BIOGRAPHY: Tassos (Anastasios Alevizos)

Anastasios Alevizos, better known simply as Tassos, was born on 25 March 1914 at Lefkochora in Greece. His artistic path started very early with painting classes and from the age of 16 he attended the Athens School of Fine Arts. Sculpture and painting took centre stage first, but print making took over as the main interest until his graduation in 1939.

During World War II, Tassos developed his more militant side, being often involved in designing (illegal) propaganda material. After the war, Tassos immersed himself even more in the art scene, illustrating books, creating many woodcuts and, in the 1950s and 1960s, he became a rather prolific stamp designer as well, for both Greece and Cyprus.

While most of his designs were executed either by letterpress or in lithography, there is the odd recess-printed issue as well. For only one of those, Tassos is credited with the engraving as well as the design. This is the 1965 Greek set marking the birth centenary of the statesman Venizelos.

Information is hard to find and with almost all of Tassos’ work being woodcuts rather than steel or copper engravings, question marks remain whether he really did engrave these stamps, and if so, whether he may have engraved any others.

What does not help is that Greece never really had much of a reputation for engraved stamps. Tassos himself once commented on the absence of such a tradition within Greek printing by saying that there had just never been a drive for continuous quality and research within the national printing office (nor in the wider printing community) which are the requisitions for building up such a tradition.

It would seem that Tassos’s remained a voice in the wilderness, where this was concerned. In his private art, though, he remained successful, and he even had an art society founded in his name, soon after his death on 13 October 1985.

You will find Tassos' database HERE.

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