Mask of Yiannoulis Halepas
Antonis Sochos, Michalis Tombros, and Thanasis Apartis were the nucleus of the group of artists who brought renewal to sculpture in Greece in the 1930s. Together with the painters of the inter-War years, this group contributed to a break with the established order and produced an art of a progressive character, but with clear influences from the tradition of Greek art. A sixth-generation descendant of a family of marble-masons on Tinos and nephew and pupil of Lazaros Sochos, Antonis Sochos used the long tradition of his place of origin and family as a guiding force. His work draws inspiration from Archaic art with the rigid forms of the kouroi, but also from the Greek folk tradition. Following in the footsteps of Tombros, Sochos left for Paris in 1919. Undoubtedly, his work shows influences from Western European art which he received while studying under Émile-Antoine Bourdelle and Jean Boucher when he was a student at the École des Beaux Arts. There he was enthralled by European Expressionism and Cubism which were working on African plastic art and masks. In his early works in bronze and tufa there are clear references to ancient Greek forms, whereas later his turn towards woodcarving would bring out more his relations with European primitivist conceptions.