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Panos Koutrouboussis (1936–2019) was a writer and visual artist. He was born in Livadia and grew up in Athens. In 1952–4, while still a pupil at Athens College, he participated in the events organised by the Greek existentialists at Simos’ Shack. He studied cinema at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome (1955–7). He made his literary debut in 1958, with a poem published in Athinaika Grammata literary review. After his studies in Italy, he returned to Athens and worked as assistant director in Greek and international film productions, while also making films of his own. The fruit of his experiments is the short documentary From Bouzoukia to Bouzoukia (1961–2) and a series of 8mm films with a surrealistic sense of humour, some of which were screened at the Notting Hill Independent Film Show (Mercury Theatre, London, 1965). He was a personal friend of Yorgos Makris and Spyros Meimaris, and a member of the editorial board of Pali magazine (1963–6). On 17 April 1963, he performed jointly with Dimitris Poulikakos the happening Test Tubes, or the Marble King at Symposio boîte. During the same year, encouraged by Alekos Fassianos, he enrolled at the Beaux-Arts in Paris but never attended. In 1968 he settled in London, where he worked as an illustrator of science fiction books. In 1978, Denise Harvey published his first book, En Agkalia de Krisgiaourti y Otros Tachydramas y Historias Perierges (reissues: Apopeira 1987, 2020). From 1979 to 1982 he worked for the BBC Greek section. While living abroad (Paris, New York, Washington, D.C.) with his wife Kate, his writings and drawings were published in New Worlds, Oz, IT, Greek Gazette, London Magazine, The Guardian and the French magazine Plexus. His short stories were published in several Greek magazines, newspapers and fanzines, including Sima, Tram, Trypa, Ta Nea, Eleftherotypia, Vavel, Tachydromos and Anti. A unique blend of surrealism, popular storytelling and wordplay, Koutrouboussis’s literary work was influenced by comics, science fiction and Beat literature. He also published the short story collections Ston Thalamo tou Mythograff (Apopeira 1992, 2020), I Taverna tou Zola (Istos 1997), To Kentraki tou Tarzan kai Alla Paramythia (Gavriilidis 2005), the bilingual poetry collection The Age of Discoveries (Futura 2002) and the non-fiction Eikones stin Ammo & O Burroughs stin Washington (Gavriilidis 2005).
His visual output includes drawings, collages, photographs, constructions and illustrations for books, magazines and vinyl records. In April 1959 one of his drawings was featured in the first issue of Kouros magazine, edited by Leonidas Christakis. In 1962 he held his first solo exhibition, a display of watercolour paintings at the Nine Muses boîte in Plaka, followed by two more solo shows, in Copenhagen (Galleri 13, 1965) and London (Jordan Gallery, 1974). In 1965 he contributed drawings to the 2nd International Exhibition of Objective Poetry and Painting, in Copenhagen. While living in London, he participated in two group exhibitions: Images from Science Fiction and Fantasy (Portal Gallery, 1970) and Aaargh! (ICA, 1970). In 2000, a large part of his visual output was collected in Ti Trehei? Oi Eikones tou Panou Koutrouboussi, featuring an essay by Thanassis Moutsopoulos (Futura Books). In 2006 he participated in Anathena, a group exhibition curated by Marina Fokidis and Marina Gioti and organised by the DESTE Foundation. In 2007 his work was featured in Charley magazine no. 5 (edited by Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni, Ali Subotnick). He was a participating artist in the Marathon Marathon Project (curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Nadja Argyropoulou) at the Acropolis Museum in 2010. In 2012 he participated in the exhibition The Athenian Underground 1964-1983, curated by Thanassis Moutsopoulos at CAMP – Contemporary Art Meeting Point. In 2015 he participated in Ametria exhibition by the DESTE Foundation at the Benaki Museum/Pireos 138.
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