GEORGE KOKINES (1930- 2012) was born in Chicago to Greek immigrant parents. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning a BFA in 1960. Following graduation, he won the Art Institute’s Frank G. Logan medal and prize for emerging artists. Early in his career he received critical acclaim and was a prominent figure in the Chicago art community, showing solo and alongside Edvins Strautmanis, Morris Barazani, Aaron Siskind, and Richard Hunt, among others. Once the subject of controversy, he said, "All contemporary painting should defy description."
In 1966, he moved to New York where he lived and worked for nearly 40 years. On September 11, 2001, Kokines was having coffee at the base of the World Trade Center, two blocks from his studio, when the first plane hit. After returning to Chicago in 2005, he continued to paint until the passed away inn 2012. Kokines' work was exhibited in galleries and museums nationally and internationally, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum, the Richard Gray Gallery, the Centro Cultural in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the Palazzo Massari in Ferrara, Italy.