Artist’s Curriculum Vitae

Tassos – Anastasios Alevizos

Tassos (Anastasios Alevizos) was one of the leading Greek engravers, both in the field of artistic and applied engraving. In his work he combines the folk tradition with the modern concepts of his art. Involved in the KKE since his teenage years, he described engraving as the art of the people. He served a peculiar militant art “that knows how to unite the dead Christ with Che Guevara and the mourning angels with the guerrillas of a lasting Resistance”, as it has been written.

Anastasios Alevizos was born on 25 March 1914 in the village of Hastemi (today’s Lefkohora) in Messinia. In 1919 he settled in Athens and ten years later, after working in various printing houses, he began his apprenticeship in painting under George Kochakis.

“Noon”, 1952 – Woodcut on paperIn 1930 he was accepted at the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA), where, after three preliminary years, he studied sculpture with Thomas Thomopoulos (1932-1933) and painting with Umberto Argyros (1933-1934) and Konstantinos Parthenis (1934-1937). At the same time, he was one of the first students in the newly established printmaking workshop of Yannis Kefallinos.

In 1936 he held his first solo exhibition of engravings and drawings in the room of the Eleftheroudakis bookshop and two years later he became a member of the Group of Greek Painters and Printmakers, which in the same year organized its 1st Panhellenic Exhibition.

In 1938 he began his collaboration with the magazine “Nea Estia” and in 1940 with “Piraika Grahmata”, where he illustrated short stories, histories, etc. Throughout his artistic career he was involved in the illustration of publications, books, magazines, scrapbooks and calendars.

During the German occupation, he took part as a member of the EPON and EAM in the National Resistance. He served as secretary of the EAM Artists and together with other artists he contributed through his art to the struggles for liberation. Tassos’ contribution to the illegal resistance press was special and valuable.

The most important publication of the organised struggle of the Greek people for their freedom was the “Lefkoma of ELAS – EAM”, published on 25 March 1943, with woodcuts by himself, Vasso Katraki, his comrade Loukia Maggiorou and George Velissarides. His participation in the albums that were published in 1945 (“For the Thousand-Century Freedom” and “The Altar of Freedom”) was significant.

A. Tassos working on the composition “17 November 1973” on 10 June 1974. (Photo: Sparos Karachristou)From 1948 until the end of his life he was an artistic advisor to the historical graphic arts company Aspiotis-ELKA, while he also collaborated with the School Book Publishing Organisation in the illustration of primary and secondary school books. From 1957 to 1967 he designed the stamps of ELTA and from 1961 to 1985 the stamps of the Republic of Cyprus. In 1959 he became head of the Graphic Arts Department of the Athens Technological Institute (ATI), a position he held until 1967.

During the dictatorship he lived in self-exile abroad. In 1977, after the collapse of the junta, he was one of the founding members of the Panhellenic Cultural Movement (PAPOK), the artistic arm of the KKE, and a member of the board of the National Gallery.

He was one of the founding members of the art group “Stathmi”, while he participated in its exhibitions. Tassos’ work has been presented in a series of solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad (Venice Biennale, Lugano, Florence, Tokyo, Sao Paolo, Capri Triennale of Woodblock Printmaking and elsewhere).

Tassos died on 13 October 1985 in Athens, at the age of 71. The following year, his widow Lucia Maggiorou and his friends and associates founded the Visual Arts Society “A. Tassos”, dedicated to the promotion of his work. In 1987 the National Gallery honoured his memory with a major retrospective exhibition of his work.

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