THE NIKOS SOFIALAKIS CENTER OF NEOCLASSICAL SCULPTURE

Influence and Contribution

 

Sofialakis participated in every Pan-Hellenic Artists Exhibition from 1940–1975, earning acclaim for his work in Greece and abroad,[38][39][40][41] and produced vigorously until, and throughout, the 1980s. His creative impetus spanned five decades, during which time he negotiated the full range of artistic subjects and themes. Though many of his works were commissioned portrait pieces, Sofialakis’ love for children,[42] who frequently figured as his subject matter, as is apparent in the works Babe With Bonnet (1943), The Bound Babe (1946), Mother and Child (1947), Twins (1947), and Maternity (1952), rendered him a master of the infant form in marble.[43] His greatest devotion, however, was to Greek mythology, and it is here that the most prolific output of his work lies.



His Odysseus, a high-relief in Pentelic marble was presented by the University of Athens to Queen Sophia of Spain (then Princess of Greece) in 1962 on the occasion of her wedding,[44] while his characteristic micro-sculpture in marble featuring Greek mythological motifs attracted collectors from all over the world, with many of his works now found in museums and private collections in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Cairo, Frankfurt, Vienna, Paris, London, Sydney, Korea, and the United States.[45][46][47]





Nikos Sofialakis, Master of Classical Realism

 

Nikos Sofialakis is considered one of the last genuine proponents of the Ancient Greek tradition in sculpture. The basic premise of his craft is unquestionably humanistic, and the human form, which dominates in all of his artistic explorations, is, without question, the focal point of his art.



Sofialakis synthesized two very distinct modes in his art, bearing the influence of his great maestro, Bonanos, and of his professor at the School of Fine Arts, Tombros. From the former, Sofialakis gleaned the sculpting techniques characteristic of the Canova tradition, in which Bonanos had received his training; from the latter, he discovered the modernist impulse in the manner of Maillol, student of the great Rodin, who had influenced Tombros during his studies in Paris. Sofialakis honored the tradition of the Atelier method by which he had been trained, in receiving students and apprentices without charge throughout the course of his lifetime.

As freely as he imparted his craft to his students, he imparted to the world his Classical Realism, a style wholly unique to Sofialakis,[48][49] who used his erudition and creativity to bridge the gaping divide between rationality and pathos in his work.  Today it may be said that the uniqueness of his stlye expresses itself in all of his compositions with unmitigating dedication to the notion that the classical ideal can still be contemporary in the 21st century, capable of stimulating and provoking across generations and cultures.

 

 

 

THE ARTIST

high relief, sculpture, Odysseus, Ulysses, Nikos Sofialakis

Nikos Sofialakis, Master of Classical Realism

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detail, veil, eros, nikos sofialakis

ODYSSEUS (1962)
High-releif

Marble of Penteli

ARCHAIC FIGURES

Microsculpture

Marble of Penteli

EROS (1957)

Veil, detail

Nikos Sofialakis, art, microsculpture, marble relief

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