Kopsidis Rallis (1929 - 2010)

He was born in Kastro (Limnos) in 1929, while his parents came from Asia Minor. He studied at the Pedagogical Academy of Alexandroupoli, and then entered the Athens School of Fine Arts in 1949, where he studied painting under A. Georgiadis. In 1953 he interrupted his studies in order to train under icon painter Fotis Kontoglou (1953-1959), and together they painted many churches. His first solo exhibition was presented at Techni gallery (Athens, 1958).
His commitment to the values ​​of Greek tradition, especially to the post-Byzantine and folk art, played an important role in the development of his painting style. His disengagement from Kontoglou’s influence, which was evident in his early period, resulted to a personal artistic idiom, where elements from the byzantine and folk art blend with realistic references to social reality, and a poetic approach to the image that alludes to surrealism.
As an icon painter, he painted church frescoes in Greece and abroad. The frescoes of the orthodox chapel at the Monastery of Chevetogne (Belgium) and the Orthodox Center’s church at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy (Geneva) are his most famous European works. His printmaking works (woodcut, linoleum, copperplate) and his illustrations of books and magazines were equally important parts of his oeuvre. Between 1972 and 1974, he published the quarterly magazine “Canistro”, of which he was also illustrator and bookbinder. Moreover, he wrote works of fiction, which he illustrated himself, and published articles in magazines and newspapers.
He presented his work in several solo exhibitions, in Athens mainly, but also in other Greek cities. He participated in many group exhibitions in Greece and abroad (Cologne 1976, Cameroon 1980, Ireland 1989, Belgium 1994) et al. In 1989, a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the National Gallery in Athens, and then it was also presented in Alexandroupoli. His last retrospective exhibition was presented in 1994 at the Patras Municipal Gallery.
He died in Athens in 2010.