THE NIKOS SOFIALAKIS CENTER OF NEOCLASSICAL SCULPTURE
A BRIEF HISTORY
From Atelier to Center
For half a century, the artist’s ‘realm of ideas’ was a modest space wherein every angle and line embodied the purpose for which it was created. The rectangular white-washed structure, turned inward from the outside world, afforded him the solitude and the absence of distraction his creative focus required. The inner walls, lined with trees of his native soil – Crete - kept him in daily touch with his beloved homeland. The open roof of this unconventional building exposed everything below to the warmth of the Attic sun, so well suited to the glimmer of marble. From the engraved pathways in the garden, to the ram’s bells hanging from the grapevine beams, everything in this moderate space personified the artist who flourished within it.
The atelier of Nikos Sofialakis was carefully fashioned to insulate its master’s sensitivity and to provide a haven for his artistic vision. In it, he dreamed alive his greatest pieces, working with passion and determination; in it, he received countless students over the years, freely imparting to them his craft as it had been passed on to him by his master, Georgios Bonanos. The aesthetics of the atelier were thus expressly suited to its function as a sacred space of creation, inspiration, and learning. The delicate complexity of the internal space was balanced by the almost doric simplicity of its exterior to evince the classical axiom so dear to Sofialakis: “Παν μέτρον άριστον” (all things best in moderation).
After his passing in 2002, it became our family’s steadfast commitment to sustain his hope that his life’s work might be preserved in a “museum-private collection”, thereby keeping the viewing public in constant contact with his work. This aspiration proved challenging, however, because a different aesthetic was now necessary to address the new considerations of structure, space, and above all, function.
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Visit the Archives
Princess Alexandra at a
private viewing of the
Artist's works at his Atelier
The Artist receives
Princess Alexandra of Serbia
at his Atelier (194-)
The Artist with his daughter, overlooking the Atelier (1952)