Apergis Achilleas (1909 - 1986)

He was born in 1909 in Garitsa (Corfu). He first interacted with art by attending drawing classes at the evening School of Fine Arts in Corfu (1918-1920). After settling down in Athens (1935), he studied sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts with T. Thomopoulos, K. Demetriades and M. Tobros (1936-1939 or 1945).
During World War II and the first postwar years, he was commissioned to create numerous statues and monuments, by adhering to the predominant, at the time, conventional approach of representationalism. However, being influenced by the horrors of war and the latest developments in modern art worldwide, he was already preparing for the next phase of his work, which would establish him as one of the abstraction pioneers of greek sculpture. Since his first solo exhibition (Ilissos gallery, 1995), it had already become apparent that abstract forms would soon dominate his work. During the ‘60s, he selects metal, iron or copper, as his sculptures’ primary materials.
The most characteristic sculptures of his first mature period (approximately until the mid–seventies), are made from metal rods, joined together through welding, in order to develop coarse three-dimensional surfaces. The structure of his compositions, the sharpness of the forms and the processing of corroded surfaces, bring out an intensely expressive personal style of gestural character.
Over the following years, the element of spirituality, always distinctive in his work, would acquire a conceptual–philosophical dimension, alluding to existentialism. His works are being presented as installations, with the use of various materials and multimedia (sound, video, photography and texts). The Ladder motif, a symbol of spiritual elevation but also of social ascent, dominates the last period of his work, either in large installations in public places, or as portable sculpture.
His work has been presented in solo exhibitions in Greece, England and France. He participated in the Venice Biennale twice (1956 and 1968), as well as in other important international events and numerous group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He died in Athens (1986).