Coulentianos Costa (1918 - 1995)

He was born in 1918 in Athens. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1936-1939) with Thomas Thomopoulos, Costas Dimitriadis and Michael Tombros. He fought on the Albanian front as volunteer, and then participated in the Greek Resistance.
In 1945, he arrived in Paris, on a French state scholarship, where he eventually settled. He studied at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts for a short period of time, and in Zadkine’s studio at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. He had already decided to abandon his academic notions. His collaboration with Henri Laurens (1947-1952) affected his career decisively. Metal became the primary material of his sculpture, which remained anthropomorphic until the late ‘50s. Then, he moved on to abstract forms.
In 1962, he organized his first major solo exhibition (Galerie de France). At the same time, he began to collaborate with architects, creating large sculptures or reliefs for public spaces. During his life he would create more than 50 outdoor sculptures. His work New Generation IX has been placed at the ‘Ethniki Amyna’ station of the Athens Metro.
In 1966, he moved his studio in central France and his productivity increased. Among other things, he engaged in tapestry design (1969-1975) and launched his screwed-on sculptures, often of large size, made by painted metal, which would characterize his future projects. Artistic perfection and dynamic form balance are the features that dominate his entire work.
In 1975, he was invited to organize sculpture workshops at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Paris and again in 1979, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Marseille invited him for the same reason, after he had settled in the south of France.
He presented his work in numerous solo exhibitions in Greece, France and other European countries, he was a regular participant in the Parisian Salon de la Jeune Sculpture and the Salon de Mai, as well as in other group and international exhibitions, such as the Biennales of Antwerp (1953), Sao Paulo (1955) and Venice (1964 and 1982).
In 1984, he was honored with the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.
After his death (Arles, France, 1995), retrospective exhibitions of his work were organized in 1997 (Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris), in 2002 (Musée Chintreuil, Pont de Vaux, Ain, France) and in 2008 (Medusa gallery, Athens).