Papagiannis Theodoros (1942)

He was born in Elliniko, Ioannina in 1942. He studied sculpture under Yannis Pappas, and plaster art and copper casting under Nikos Kerlis at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1960-1965) on a scholarship. Between 1966 and 1968, he studied the art of ancient Greece in the greater Mediterranean region on a Greek state scholarship (I.K.Y.). In 1974 he co-founded the Center for Visual Arts, where he also presented his first solo exhibition (Athens, 1975). In 1981, he went to Paris for postgraduate studies on new sculpture materials and methods at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Appliques et des Metiers d’Art.
The most noticeable feature of his entire oeuvre in all his creative phases is the dominance of the human form. He began with a solid ground in representational sculpture, as far as techniques and forms were concerned. Later he turned to more abstract forms with cubist characteristics, especially after his stay in Paris. His most well-known works are the imposing, standing figures that allude to ancient, pre-classical idols; they are often oversized and are usually presented in ritualistically arranged groups, or as spatial installations. Apart from the traditional technical media, he uses natural or synthetic materials, processed and effectively combined, in order to utilize their texture, colour and expressive abilities. The symbolic charge of the forms, the cultural and social contemplation and his devotion to plastic values are key features in his art.
Monumental sculpture constitutes a large part of his oeuvre, since he has created large-sized works in public spaces, and many statues and busts of famous people. He has also designed numerous coins and medals.
He had already been working at ASFA, as assistant to Y. Pappas, since 1970. He was elected assistant professor in 1987, and in 1991, he was elected professor and Director of the School’s Sculpture Studio A’. From this position he cooperated with many Fine Arts Schools in Europe, developing specialist workshops under student exchange programmes. He has also led the way in organizing Sculpture Symposiums in Greece and Cyprus. He has been awarded many times in various Greek and international contests, such as the Monument for the victims of Polytechnion in Ioannina (1st prize, 1986), the Monument of National Resistance (Volos, 1988), and the monumental composition for the Chicago airport in the U.S.A. (2006).
He has presented more than 30 solo shows in Greece and abroad, and has participated in many group exhibitions all over the world: The Budapest Biennale (1973, 1977), the 4th Triennale of European Sculpture (Paris, 1995), et al.
In 2009 he founded the Theodoros Papagiannis Museum of Contemporary Art at Elliniko, Ioannina. In 2010, he was awarded the title of Honorary Lecturer by the University of Ioannina (Department of Plastic Arts).