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Costas Coulentianos > a retrospective exhibition February 4, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Maria Demetriades and Ben Coulentianos present the work of Costas Coulentianos. The exhibition is going to include mainly, bass-relief’s from wood, stainless steel and gold-plated bronze, from his late period, before his death in 1995.

Coulentianos arrived in Paris before 63 years, in December 1945, he obtained a scholarship from the French government. After a short passage from the Ecole des Beaux Arts and Zatkin’s workshop in the Grande Chaumiere, the artist distant himself from the academic perception that was instilled within him, by his studies in the Greek Superior School of Fine Arts (1936-1939).

In 1947, his acquaintance with Henri Laurens was very influential for his later work. His sculptures, many of them made out of lead, are a proof of the determining influence of the great Laurens (1947-1952). Since 1952, he started working with iron, rounded organic forms. The “Acrobats” period, between 1952-1959, was very important.

After the making of the last “Acrobat” in 1959, he passed to abstraction. In 1962 he did his first solo exhibition, in the eminent, at the time, Galerie de France. Simultaneously, he started to work together with architects in order to incorporate sculpture into architecture. He attempted to do that by making big sculptures for public buildings and open spaces. At the same period he formulated repetitive decorative elements made out of plaster, cement or concrete that was poured in polyester moulds. A defining feature in the sculptures of this period was the torch-welding with a detachable bronze stick (in the period of the sixties).

In 1966, he moved in central France where he built a workshop that manufactured looms for the production of tapestries, of his own design (1969-1975).

The first bolted sculptures, that characterized his work until the end, came from that same period. Coulentianos started teaching in the School of Decorative Arts in Paris (1975-1976) and after moving in the south of France he taught in the School of Fine Arts in Marseilles (1979-1980).

Between 1979 and 1982 he created a new series of sculptures that was named “New Generation”. With sculptures from this series, he represented Greece, in the 1980, Biennale of Venice. Since then and for the following 15 years he had a tight contact with Greece, until his last exhibition that occurred in 1991.

Coulentianos, remains in the history of sculpture as an artisan, with the complete meaning of the word. His work started with the essential theme of the female figure, naked, sited, lying, standing, acrobat and dancer. Gradually he was lead to dispute the traditional conceptions and liberated himself from specific views towards the human body, his work did not pay tribute to something visible, but to the internal dynamics that seek expression. He remained loyal to the inspiring figures that marked his training in Greece, he particularly loved ancient Greek sculpture and created sculptures that were unadorned, strict, vivid, balanced and very powerful.

Gallery Medousa, 7 Xenokratous Street, Kolonaki, Athens. To March 1st.

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