in an architectural environment (created by Dimitris and Susana Antonakakis), and was presented to the sound of an electronic music project by the composer Michael Adamis. His continuous appetite for experimentation and innovation lasted until his final creative period, when he attempted to incorporate new materials and everyday objects in his sculpture.
He was awarded a medal during the 1948 Pan-Hellenic exhibition and also received the greek AICA award (1963) and a Ford scholarship (1971). In 1972 he refused to receive the state award, in protest to the military junta (1967-74). He actively participated in several art groups (Armos, Alpha, Group for Communication and Education in Art, Contemporary Art Association), and published many articles on art.
His solo exhibitions were presented mainly in Athens and Thessaloniki, but he also participated in more than 35 group exhibitions and international events in Greece and abroad. He represented Greece in the Venice Biennale (1956 and 1966) and in the Sao Paulo and Alexandria Biennales (1959). He also participated in the Europalia arts festival (Belgium, 1982).
He died in 1995 in Athens. His posthumous retrospective exhibition was organized at the Vafopouleio cultural centre in Thessaloniki (1997). In 2000, his work Stili (Column) was placed at the 'Ethniki Amyna' station of the Athens metro. A tribute exhibition titled, Loucopoulos: The Sculptor-the Builder, A Journey's Fragments, was presented in Thessaloniki (Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art) and in the island of Sifnos in 2006.